Today I am going to talk about what I consider to be THREE FANTASTIC LOCAL DOG HIKES!
I don't put hiking and walking into the same categories. Hiking can be rigorous, with sometimes difficult terrain and uneven footing. You need to be dressed properly, especially with the right foot wear. In most of Northeastern PA, you also need to be prepared for ticks during the warm months, and prep your dog as well.
If you are game, you will have an enjoyable hike. On longer hikes, remember to take a portable water dish and bottled water for your dog. I recommend this one.
I don't think any of these will come as a surprise to locals, but if they do, YOU NEED TO GET OUT THERE with your dog and experience these trails!
(1) Ricketts Glen State Park
Ricketts Glen State Park has been around since 1942, and was named for R. Bruce Ricketts, a distinguished artillery officer of the Civil War, The park covers 13,000 acres of land and features 26 miles of hiking trails, two lakes, and a great campground. There are 22 named waterfalls in the park, with Ganoga, the highest at 94 feet.
The popular Falls Loop Trail is 7.2 miles long, and takes about 2 hours to hike and can be dangerous, due to wet conditions from the falls, as well as some steep inclines and descents. It features 21 waterfalls.
Mostly located within Luzerne County, the park has smaller portions in Sullivan and Columbia counties. The official address is: 695 State Route 487, Benton, PA
For more info on the hiking trails, follow THIS LINK.
I highly recommend the Evergreen Trail for a nice walk with your dog. It takes you through very old forest areas with easy, relaxed hiking. Be sure to clean up after your dog, and stick to the trail.
Winding trails lead to wooden footpaths.
Dogs must remain on leash. Leashes were removed via Photoshop in these photos.
I think it is easy to see why I label Ricketts Glen and the Evergreen Trail a fantastic local hike!
Located in Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties, the Countryside Conservancy has linked together a number of areas for recreational purposes. As described in Traillink: "The route uses the right-of-way of the former Scranton, Montrose, and Binghamton Railroad, also known as the Northern Electric trolley line, which carried passengers between Scranton and Dalton, and later to Montrose, from 1907 to 1932. A spur line from Clarks Summit ran west to Lake Winola, where the railroad company built a dance pavilion and amusement park that subsequently closed."
There are two main trail sections: Clarks Summit to Dalton, and L:aPlume to Factoryville. I am going to be talking about the latter, but the Clarks Summit to Dalton section does provide easy walking, biking and cross-country ski opportunities.
The 1.7 mile segment of the LaPlume to Factoryville trail, winds through the back of Keystone College, and has many hiking trails that branch off of the main footpath.
The main footpath of the LaPlume to Factoryville Trolley Trail has crushed stone and dirt footing, but can be traversed by foot, bike, and even scooter.
My grandkids love this trail, especially exploring the lower sections behind Keystone College, which offers a very cool suspension bridge!
On one of the more hilly hikes, there is a large pond with cattail, red-winged blackbirds, plenty of frogs and pond life for young minds to study.
This is truly a fantastic hiking spot, and one of my favorites very close by.
(3) Promised Land State Park
Promised Land State Park is located in Greentown, PA. The official address is 100 Lower Lake Road, Greentown. The 3000 acre park has many activities available, and beautifully groomed trails for hiking. Here is a short video about hiking in the park that I thought you might enjoy.
Promised Land has something for every level of hiker.
Some things to remember for all three locations: a) bring treats and water for your dog; b) keep your dog on a leash at all times; c) obey all signage - it's there for a reason.
To finalize the blog, here is my friend Robin's dog, Lotus, telling everyone what she thinks of trail hiking.
I hope you will check out at least one of the three fantastic hikes I shared today! If you do, let me know.
For some additional insight into fantastic walks and hikes in many other locations, take a hike to the blog circle, starting with Jemma Martin of JM Photography as she shares her favorite dog walks in Suffolk. (I don't know about you, but I DEFINITELY want to go there!) Have a great weekend!