Hickory Run State Park – White Haven, PA

Disclaimer:  Caution must be used at all times as natural hazards exist.  Please hike wisely and follow the applicable rules and safety guidelines.

Hickory Run State Park is a Pennsylvania State Park located in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains. The park includes many attractions including a lake with a swimming beach in the summer, a boulder field, hiking trails, and waterfalls.

Hickory Run State Park Sign
Hickory Run State Park Sign

Hickory Run State Park Location

This State Park is located close to the intersection of Interstate 80 and the Northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The address of the park is 3613 PA-534, White Haven, Pennsylvania. It’s about 40 minutes south of Wilkes-Barre and about 40 minutes west of the Poconos area.

Hickory Run State Park Fees

There is no cost or fees for entering Hickory Run State Park, using hiking trails, or swimming at the lake beach in the summer. Camping reservations have a fee, and there is a snack bar at the lake beach where you can purchase food.

Hickory Run State Park Swimming

The lake beach access has a large parking lot. There’s a slight hill to access the lake beach. Before reaching the beach, there is a grove of trees and lots of picnic tables in the shade.

Sand Spring Lake - Swimming Beach
Sand Spring Lake at Hickory Run State Park

For a picnic table by the beach during the summer season, you’ll want to arrive early to get a spot. The sand area is quite large, but it can also be busy on hot summer days.

Restrooms and Snack Bar Hickory Run State Park
Snack Bar and Restrooms at Sand Spring Lake

Hickory Run State Park Snack Bar

There’s a snack bar, restrooms, and changing areas close to the lake. There is a variety of food offered at the snack bar, such as hot dogs, cheesesteaks, grilled cheese, hamburgers, veggie burgers, and chicken quesadillas. A soda machine is also available for when the snack bar is closed.

Snack Bar and Picnic Tables at Hickory Run State Park
Hickory Run State Park Snack Bar and Picnic Tables

Hickory Run State Park Boulder Field

The road to the boulder field is a 5-mile one way dirt loop road. It is best accessible in the late spring to fall, as the road is not maintained in the winter. Directional signs at the entrance of the loop road will guide you to the boulder field.

The boulder field is a huge area, approximately 400 feet by 1,800 feet with boulders of varying size.

Directional Sign at Hickory Run State Park
Directional Sign at Hickory Run State Park

A very unique attraction, this boulder field seems like it goes on forever! Enter at your own risk, as hopping from rock to rock can be quite challenging and dangerous.

Hickory Run State Park Boulder Field
Hickory Run Boulder Field

A sign by the boulder field and an informative section of the Hickory Run State Park Visitors Center describe how the boulder field can to exist at the park. The boulder field was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1967.

Boulder Field Information

Hickory Run State Park Hiking

There are 40 miles of hiking trails at Hickory Run State Park. However, the state park is most known for its Shades of Death Trail.

The Shades of Death Trail’s name sounds intimidating, but it’s a fairly easy hike to a man-made waterfall. There are some drop offs during the hike, so it may not be suitable for young children.

Shades of Death Trailhead
Shades of Death Trail Head

The trailhead parking lot is not very large. It fits maybe 10 to 15 cars, so be sure to arrive early for a parking spot. There is a port-a-potty at the trail head parking lot.

Hickory Run State Park Waterfalls

Hickory Run State Park has two main waterfalls and one smaller set of cascading waterfalls by the park’s chapel. One main waterfall is along the Shades of Death trail, and is the result of a man-made dam. It’s called Stametz Dam.

Stametz Dam Waterfall
Stametz Dam Waterfall

The other, larger waterfall is Hawk Falls. Hawk Falls can be reached by an easy half mile hike.

Hawk Falls at Hickory Run
Hawk Falls

The set of cascading waterfalls can be found in front of the chapel, across the road from the Shades of Death trail head.

Hickory Run State Park Camping

At Hickory Run State Park, camping season with running water available is typically mid-April through mid-October. Tent camping, RV and trailer spaces, and a few cottages with heat and electricity are available for rent. Reservations can be made on Hickory Run State Park’s website.

Hickory Run State Park Chapel

The historic chapel at Hickory Run State Park is located across the road from the Shades of Death trailhead parking lot.

Hickory Run State Park Historic Chapel
Hickory Run State Park Chapel

Since the chapel is set back in the woods, it can be difficult to realize the chapel is there at first. There are two man-made cascades at the chapel. The one of the cascades is about 25 yards downstream from the chapel.

Hickory Run Cascades
Hickory Run Cascades by Chapel

Hickory Run State Park Visitor Center

The Visitor Center includes restrooms, and information desk, and a large, interactive display area that contains educational information about the state park.

Hickory Run State Park Visitors Center
Hickory Run State Park Visitor Center

The visitor center features an outdoor fireplace and covered picnic area. Inside, there’s displays where you can learn about all of the different natural aspects of the park, from Hawk Falls to the Boulder Field.

There’s also information about what to expect as far as wildlife and nature in the park during each season.

Hickory Run State Park Visitors Center Display
Kids Tunnel at Hickory Run State Park Visitors Center

The displays are interactive and kid-friendly. For example, the Hawk Falls display highlights the types of aquatic creatures that can be found in and around the water at Hawk Falls.

Hawk Falls Information
Hawk Falls Information at Hickory Run State Park Visitors Center

Looking for more State Parks in Pennsylvania?

Check out – 

Swatara State Park

Ohiopyle State Park

Ricketts Glen State Park

Trough Creek State Park

Post Author: karenbeth24