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Get back to nature at the charming Skytop Lodge

  • 6 May 2016
  • Author: Katie Filicky
  • Number of views: 8043
View from the observation tower at mid March at Skytop Lodge.

Two hours west of Manhattan, beyond the Delaware River Gap, up the mountain, and through the woods stands the charming and historical Skytop Lodge. When you get there, first thing, climb the stairs to the observation tower. Look past the lake and into the rolling hills. Breathe in the fresh air. Witness beauty and peace in the Pocono Mountains. 

Scientific studies have shown that natural environments promote positive emotions—and Skytop Lodge has it all. Whether you prefer a lakeside mosey, an outdoor adventure, or a little bit of both—like me— there’s over 5,000 acres of Pocono wilderness to explore at Skytop. And with a pleasant staff to greet you upon your return—you’re bound to start generating positive vibes.  

Mosey on down one of 13 trails, varying from easy to difficult, at Skytop.

Guided hike with Rick Koval

You haven’t hiked in the Poconos until you take a jaunt with Rick Koval, Skytop’s naturalist, Pocono Record’s nature columnist, and local TV star. Rick turns a regular trek through the forest into an unforgettable experience. He points to trees and flowers, explaining their medicinal uses, their species, or origin. If that doesn’t do much for you, his witty names for the waterfalls along with his upbeat personality will keep you amused throughout the hike. 

Talk nature with Skytop’s naturalist, Rick Koval.

Daily, pre-scheduled hikes with Rick are at no extra cost with proof of purchase at the lodge. This includes resort stays or simply just brunch. Check the daily activity schedule at the front desk or concierge service for scheduled times. 

Tip: If you are a nature enthusiast with a ton of questions— like me— I highly recommend reserving a private hike with Rick. In the summer and on the weekends, the size of the group can get rather large. 

Treetop Course at the Adventure Center 

The sky’s the limit! This four hour, guided, tree top adventure is the perfect mix of fun and obstacle. Nothing’s better than zipping from tree to tree after climbing a swaying ladder or walking a tight rope. Our guide was exceptionally sharp and present, yet he exuberated a sense of coolness. When someone in our group needed help, he was there, giving calm and clear instructions while enforcing a sense of awesome. I highly recommend it. 

Tip: For all the longhaired adventurers: don’t forget to bring a hair tie. You don’t want your long locks getting tangled on the equipment when you’re navigating through the course. Also the last course is very challenging, if you feel tired or weak at this point, it’s probably best to call it a day and head back to the lodge.   

Zip through the forest on a tree top adventure.

The Lodge & the Food 

A day well spent in nature will leave you hungry. Rest assured; the menu in the Tap Room provides an interesting mix of classic and uncommon, a great option for a causal meal. For those who want a formal dining experience, make reservations at the Lakeview Restaurant or the Windsor Dining Room. 

Refuel at the Tap Room, one of three restaurants at Skytop Lodge.

After spending all day outside, comfort yourself in style at the lodge. Designed to reflect the natural landscape, the lodge and guestrooms at Skytop suggest art nouveau with an added touch of new. A walk through the lobby immediately took me back to a major Hollywood movie. Hint: The movie is based on an historic event that occurred in the early 1900s. The main character, Rose, says to the captain: “Mr. Andrew, I saw the iceberg in your eyes…please, tell me the truth.”  Any guesses? 

Watch dusk fall on the Poconos from the windows of the lobby. Tip: Dusk and dawn are the most colorful times of the day, and the best times to witness wildlife.

One visit and there’s no mistaken that many, even the staff and locals, cherish this well-preserved gem in the Poconos. Skytop is well equipped to get you back to nature. A visit there might just send you back home glowing good vibes. 

Note: My visit to Skytop was sponsored, however, the opinions and photos are my own. For more information about Skytop Lodge, visit or call (855) 345-7759. 

Article by: Katie Filicky

Travel Writer
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Photo Credit: Alex Garcia and Katie Filicky

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