Hickory Run State Park

178720_415567741820673_210515642_oHickory Run State Park is located near the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  It has 40 miles of hiking trails, a lake complete with sandy beach, trout fishing, campgrounds, and Boulder Field.

37525_122254157818701_5921305_nThe hiking trails pass through beautiful forest, past rocky outcrops, and over streams.  Some trails include staircases carved out of living rock.  You can hike to scenic outlooks or to waterfalls.  Our favorite, the Shades of Death Trail, leads to a natural river rock slide and swimming hole.

901054_577647665612679_998011223_oThe hike that Tony and Vanessa embark upon is based on an eight mile hike my husband and cousins completed our first summer at Hickory Run.  I was six months pregnant, so I turned around after the first two miles – which meant a two mile hike back to camp – but my hubby made it all the way to the top with our two year old strapped to his back.

37525_122254127818704_629225_nThe lake is ice cold but very refreshing.  In the book, Vanessa is glad that the group votes to visit Boulder Field rather than the lake: after all, who wants to be in their bathing suit on the first date?

34752_122254244485359_8095720_nBoulder Field is a HUGE field of boulders that formed when a glacier pushed its way into town and then melted, leaving rocks piled so deep that no plants can grow there.  Most of the rocks are stable and the bravest (or most foolhardy) can run across the rocks.  I opt for more careful hopping and “walking” from one side to the other.

287787_415563325154448_750358246_oThere are various levels of camping from RV hookups to hike-in sites a mile from any bathroom.  We opt for the park-your-car-beside-you tent sites a short walk from the bathrooms complete with hot showers.

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