Promised Land State Park

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Top 10 Things to Do

There are dozens of fun activities at Promised Land State Park, but here's a list to get you started.


About 3,000 acres in size, Promised Land State Park is on the Pocono Plateau, 1,800 feet above sea level, and is surrounded by 12,464 acres of Pennsylvania’s Delaware State Forest, including natural areas. Visitors enjoy fishing and boating in two lakes, rustic cabins, camping, miles of hiking trails and exploring the forests.

The forests of the park consist primarily of beech, oak, maple and hemlock trees. Two lakes and several small streams add to the park’s outstanding scenic beauty.

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Hiking   -  Biking   -  Mountain Biking   -  Horseback Riding   -  Picnicking   -  Swimming   -  Boating   -  Fishing   -  Hunting   -  Education   -  Orienteering   -  Cross-country Skiing   -  Snowmobiling   -  Ice Fishing   -  Ice Skating   -  Cabins   -  Camping  

A picnic pavilion overlooks a lake at Promised Land State Park, Pennsylvania.Picnicking: The Day Use Picnic Area is next to Promised Land Lake, in a scenic woodland setting. The picnic area has parking, a playground, water, trash containers, a sand volleyball court, a basketball hoop and restrooms. The main beach, boat rental and refreshment stand are all within a short walk.

Two picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Prior to arrival, buses must get a permit from the park office to utilize the picnic area. Buses must park in the overflow parking lot.

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Swimming: Two sand beaches are open daily from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. The main beach is in the Day Use Picnic Area. The Pickerel Point Beach is on the end of Pickerel Point. Swim at your own risk. Please read and follow posted rules for swimming. There are no lifeguards.

All children 10 years of age or younger must be accompanied by a person at least 14 years of age. All groups at the beach must meet the state park adult-to-child ratio requirements for supervision.

Refreshment Stand: Located in the Day Use Picnic Area, near the main beach, the stand offers food and beverages. It is open each season from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The Concession is open from the Saturday immediately preceding Memorial Day through Labor Day from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily. 570-676-0311

Boating: electric motors only
The 422-acre Promised Land Lake offers approximately 9 miles of shoreline, while the 173-acre Lower Lake has almost 4 miles. There are five boat launching areas. Five boat mooring areas offer a total of 170 mooring spaces, which may be rented from April through October each year.

Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

Boat Rental: Located off of PA 390, south of the Day Use Area, the boat concession offers rentals by the hour, day, overnight or week. Types of boats include rowboats, canoes, one and two-person kayaks and paddleboats. Electric motors are available for rent. Boats are also available at Pickerel Point and Lower Lake, and can be rented through the boat concession at the beach. The Boat Concession operates daily from the Saturday immediately preceding Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. The Concession also operates the two weekends before Memorial Day and the two weekends after Labor Day. 570-676-4117

A father and son fish from kayaks at Promised Land State Park, Pennsylvania.Fishing: Promised Land Lake and Lower Lake offer great opportunities for year-round fishing. Common fish species are largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel, muskellunge, yellow perch, sunfish and catfish.

Lower Lake is an approved trout waters and is stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout. A trout stamp is required to fish in these waters. Fishing is not permitted prior to the start of the trout season. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.

Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Hunting: About 1,528 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, bear and turkey. Adjacent forestry land has additional areas open to hunting.

Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.

Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner's car, trailer or leased campsite. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.

Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.

A hiking trail winds bwetween fall-colored trees at Promised Land State Park, Pennsylvania.Hiking: 50 miles of trails
There are approximately 50 miles of hiking trails in Promised Land State Park and the surrounding Delaware State Forest. Splendid opportunities exist for nature study, relaxation and exploration. Hike Bruce Lake Trail to a natural glacial lake, see the small waterfalls along Little Falls Trail or walk a loop around Conservation Island. A self-guided trail guide to Conservation Island can be obtained at the park office.

The trails lead through areas rich in historic and scenic interest. This is especially true from mid-May until mid-June when the native mountain laurel and rhododendron are in bloom. Lowbush and highbush blueberries usually ripen in late July. Fall foliage usually peaks in early October.

Motorized vehicles are prohibited on all hiking trails; except snowmobiles, which are allowed only on designated snowmobile trails. Pets are permitted on trails, but must be on a leash of 6’ or less at all times. Before hiking, let someone know where you are going and when you will return. Take a map, stay on established trails and plan to return before dusk. Wear proper attire and footwear when hiking. Be aware of hunting seasons and hunting areas within the park and wear fluorescent orange clothing during hunting seasons.

Trail Signing System: Designated recreational trails are all marked with vertical blue blazes. At each trail intersection, a sign designates the trail name, intersection number, trail uses, emergency route, distances, directions and other pertinent information. Permitted trail usage is designated by international symbols. Any other markings are NOT relevant to this trail system. Additional trail information and descriptions are available at the park office.

Biking: 6.5 miles of roads
Riders share the road on the 6.5-mile paved road around Promised Land Lake, Lower Lake Road and in the park’s six campgrounds. Children age 12 and under MUST wear a helmet, and others are encouraged to wear a helmet. Please ride single file on all park roads. All Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Statutes apply when riding on state park roads. Please avoid riding PA 390 when possible; use Rhodendron Trail instead.

Mountain Biking: Mountain biking is permitted on designated trails only within Delaware State Forest.

Horseback Riding: Promised Land State Park provides access to selected equestrian trails in Delaware State Forest. Horseback riding is allowed on park roads and in designated trails in Promised Land State Park. Rentals are not available. Check with the park office for equestrian camping options.

Orienteering: Beginner and intermediate orienteering courses are located at the Rock Oak Ridge Trailhead, near the Pines Campground. Orienteering course brochures can be obtained at the park office. Loaner compasses can be borrowed at the park office and the Masker Museum.

Geocaching: Two GPS multicaches have also been placed. They tell the tale of CCC history in the park. One is a walking multicache and the other is a driving tour that starts at the museum. Brochures can be obtained at the park office and the museum. The coordinates can also be found at

Stay the Night

Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
There are six camping areas. Campgrounds vary from rustic (flush toilets, no showers and no electricity) to full hookup (sewer, electric and water hookup on site). Pets are permitted on designated sites in some campgrounds, must be on a leash of 6’ or less at all times and are prohibited in park buildings. All campgrounds are near swimming, boating, fishing and hiking.

The maximum stay in all camping areas is 14 days during the summer season and 21 days during the off-season. Campers must vacate the park for 48 hours before setting up again. Campers are allowed one vehicle per site. Extra car passes may be purchased for a fee. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Campground facilities are ONLY open to those staying at that campground.

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Lower Lake Campground is located on the western edge of Lower Lake. The area includes Beechwood, Northwoods and Rhododendron areas. There is a dump station at the entrance of Lower Lake Campground.

Explore the Lower Lake Campground map.

Beechwood is open from early April through mid-October. Modern facilities are available Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Best suited to RVs, this modern campground offers warm showers, flush toilets, electricity and laundry facilities. The campground offers 106 campsites, some of which allow pets.

Northwoods has 48 sites and is open early May through mid-October. It offers warm showers, flush toilets, electricity and laundry facilities. Pets are allowed in this campground on designated sites.

Rhododendron is located near Lower Lake and contains 63 campsites that are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Please contact the park office for specific dates. It offers warm showers, flush toilets and electricity on some sites. The area is not open to pets.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Pickerel Point Campground is on a peninsula on the southern side of Promised Land Lake. The area has 75 campsites and three camping cottages. Limited sites and the camping cottages are open year-round. An unguarded swimming area is at the end of the peninsula. The campground offers rustic walk-in sites, electric sites and full hook up sites with sewer, water and electric on site. An ADA accessible campsite is available. The entire area has two shower houses with laundry facilities and one restroom. Designated sites are open to pets.

Camping cottages have electric heat, bunk beds, a table and benches, a grill and a fire ring. Linens are not provided. The cottages are located next to a shower house in Pickerel Point Campground. Pets are prohibited in the camping cottages.

Explore the Pickerel Point Campground map.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Tucked into the trees and rocks, Deerfield Campground is just south of Promised Land Lake and is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. This rustic area contains 34 campsites with flush toilets and no electricity. Use of Pickerel Point Campground showers is included in the campsite fee. Pets are allowed on all sites. An ADA accessible campsite is available.

Explore the Deerfield Campground map.

The Pines Campground is at the northwestern end of Promised Land Lake and is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend. It offers 58 rustic campsites without electricity. The restrooms have flush toilets. Pay showers are available in the picnic area. A paved trail leads to the picnic area and main beach. ADA accessible campsites are available.

Explore the Pines Campground map.

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Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 6 host positions
The campground host site has amenities that include 30 or 50-amp electric service. The host is required to assist park personnel for five days per week (40 hours) including weekends with a four-week minimum stay. Contact the park office for additional information and availability.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.Rustic Cabins: Nestled within evergreens and adjacent to Lower Lake, the Bear Wallow Cabin Colony has 12 rustic rental cabins that were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. These rustic cabins each have a fireplace insert, refrigerator, stove, electricity, outdoor fire ring and adjacent private bathroom. Linens are not provided. Cabins 11 and 12 permit dogs. Pets are prohibited in cabins 1-10. Cabin 9 is ADA accessible.

Scattered around Promised Land State Park are 224 privately owned cabins on leased state park land. Please respect the property rights of these cabin owners.

Explore the cabin map.

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Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.

Cross-country ski tracks criss-cross the lake near ice-fishing people at Promised Land State Park, Pennsylvania.Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing: Skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all trails. Bruce Lake Natural Area and Conservation Island have the best trails for skiing and snowshoeing. During the winter season, snowshoes are available for loan from the park office with a photo ID, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday. Six inches or more of snow is required in order to borrow snowshoes.

Snowmobiling: Registered snowmobiles may be used on more than 23 miles of groomed, designated trails. The trails, which are on both state park and state forest lands, are open daily after the end of deer season in late December; weather permitting. Snowmobile maps are available at the park office and at the Delaware State Forest office. Snowmobile trails are marked with orange diamonds.

Ice Fishing: Conditions permitting, ice fishing is popular on both lakes. Bass, pickerel and panfish can be caught in both lakes. Lower Lake is a designated trout waters.

Ice Skating: Conditions permitting, ice skating occurs on Promised Land Lake. Contact the park office for information. Please confirm ice thickness before skating.

Ice thickness is not monitored. For your safety, be sure the ice is four inches thick and carry safety equipment.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

Environmental Education programming is offered from April through October at both Promised Land State Park and Varden Conservation Area. From Memorial Day though Labor Day, interpretive and recreational programming is offered on Fridays and Saturdays. From late June through early September, the park offers a weekly nature arts and crafts program for children of all ages that is organized by Conservation Volunteers. The park also offers a family fishing program which builds fishing skills and includes loaner poles, bait and tackle. Loaner poles can also be borrowed at the park office and the museum.

Spring through fall, school and group programs can be scheduled. These programs cover a wide variety of standards-based topics and levels. Please contact the park office to book a school or group program. Teacher workshops are also typically offered in spring and fall each year.

Look for the current program schedule on park bulletin boards, pick up a schedule at the park office or explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of events from today forward.

Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.This display in the Masker Museum shows a CCC barracks of beds, all at Promised Land State Park, Pennsylvania.The Masker Museum

The Masker Museum at Promised Land State Park is one of the largest Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) museums in the Commonwealth and features interactive stories, displays and artifacts that tell the story of the (CCC) in Promised Land.

A section of the Masker Museum has natural history displays, including mounted animals (even a large black bear), interactive displays of natural features found in the area, children’s books, field guides, and a bird observation area. The museum also has a native plant garden and bird feeding stations.

The museum is located off of Pickerel Point Road by the amphitheater and Pickerel Point Campground. Admission to the museum is free. The Masker Museum is ADA accessible.

The museum is usually open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The museum is open seven days a week from early July through Labor Day. Please check with the park office to confirm hours.

The Masker Museum is completely volunteer staffed. For information on becoming a museum docent, please contact the park office.

Wind Turbine: The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) installed small-scale wind turbines to show how alternative energy can reduce pollution and lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.

For hundreds of years, traditional windmills harnessed wind energy to pump water or grind grain. Today's modern equivalent – the wind turbine – uses wind energy to generate electricity which has far less impact on the environment than energy generation based on fossil fuels.

To see how much energy is generated by the park's small-scale wind turbine, and how much energy is used daily, weekly and monthly visit the wind turbine page.

Access for People with Disabilities

The ADA symbol indicates that this activity or structure is ADA accessible.If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.