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Camping at Hickory Run State Park: Pennsylvania's Most Beautiful Campground

Charles has long experience fishing, hiking, exploring, and camping in the Northeast.

Camping at Hickory Run State Park can be as simple as pitching a tent in one of the spacious campsites offered at the park.

Camping at Hickory Run State Park can be as simple as pitching a tent in one of the spacious campsites offered at the park.

Hickory Run State Park, a Brief History

Nearly 20,000 years ago, the majority of Hickory Run State Park was completely covered in ice. I'm talking about a glacier nearly a mile thick. This giant slab of ice scraped, gouged, and carved the landscape resulting in the beautiful mountainous forest and topography we find here today.

In more recent times, the park became part of the territory claimed by the Lenape, Susquehannock, and the Iroquois Nations of Native Americans. Although no permanent settlements have been located within the park boundaries, these indigenous people probably hunted and trapped the abundant wildlife found in the dark forests of this area.

Once the first European settlers arrived, the logging industry in this area took a toll on the landscape. Many floods and forest fires later, well known Allentown millionaire General Harry Trexler purchased the land that would eventually become Hickory Run State Park.

The picturesque Lehigh River as it finds its way through the Lehigh Gorge.

The picturesque Lehigh River as it finds its way through the Lehigh Gorge.

What to Expect

The best bang for your buck when it comes to camping and exploring in the Northeast is Hickory Run State Park. Located in the pristine wilderness of Carbon County Pennsylvania, this State Park is notable for its close proximity to urban city centers such as New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey.

  • Address: PA-534, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
  • Amenities: Large, well-maintained campsites, and bathhouses located in close proximity to campsites. Electric, sewer and water are available at many campsites. Beautiful scenery and patrolled by state Park police.
  • Campsites: Over 300 campsites with 127 having some sort of RV hookup ability.
  • Reservations: It is possible to make online reservations or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday to Saturday.
The bottom of Glen Onoko Falls as it finds its way into the great Lehigh River.

The bottom of Glen Onoko Falls as it finds its way into the great Lehigh River.

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First Impressions

My visit to the Hickory Run State Park Campground was completely spurred by the moment. After a long day of exploring the surrounding areas of Jim Thorpe, Glenn Onoko Falls, and Hawk Falls, it was getting late so I decided to search for a place to camp in the area and stumbled across Hickory Run.

I was looking for a site where I could either tent camp or car camp, I didn't need sewer hookups or electricity. I stopped by the visitors center at the entrance to inquire about vacancies and prices, the knowledgeable wait staff at the counter were fantastic and got me set up quickly.

The rate for a basic campsite with a picnic table and fire ring was around $35 at the time which was pretty inexpensive considering it was a weekend during peak season. The Visitor Center contained a small museum, I didn't get the chance to check it out as it was already late in the day and I wanted to get the campsite set up before dark.

In the Boulder Field, masses of granite boulders are strewn across the barren expanse as far as the eye can see.

In the Boulder Field, masses of granite boulders are strewn across the barren expanse as far as the eye can see.

Camping at Hickory Run State Park

The campsite I selected was clean and spacious, with enough room for my SUV as well as two tents, chairs, etc. It contained the expected picnic table which was decently sized as well as the standard fire ring with grill grate found in most campgrounds. The campsites are fairly spaced apart and the bath house was conveniently located within 100 feet of my temporary home amongst the trees. The campground was quiet and seemed relatively safe. A park police officer stopped by on his rounds to chat and remind me to utilize the bear-proof trashcan located close by. There are bears in this area as I am told.

Overall, I couldn't have been happier. Hickory Run State Park Campground was the perfect location for exploring nearby Jim Thorpe, Hawk Falls, The Boulder Field, and the boreal forest within the park itself. The location was perfect, smack dab in the middle of the Pocono Mountains. I had a blast and I hope you do too!

I really appreciate you for taking the time to read my article. Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave an email or contact me about your experience at this wonderful campground and state Park tucked away in the breathtaking Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Hidden waterfalls abound in the area surrounding Hickory Run State Park.

Hidden waterfalls abound in the area surrounding Hickory Run State Park.

Beautiful scenery, magnificent mountains, and tranquil forests await new visitors to the Pocono Mountains of Carbon County, Pennsylvania.

Beautiful scenery, magnificent mountains, and tranquil forests await new visitors to the Pocono Mountains of Carbon County, Pennsylvania.

© 2022 Charles Kikas

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