Let me say up front, I am not a dog park fan.
Instead, I like a nice, leisurely walk in a scenic area, with my dog on leash. I have a mini dog park at home, where our dogs run and play off leash. All of our walking dogs know that a leash means we are out for exercise--both of the human and furkid kind.
Along those lines, I've put together my top 5, best-world places to walk in the Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
What Are the Endless Mountains?
The Endless Mountains region includes Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties. This group of scenic, rural counties showcase some of the best views, natural areas, and walking trails in the northeast.
I live in Wyoming County. Some of the areas bordering just over-the-line, also have great walking and hiking opportunities, particularly in Lackawanna County. But, I am limiting this blog to the Endless Mountains.
So Where Are These Great Places To Walk?
You are at the mercy of my subjectiveness at the moment. No scientific study was done in determining what I consider to be the best places to walk your dog. Just my love of nature, and an enjoyable habitat for my canine friends.
I worked for the Endless Mountains Nature Center for 2 years before it closed. Naturally, I look for places with well-marked trails, historical perspectives and great flora and fauna.
1. Lazybrook Park, Route 6, Tunkhannock PA.
Surrounded by a walking/biking trail, there are numerous pavilions for picnics and other outdoor activities. Tunkhannock Creek meanders at the edge of the park, and there is a kayak/canoe launch area. Besides walking, you can fish, relax on the creek banks on various benches, and enjoy the view from the historic red bridge (which dates back to 1881). If you bring kids, they can play on the numerous playground set ups at the park.
Dogs must remain on leash, and clean up stations are provided. Billie gives this park 5 paws (squirrels).
Here is a VIDEO that gives you a quick look at the park.
2. The Trails at Camp Lackawanna, Vosburg Road, Tunkhannock PA
Despite its name, this vast natural area is also located in Wyoming County, just 10 miles northwest of Tunkhannock's town center, and off Route 6.
Equipped with 11 trails that are well marked, the "camp" is a Christian-owned retreat and camping facility, open to the public for the enjoyment of all that nature has to offer.
The Susquehanna River borders Camp Lackawanna, and boasts access to the Vosburg Neck--a quiet, peaceful area of the river where you will often see multiple species of water birds, as well as eagles.
Dogs are welcome, and must be leashed at all times. Tick preparation and prevention is a MUST at this location in the warmer months, for both you and your dog. There are both easy and progressively harder trails to walk. Bring your own clean up bags. Billie gives this park 5 paws for its variety and the ability to dance at the edge of the Susquehanna River.
3. Salt Springs State Park, off Silver Creek and Salt Springs Road, Montrose PA
This 405-acre park is located 7 miles north of Montrose in Susquehanna County. It is home to the oldest hemlock trees in Pennsylvania (some estimated at over 300 years old), and has three waterfalls within the park. There are 17 trails of varying degrees of difficulty (a total of 14.85 miles of walking/hiking potential). Here is a LINK to trail information.
The park is open every day of the year, all year. Winter activities include snow-shoeing and cross country skiing.
Dogs are welcome on leash. (Note: I removed the leash on the dog in the photo below in post processing.)
Once again, tick preparation and prevention is necessary in the warmer months if hiking within the park area. Bring your own clean up bags. Billie gives this park 4 paws, only because it is further from our home base.
If you want a shorter walk and are not into heavy-duty hiking, or if you want to sit and watch some baseball on a nice late afternoon, this is the park for you.
Located BEHIND the Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center in Factoryville, Wyoming County, you walk into the park from a lovely, covered pedestrian bridge.
From this park, a short trip on Creek Road takes you to the 29-acre Creekside Park (less than a mile--it's also a nice 5 minute walk from Christy Mathewson Park) which does boast a dog park, as well as soccer fields and a children's play area.
Billie gives this park 4 paws. While it is close to our home, she prefers walking longer distances for longer times, but our older dogs do well here for a short walk. Bring your own clean up bags.
Okay, I will admit, this is not a park. What it is, is a 182 acre lake surrounded by vacation cottages and year-round homes. If you want a nice little water vacation on a quiet lake, with beautiful sunsets and picturesque wild birds, you want to check out vacation rentals at Lake Carey.
It's approximately 3.3 miles around the lake, on a paved road that is not highly traveled, even in the summer months. The best thing is you can see the lake and all it has to offer for most of your walking trip around it. Properties are private and you do need to respect that (park at the boat launch area and not on private property), as well as cleaning up after your dog (bring your own gear again), but everyone is friendly, and the road is a welcome respite from hilly and difficult hiking terrain. This LINK will give you a short video look at the Lake.
On warmer days, you can ease paw anxiety by walking at the edge of the grass toward the dock sides of the lake. I always bring water and a portable bowl on this outing, and walk towards evening on warmer days. This is one of my most favorite summer walks, and Billie would agree, if only for the geese sightings. She gives it 5 paws.
This summer we are going to explore the other Endless Mountains counties. Two parks in particular that I want to visit in Sullivan County are Dry Run Falls State Park, in Hillsgrove PA and Worlds End State Park in Forksville PA. Since we have not experienced them ourselves, I will do another blog post on our explorations in the Fall of this year.
We will also explore Mt Pisgah County Park in Troy (Bradford County), PA and report back. Billie is excited for another year of trail exploration!
This week's blog theme was "Photographer's Choice." To see what other photogs in the blog circle chose to write about, start here with BARKography by Kim Hollis in Charlotte NC, then look for the links at the bottom of each blog post to move you onward. There are many new photographers joining today. Give them some love!
Have a great weekend! Time to get out and play!