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Promised Land State Park
Promised Land State Park © Marty Straub
Promised Land State Park Promised Land Winter © Marty Straub
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RR 1 Box 96
Greentown, Pennsylvania   18426

Phone: 570-676-3428
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
Email: park email button icon
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.
History of the Area
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.
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.
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.

Nearby Accommodations
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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.

Promised Land State Park is located near East Stroudsburg, Hawley and Lake Ariel

The Picnic Area is by Promised Land Lake and has many picnic tables in a scenic woodland setting. The Picnic Area has parking areas, water, garbage containers, sand volleyball court 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.
The New Trail System: Designated recreational trails in this area are marked with a vertical blue blaze. At each trail intersection, a sign will designate the trail name, trail uses, equipment permitted, 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.

Hiking: There are about 50 miles of hiking trails in Promised Land State Park and the surrounding state forest, providing access to many natural scenic places. Hike Bruce Lake Road to a natural glacial lake, or see the little waterfalls along Little Falls Trail, or walk a loop around Conservation Island. Splendid opportunities exist for nature study, relaxation and exploration.

The trails lead through areas rich in historic and scenic interest. This is especially true from mid-June until mid-July when the mountain laurel and rhododendron are in bloom and again in mid-October at the height of the fall foliage.

Motorized vehicles are prohibited on all hiking trails, except snowmobiles, which are allowed on designated snowmobile trails. Before hiking, let someone know where you are going and when you will return. Take a map, stay on the 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.

Horseback Riding: Promised Land State Park provides access to selected equestrian trails on state forest lands. Rentals are not available.

Bicycling: Riders share the road on the 6.5-mile paved road around Promised Land Lake. Bicycles are permitted on designated hiking trails.

Mountain Biking: Adjacent Delaware State Forest land has trails.
Nature Programs
Spring through fall, school programs are offered on a wide variety of topics and levels. Everyone is invited to our traditional summer weekend campfire programs.

The park has a small museum that features displays of natural features found in the area and artifacts and the story of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

A one-mile self-guiding interpretive trail is on Conservation Island on Promised Land Lake. A trail guide is available for investigating different habitats of this island.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 18 Amazingly quiet by BillLizLucyKarla
park review stars; one to five The park is beautiful for a day trip, or a week long camping trip. The rustic cabins are just that, rustic! Campgrounds are scattered all over the park from full RV hookup to tent camping areas with no hookup at all. Wildlife is all around, deer, bear, snakes and all other small creatures. Lower lake is great for viewing the eagle flying around. Keep dogs on leash and you will be fine. We have been there at least five years in a row, and we love it! Liz & Bill
August 12 Family favorite for generations
park review stars; one to five Love the park, enjoy most improvements, BUT hate the new parking lot style with very limited lot selection and placement for tents in the pines.
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Area Cabins and Lodges
Sterling Inn The
South Sterling, PA
(570) 676-3311
Skytop Lodge
1 Skytop
Skytop, PA
(570) 595-7401
Nearby Hotels

Promised Land State Park is in Pike County, 10 miles north of Canadensis, along PA 390. The park is easily reached from interstates 80 and 84. The park is within a one to three hour drive from Allentown, Easton, Bethlehem, Reading, Harrisburg, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, and is about 100 miles north of Philadelphia and 35 miles from the New York and New Jersey state borders.

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Pennsylvania State Parks