Promised Land Winter Pathways
A winter hike in the Pike County woods is an invigorating experience. Promised Land State Park offers many great opportunities for getting out in nature no matter what the season with trails for hiking, cross country skiing or snow shoeing. Egypt Meadow or Bruce Lake are both good places along route 390 to park and begin your adventure. These trails are two you won’t want to miss on your next stay in the Pocono Mountains.
Egypt Meadow Trail
Ready? Head on over to the Egypt Meadow Parking Lot. Follow Egypt Meadow Trail and turn right on Panther Swamp Trail. This trail meanders through the woods up a slight climb with very pretty terrain. There is more color than one would expect on a winter wander. The blue skies with snow covered ground provide a backdrop for the many species of evergreens including spruce, black pine and hemlock to a canopy of rhododendrons and boulders covered with moss and lichens. Notice the different textures in the bark on the hardwood trees, white birch, oak, and shagbark hickory. There are fallen trees that may cross your path. Watch for the many different footprints in the snow. Squirrels, rabbits, deer, and wild turkey, just to name a few. You will see green ground-covers like princess pine or little wintergreens with red berries. At the intersection with Bruce Lake Trail turn left and make your way down to the bridge overlooking Egypt Meadow Lake. The view over the frozen lake is beautiful. You might see a beaver dam or remnants of one. Take a few deep breaths and listen to the quiet. To return, make your way back to a right turn on Egypt Meadow Pass. This trail is rocky and more challenging. It is good for a hike or snow shoe but not good terrain for cross country skiing. It closely follows the lake. There are large boulders and lovely views with good photo ops. This trail ends at Panther Swamp Trail and from there it is a short way back to Egypt Meadow Trail and the parking lot. Depending on your pace, allow about ninety minutes for this hike.
Bruce Lake Trail
If you park at Bruce Lake parking lot you may opt for an out and back on the Bruce Lake Trail. It is a trial wide enough to walk, shoe or ski side by side. This is a very popular trail for cross country skiing and if the snow is good you will likely see skiers on this trail. The trails are not groomed so if you are the first one there you will need to break trail. There are several trails that intersect with Bruce Lake Trail to loop, instead of out and back, but they are longer so gauge your energy and time. The terrain to travel to Bruce Lake is rolly poly ups and downs, not too strenuous but it makes for a great ski if you have the equipment. The trek to Bruce Lake is about two miles each direction. Consult the trail map to determine if you want to continue around the lake or head back to the parking lot.
Whether a hike, shoe or ski for an outdoor experience be sure to have the proper gear and dress in layers for warmth. if you opt for a hike what will make it perfectly enjoyable is having the right hiking boots for winter wear, along with all of the outerwear gear. Visitors to the area who want to enhance their visit to Promised Land State Park and need outerwear, stop in at Alice’s Wonderland and check out their wide array of clothing and accessories. Download the All Trail Maps on your phone or bring the trail guide map with you. Bring your water bottles, snacks and even a picnic lunch if you plan to spend the day outdoors. A recommended safety precaution when entering the park is putting a note on your car dashboard with the date and time in.
Hike and Stay
Stay lakeside at Silver Birches Resort, just 5 miles from the Park, offering a variety of guest rooms and cabins. The Dock on Wallenpaupack restaurant offers an extensive menu, views of Lake Wallenpaupack and a cozy pub with fireplace. The perfect spot for your winter getaway in the Poconos!