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Big Pocono State Park

Big Pocono State Park  - BEST Places to Picnic

c/o Tobyhanna
Tobyhanna, PA 18466-0387
570-894-8336

Explore the Big Pocono!

Big Pocono State Park is in Monroe County in northeastern Pennsylvania. The park consists of 1,306 acres of rugged terrain on the summit and slopes of Camelback Mountain.

From the summit, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view of a vast portion of eastern Pennsylvania and portions of New Jersey and New York.

The park closes the day after the end of deer season in December and reopens as conditions permit in the spring. The park is open sunrise to sunset.

Big Pocono State Park facilities are maintained in cooperation with the Camelback Ski Corporation. The trails of Big Pocono State Park are maintained in cooperation with the Pocono Outdoor Club.

Directions:

Entrance to the park is from PA 715 and Exit 299 of I-80 at Tannersville.

CAUTION: Steep grades. Visitors should not attempt this drive in vehicles with trailers in tow. Municipal road maintenance is not provided and seasonal closures of the access roadway will occur.

Scenic View

From the summit, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view of a vast portion of eastern Pennsylvania and portions of New Jersey and New York. A paved, scenic drive, 1.4 miles in length, encircles the mountaintop, permitting visitors to enjoy the beautiful view in all directions.

Recreational Opportunities

The park is open sunrise to sunset

Hiking - Horseback Riding - Biking - Picnicking - Hunting - Downhill Skiing

Places to Picnic

Picnicking
There are three picnic areas with plenty of picnic tables and charcoal grills. Most areas provide �a picnic with a view� high atop Camelback Mountain at an elevation of 2100 feet above sea level. Parking spaces in Parking Lot 4 are designated for people with disabilities. In Parking Lot 2, parking spaces, the restroom, and some picnic tables are designated for people with disabilities.

Hiking: 8.5 miles of trails
Since Big Pocono State Park is a mountaintop, most of the trails have steep grades. Some trails are extremely steep with rough grades. Inexperienced hikers might want to contact the Tobyhanna State Park office before hiking some of the trails.

The trails are marked with different colored blazes (see map). Trails marked with blue are no longer maintained or shown on the map. South Trail and the North Trail Lower Loop are open to mountain bikes and horses.

North and South trails extend down the east side of the mountain. They are steep and rugged, offering experienced hikers a challenging 600-foot elevation change in under a mile.

For an easier hike, try the upper loop of South Trail along the south face of the mountain and Indian Trail, which forms a 1.3-mile loop from Rim Road. North Trail Lower Loop connects the lower end of South Trail back to the North Trail via a portion of the old railroad grade, which is fairly flat.

Indian Trail offers a great vista from the eastern cliffs, visible from I-80 and points in Tannersville and Scotrun. Visitors may also connect to South Trail midway across the south face section from Parking Lot 3 using the Vista Trail for a shorter loop.

History

Big Pocono State Park is on land which was owned by Henry S. Cattell near the turn of the 20th century. Mr. Cattell, being very fond of the view from the summit of Camelback Mountain, and knowing that many others shared his love for the area, constructed a stone cabin on the summit in 1908. The Cattell Cabin was left unlocked for many years to be used as a shelter by anyone who wished.

Since 1921, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry has maintained Big Pocono Fire Tower on the mountain for the purpose of detecting forest fires in the surrounding private and state forest lands. The tower is staffed only during the spring and fall seasons and has been dedicated by the National Fire Tower Association as a historical structure.

In 1928, 12 years after Mr. Cattell�s death, the Pennsylvania Game Commission purchased the area. In 1950, a portion of the state land on the steep north slope of the mountain was leased to Big Pocono Skiing, Inc., for commercial ski development. Later named Camelback Ski Corporation, the facility has been developed into a major ski resort.

In 1953, a 1,306-acre portion of the state game lands, including the ski area lease, was acquired by the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters (now the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) for the purpose of developing a state park at the mountain�s summit.

In 1954, after the construction of restrooms, parking areas, picnic sites, fireplaces and a scenic drive around the summit, the area was opened to the public as Big Pocono State Park. The Cattell Cabin served for many years as a park office and nature museum.

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