Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:835 Jacobsburg Road, Wind Gap, PA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Bathrooms: At Henrys Woods trailhead and main parking lot
Water/Snacks: Water fountain near Henrys Woods restroom

www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks (click on Find a Park)

Hike from high to low—look way down on a creek from the top of the ravine, then cool off by wading into it.

Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Photo by: Susan Charkes

The beautiful Bushkill Creek is at the heart of the 1,168-acre Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, part of the Pennsylvania State Park system. The creek winds through a lush forested ravine, traversed by a web of trails—18.5 miles in the park altogether.

The premier hiking route is the 1.9-mile Henrys Woods Trail. Although you can gain access to the trail from the main parking lot on Belfast Road, a less crowded option is the lot near the Boulton Historic Site on Henry Road.  The trail loops around the creek through an old-growth forest with immense oak, pine, and hemlock trees that date back several centuries. The trail has a high side that climbs to the top of the bluffs overlooking the creek, and a low side on the opposite bank that has lots of access points to the water where kids can wade, fish, or look for crayfish. To get to the high side, you cross the bridge over the creek after entering the park from Henry Road; the low-side trail is on the near side of the creek. While the cliff-side trail may not be appropriate for toddlers, it’s great fun for kids who have some experience hiking; be sure to supervise in the narrow spots.

The historical site, open seasonally, is a museum and educational center focused on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American crafts and industry. For older kids, this site may be fun to visit during scheduled reenactments and demonstrations of the small firearms manufactured here by the Henry family.

Henrys Woods Trail is for hiking only. Many of the other trails in the park are open to horses and bikes, and for cross-country skiing. The lower section of Henrys Woods Trail is wide and easy enough to accommodate strollers.

Bushkill Creek is trout-stocked, and is extremely popular with anglers.

Remember: Dogs must be leashed. Other than the Henrys Woods Trail area, the park is open to hunting in season. Swimming is not permitted in the creek.

Plan B:

Homestead Trail, on dirt and grass surfaces, can be reached from the main parking lot and is not too difficult for children 8 and up (or younger, experienced hikers). It provides great views from the upland meadows.

Where to Eat Nearby:

It’s best to pack a picnic. Numerous picnic areas are in the park, including one by the main parking lot.


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