So here’s what happened: It’s Sunday morning of a holiday weekend (a while ago, I haven’t posted on here in FOREVER!), and I magically find a campsite available at Hickory Run State Park. This park has been on my bucket list for a while. So, I pack my trusty Rumpl blanket, mattress, and a cooler full of snacks, and line up a playlist full of creepy murder mystery podcasts, ready to set off on my first-ever sleep in the car, car camping adventure to Hickory Run State Park.
I figured for just one night, I’d check out this sleep in the car situation, after all, it’s hardly worth putting the tent up for one night. I was headed to the mountains to set off on the trails, immerse myself in nature, and find a sense of peace and tranquility. I can also never resist channeling my inner photographer, so I packed my camera, in the hope of capturing some okay shots of the natural wonders of the area.
I loaded up Google Maps, found a couple of other natural attractions in the area, and headed North! Here’s what I found!
Tobyhanna Falls, in the Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area is far from one of the biggest waterfalls in the area, but it was a pleasant stroll through the woods. One scrambly creek crossing later, I remerged from the trees to the falls…
Buttermilk Falls at Bear Creek Preserve
Buttermilk Falls goes into the running to be on a list of awesome roadside waterfalls. I could see the waterfalls from my car when I turned into the pull off. It was definitely worth a little further exploration…
Hickory Run State Park
Hawk Falls in Hickory Fun State Park seems to serve as the park’s greatest attraction. The short half mile trail to the base of the falls was complete with a conga line of hikers. I guess the park rangers directing traffic at the parking lot should have tipped me off! The falls are worth the hike, and the volume of hikers, it just requires a bit of patience to get a couple of shots without random humans in the frame!
Shades of Death Trail
Next morning, I packed up early (the beauty of sleeping in the car!), and headed straight for the Shades of Death trail. Despite the ominous-sounding name, this was quite a leisurely hike alongside Sand Spring Run. In addition to the natural runs along the creek, the water cascades over the man made Stametz Dam, and with some nice morning light, produced quite a stunning effect! This is a definite must do, and I can imagine this trail would be even more stunning in the fall!
Hickory Run Boulder Field
The boulder field, meh! The fact that the boulder field is hidden deep in the woods, priceless! I NEED to go back and drive this road in the fall sometime. The boulder field itself is a National Natural Landmark, and is said to be the largest boulder field in the Appalachian Mountains. There is around 16 acres of mostly sandstone boulders to clamber about on, and is thought to be 10-12 feet deep in spots! What a great spot for those that enjoy a bit of rock scrambling.
Lehigh Gorge State Park
Headed South again, but always on the lookout for just one more waterfall, or one more trail… I found this easy stroll along the Delaware and Lehigh Rail Trail in Lehigh Gorge State Park. This was a busy trail, but well maintained and an easy walk to both Buttermilk Falls, and Luke’s Falls. The light wasn’t great for photography, but I still enjoyed the stroll along the trail…
In all, a successful car camping experiment… I’ll definitely return to Hickory Run. I also see more car camping expeditions in my future, maybe made even more comfortable with the addition of a hatchback tent to my car camping kit.