Big Pocono State Park


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Park Overview:

A mountain-top park at 2,100 feet with panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the Delaware Water Gap

Trail Uses:Hiking, Mountain biking, Bridle path
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:8.5 miles
Park Acreage:1306 acres
Web Map:Trail map
Park Description:

Big Pocono State Park is on the summit and around the slopes of Camelback Back Mountain, approximately 2,100 feet above sea level. The views are magnificent, especially with the low, weather-beaten and barren vegetation. From the summit, looking to the southeast is the Delaware Water Gap and to the northeast High Point State Park [in NJ]. Way off in the distance to the northeast, but only visible on a clear day, is the Catskills, which share a physiographic province with this part of the Poconos.

Hunting is allowed on more than 60% of the parkland's acreage. State Game Lands #38 is also contiguous with Big Pocono SP on its western edge. There are hunting seasons throughout the year in Pennsylvania, and the regulations are complicated, except that hunting is NOT permitted on Sundays. Sunday is the safest day to hike.

The park's access road is gated the day after the end of deer season in December and reopens as conditions permit in the spring.  When the road is closed, hiking is still allowed, but at your own risk. Parking is available at the adjacent State Game Lands (#38) parking lot.  There is no winter maintenance either for the access road or the game lands parking lot.


Trails Overview: Some of the trails are rugged; inexperienced hikers should use caution. The North Trail [Red] and South Trail [Yellow] leaving from the eastern end of the park, at Parking Lot #4, are steep in places. For a short, easy hike, park at Parking Lot 3 and take the Vista Trail [Yellow blaze; just before the entrance to the parking lot] to South Trail [Yellow] turn left [east]. Hike along the southern side of the mountain to the point where the South Trail turns right. Do not turn, continue straight onto Indian Trail [Orange], and follow the loop counter clockwise back up to Rim Road.
  • The Scout Trail was added in 2010 to link Rim Road with South Trail near the eastern end of the park and does not yet appear on the trail map. The Blue Trail, which the Park no longer maintains, is also not on the trail map. For a detailed description of a hike link to "Find A Hike" and scroll down the Parks column to Big Pocono State Park.
  • Notes of caution:  (1) From the trail map observe that most trails are either in the authorized hunting area, or mark the boundary between hunting and no-hunting regions. (2) The slopes, especially the south-slope, are prime rattlesnake habitat, be extra alert on warm days and when venturing off-trail.
Horses and mountain bikes are allowed on the trails that have hard surfaces [South Trail and North Trail Lower Loop]. See contact information below.
Directions: Heading West on I-80 in Pennsylvania take Exit 299, at the end of the ramp turn right on to PA 715. Directions from here are somewhat complicated. Just ahead on PA 715 is the Ramada Limited Tannersville Hotel, about 15 minutes from the Park. Use this as a reference point for Google Maps to get directions from "Ramada Limited Tannersville, Tannersville PA" to "Stroudsburg PA 18360 (Big Pocono State Park)". Because of steep grades, the park warns against attempting this drive using vehicles with trailers in tow. The hiking map [link above in "Trail Overview"] identifies four parking areas around the Park's 1.3-mile Rim Road.
Contact Information:Big Pocono State Park
Friends Group:Friends of Big Pocono
Region:Pocono Mountains (PA)