It’s summertime, and your kids may be a getting a little stir-crazy. Don’t worry, visit these five local parks and you won’t be disappointed! Let the kids get their energy out while you enjoy the calmness of nature, and you’re sure to have a great summer.
Enjoy all the diversity Nescopeck State Park offers! The 3,550-acre area features wetlands, forests, and several diverse habitats. Visitors will find serenity on hiking trails following the creek and experience peace while passing through quiet forests.
The park-administered education program strives to teach about the natural world and critical environment issues. Nature Play Day is coming up on June 28, 2017, from 10:00 am-12:00 pm. Children will be able to dig in the dirt, build a stick fort, or put on a musical. The Nature Discovery Area is kid-friendly and open to visitors during park hours all summer.
Lake Frances offers 9-acres of fishing for trout, bass, and panfish. You can also fish on six-miles of a cold-water fishery, Nescopeck Creek, for brown trout and native brook trout. Don’t have your own fishing pole? Don’t worry! Fishing poles are available at the visitor center as part of a loaner program.
With 19-miles of trails, hiking is vast at Nescopeck. Visitors will find unique habitats and trails leading to the creek.
The park is open every day during the year from dawn until dusk, with the office having specific hours.
If you’re in White Haven, you’re in luck! Hickory State Park has over 40 miles of hiking trails with three state park natural areas. There are also miles of trout streams to fish on.
Boulder Field is at the park and is one of the National Natural Landmarks. The site remained relatively unchanged for 20,000 years. It expands over an area measuring 400 feet by 1,800 feet and is flat with no vegetation. Some boulders are up to 26 feet long!
Cool off on hot summer days in the water below Hawk Falls or take a swim in Sand Spring Lake. If you work up an appetite, take advantage of a picnic area and enjoy the outdoors.
Kids can also learn at lot at Hickory Run with expos focused on stream exploration, insects, butterflies, and moths. The next event, Bug Bingo, is June 17, 2017, from 4:30 pm-5:15 pm. After a short story, kids will have an opportunity to explore the area to see how many bugs can be found and make a craft before going home.
People of any age can learn about geocaching, boulder field basics, and attend a nature expo at the beach. Experienced hikers can also enjoy hiking series in mid-July.
Stretched across 1,035 acres is Frances Slocum State Park. It has a 165-acre horseshoe shaped lake popular for boating and fishing. Electric motors only are allowed on the lake. There are two boat launches, two mooring areas, and courtesy docks. You can alos rent rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks, and canoes.
Picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis and a picnic pavilion may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee.
The swimming pool is open daily from 11:00 am-7:00 pm until Labor Day, and has a seasonal snack bar on-site.
Frances Slocum State Park has five miles of mountain biking and 13.7 miles of hiking trails.
Camping is plenty with 100-site areas to choose from. These are available from the second Friday in April to the third Friday in October. 85 of the sites are tent or trailer sites, and some have electric hookups. The other 15-sites have walk-in tents and offer additional privacy. Each site has a fire ring and a picnic table. Showers, drinking water, and flush stations are available. Pets are welcome to stay, too!
The Patrick J. Solano Environmental Education Center showcases exhibits on American Indians and the ecology of the park.
Make sure you wear sturdy shoes when hiking this two mile trail!
Named from the glacial melt-water that created potholes and filled “tubs” of water, Seven Tubs Natural Area is one of a kind. The area is 500-acres and has trails, as well as hilly terrain.
The main feature of the park is Wheelbarrow Run, and meets with the larger Laurel Run.
Here, you will find a stream that flows through a ravine where several “tubs” are gouged out of the bedrock. A hemlock forest surrounds the area and complements the running water nicely. Summer heat may catch up to you, so feel free to wade in the cool tubs.
Once you reach the reservoir at the top of the mountain, turn left and you’ll come across Blue Berries in the summer months.
Kirby Park is located just across from the Market Street Bridge in downtown Wilkes-Barre. It covers an area of 52-acres and is one of the main recreational sources.
Each year, the park holds the Cherry Blossom festival during the last week of April and holds and old-fashioned 4th of July Celebration.
It also has tennis courts, a fitness trail, pond, walking path, running track, softball fields, volleyball court, pavilions, and playgrounds.
The community area is also open for business or organizations to showcase events, or even become a sponsor.