One of the best kept secrets amongst Pocono locals sits on the mountaintop surrounding Camelback ski resort. The 1,306 acres of steep terrain overlooks the Mountain’s chairlifts and provides a 365-degree view of three states spanning Monroe and Jackson counties. The park is uniquely positioned to see the famous Delaware Water Gap’s prominent silhouette. Unlike the nearby Appalachian Trail, the 8.5 miles of trails that cascade the park are rarely high in traffic, and even allow for mountain biking and on occasion horseback riding.
Amongst the popular Indian, Vista, North, and South trails, there are a few prominent landmarks. Two favorites are the Cattell Cabin which is maintained by the Friends of Big Pocono group, and the active fire tower that is operated by the PA Bureau of Forestry and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Both are considered historic structures.
The park preserves unique flora and fauna, including a type of forest referred to as a Scrub Oak Shrubland. Various vista points display plaques to inform guests of the surrounding wildlife, as well as historical accounts. In addition to the scenic views and picnic areas, the park has an 800 acre allotment for hunting and trapping adjacent to State Game Land 38.
The various parking areas and road paths provide accessibility by vehicle for site seeing. When the ski resort is closed, the park is open, making this area a popular attraction for tourists wishing to get an unmatched view of the Poconos without the need for long hikes.
Whether you wish to take your dog on a scenic walk or set up a picnic with friends, Big Pocono State Park provides the terrain for everyone to enjoy the scenes of the Poconos.
To learn more about Big Pocono State Park, visit http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/bigpocono/index.htm?tab=Maps
Article by Amber Stahl, Travel Writer and Photographer.
Photos by Amber Stahl