PROMISED LAND STATE PARK
About 3,000 acres in size, Promised Land State Park is in 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. 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.
The land that became Promised Land State Park was hunting grounds for the Minsi Tribe of the Wolf Clan of the Lenni-Lenape Indians (Delaware).
The religious group, the Shakers, purchased land in the area. After contracting the forests to be timbered, the Shakers left the area.
Early settlers of the area erected sawmills to process the large stands of conifer and hardwood trees. The land was repeatedly clear-cut. With the loss of trees came erosion and forest fires, and migration of wildlife from the area.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the land in 1902. Promised Land was the fourth Pennsylvania state park. The Commonwealth worked to protect and reclaim the area and the forest and wildlife began to return. The first park facilities were open to the public in 1905.
In 1933, to relieve the rampant unemployment of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The young men in the CCC received food, clothes and a small paycheck, in return for building roads, trails and recreational facilities, fighting fires, planting trees and performing many other conservation activities. Camp S-139 opened in May of 1933 and closed in July of 1941. The hard working young men transformed the land in and around Promised Land State Park.
For more information on the CCC, visit the Civilian Conservation Corps Online Archive.
On Sunday evening, May 31, 1998, an F-2 tornado (winds of 113 -157 mph) passed through Promised Land State Park. It cut a northeasterly path through the park and crossed Lower Lake Road, PA 390 and North Shore Road near Sucker Brook. Over 500 people were trapped overnight in the park, but no one was seriously hurt. The park office has copies of After the Wind Died Down, a booklet about the tornado and its aftermath.
Camping: modern and rustic campsites, some with electricity
There are four camping areas. All campgrounds are near swimming, boating, fishing and hiking. The maximum stay in all camping areas is fourteen days during the summer season and 21 days during the off-season. Campers must vacate the park for 48 hours before setting up again. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the park.
Tucked into the trees and rocks, Deerfield Campground is just south of Promised Land Lake and is open Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. This rustic area has flush toilets. Pay showers are in the Picnic Area.
Lower Lake Campground is at the western edge of Lower Lake. Conditions permitting, portions of the campground are open from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day. The campground has flush toilets and hot showers. Some sites have electric hook-ups.
Pickerel Point Campground is on a peninsula on the southern side of Promised Land Lake. Walk-in campsites are on the lakeshore. Pickerel Point is open for year-round camping, but access cannot be guaranteed during severe winter storms. This rustic area has vault toilets. Pay showers are in the Picnic Area. An unguarded swimming area is at the end of the peninsula.
The Pines Campground is at the northwestern end of Promised Land Lake and is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend. The restrooms have flush toilets. Pay showers are in the Picnic Area. A trail leads to the Picnic Area and the Main Beach. There are accessible campsites.
Nestled in hemlocks, adjacent to Lower Lake, the Bear Wallow Cabin Colony has twelve rustic rental cabins constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. These rustic cabins each have a fireplace, electricity and an adjacent private bathroom. One cabin is accessible.
Scattered around Promised Land State Park are privately owned cabins on leased land. Please respect the property rights of these cabin owners.
Located near popular recreational attractions, including the Claws 'N' Paws Wild Animal Park, Steamtown National Historic Site and Promised Land State Park. NASCAR fans will enjoy a day at the races at nearby Pocono Raceway.
11.9 miles from park*
There are two sand beaches that are open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset.
The Main Beach is in the Picnic Area. Swim at your own risk.
The Pickerel Point Beach is on the end of Pickerel Point. Swim at your own risk.
All children ten 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.
Boating: electric motors only
The 422-acre Promised Land Lake and the 173-acre Lower Lake have five boat launching areas. Five mooring areas offer a total of 240 mooring spaces rented on a seasonal basis. A boat rental is on Promised Land Lake across from Main Beach, and rents rowboats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboats.
Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks that are available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.