Relax! You’ve reached the Promised Land. When you stay at a Silver Birches Resort, Promised Land State Park is only 10-minutes away by car. For over 100 years it’s been the go-to destination in the Pocono Mountains for outdoor recreation. We took a trip to explore some of its 3,000 acres. Here’s our ultimate guide to visiting Promised Land State Park in the Pocono Mountains.
Promised Land State Park’s vast wilderness is expanded by the 12,464 acres of Pennsylvania’s Delaware State Forest that surrounds it. There are 50 miles of hiking trails of varying length and difficulty criss-crossing the landscape. Choose from a nice-n-easy stretch your legs one-mile walk to an intensive day-long 10-mile hike. Some of the most popular hikes include the one-mile Little Falls Trail, a pleasant woodland trail that traverses a babbling creek with numerous cascades. Conservation Island Nature Trail is a self-guided one-mile nature trail with stunning views of the lake. A five-mile hike along the Bruce Lake Road Trail leads to a natural glacial lake. Hiking in Promised Land State Park is particularly scenic during May and June when the rhododendron and mountain laurel are in bloom. Summer months are lush and cool on the forest floor. Fall foliage splashes the region with vibrant color each autumn.
Whether you want to splash in it, float on top of it or cast a line in it, Promised Land State Park overflows with opportunities for water recreation. There are two sand beach areas for swimmers. The main beach is in the Day Use Picnic Area, the other is located at Pickerel Point. Beaches are open from late May to Mid-September. There is no lifeguard on duty, so visitors may swim at their own risk. There are two lakes within the park. Promised Land State Park is 422-acres with nine miles of shoreline. Lower Lake measures 173-acres with four miles of shoreline. Boats with electric motors are allowed on the water, which is accessible via five boat launches. The park also offers boat rentals across from the main beach. Visitors may take out rowboats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboats from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Fishing is a popular activity year-round with anglers trying to hook largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel, muskellunge, yellow perch, sunfish and catfish. Lower Lake is also stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout.
Bring your bicycle and cruise the 6.5 miles of paved roads around Promised Land Lake, Lower Lake and the park’s six campgrounds. Bicycles do share the road with vehicles, so use caution. Children 12 and under must wear a helmet. Although there are no designated mountain biking trails in Promised Land State Park, there are plenty of mountain-biker friendly trails in Delaware State Forest.
There are almost as many places of historical interest as there are scenic sites within the park. After decades of clear cutting, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the land in 1902. In 1905 Promised Land became the fourth state park in Pennsylvania. The first priority was reforestation. Between 1902 and 1933 the state planted over 370,000 trees. Serious development came with the introduction of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The young men are responsible for building Pickerel Point Campground, Bear Wallow Cabins, building roads, a dam and planting over 1 million trees.
Masker Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in learning more about the park’s development. Located off Pickerel Point Road, it’s the largest state park museum in Pennsylvania. A section dedicated to the CCC features interactive stories, displays and artifacts. Each August, the park hosts a CCC Day to honor the contributions of the men who developed the park. The day-long event includes a reunion of former CCC workers, demonstrations, history displays and refreshments. Landmarks in the park include Whittaker Lodge and Bear Wallow Cabins. Built by the CCC, both structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Once winter falls, the trails within Promised Land State Park give way to snowmobiles, cross country skis and snowshoes. There are over 23 miles of groomed, designated trails for registered snowmobiles while skiing and snowshoeing are allowed on all trails. Ice fishing and ice skating are popular lake activities during winter. Visitors should be mindful that lake thickness is not monitored so take precautions to ensure conditions are favorable to support the weight.
Stay and Play
When visiting Promised Land State Park in the Pocono Mountains, plan on staying at Silver Birches Resort. Spend the day exploring the outdoor playground of the park, then return to luxury lakefront accommodations. Our vintage resort is nestled amid the natural beauty of the Pocono Mountains. Browse availability and choose the accommodation that’s right for you- from premium guest rooms to cottages, bunkhouses and rental homes.