7 Reasons to Visit the Delaware State Forest

Delaware State ForestThe Delaware State Forest covers over 80,000 lush acres throughout Pike, Monroe, Northampton, and Carbon Counties.  Here are seven reasons you should come visit:

1.       Hiking: The Delaware State Forest offers over 30 miles of hiking trails along two routes: The Blooming Grove 4-H Hiking Trail, and the Thunder Swamp Trail System.  The seven-mile Blooming Grove Trail system loops around picturesque hardwood swamps and a meadow, while mountain streams, swamps, and a variety of forest types punctuate the 26-mile Thunder Swamp Trail system.

2.       Hunting and Trapping: The Delaware State Forest provides ample hunting opportunities during designated seasons.  Available game include deer, turkey, grouse, woodcock squirrels, waterfowl, rabbits, hares, coyotes, and black bears.  The entire forest is enrolled in the Deer Management Assistance Program.  Trappers are also welcome, and may pursue coyotes, bobcats, and beavers (amongst others).  Thanks to the all the wetlands, hunters and trappers will find beavers, muskrats, and mink in plentiful supply.

3.       Boating: The Delaware State Forest offers five boat ramps from which to launch your craft: White Deer Lake, Little Mud Pond, Lake Minisink, and two at Peck’s Pond.  Please be forewarned of the requirements for the various types of watercraft.  To learn more, please visit the Delaware State Forest webpage, select ‘Recreation,’ and scroll down to the ‘Boating’ section.

4.       Horseback Riding: The Delaware State Forest offers more than twenty-six miles of horseback riding trails for equine enthusiasts.

5.       Mountain Biking: The Delaware State Forest offers miles of biking trails of various levels of difficulty.  Bikes may be ridden on all roads and most trails (with the exception of the Thunder Swamp Trail System and areas deemed ‘natural areas’).

6.       ATV Riding: The Delaware State Forest contains three ATV trails, their combined length totaling more than 28 miles.  The park offers summer and winter ATV opportunities on Class 1 and Class 2 trails.

7.       Sightseeing: The Delaware State Forest also boasts the Tarkill Forest Demonstration Area.  This 82-acre area highlights the flora commonly found in the area.  It is also an example of multi-use forestry; it ‘supports a high population of wildlife, protects and maintains the Tarkill watershed, is a source of recreation to hunter and hiker, contains a leased forest campsite, and supports a stand of quality timber.’

These are but a sampling of the myriad activities found in the Delaware State Forest.  The forest offers thirteen lakes (six glacial, seven manmade), numerous mountain streams, lush vegetation, and opportunities for any number of fun activities.  It should be noted that many of the activities in the park require some sort of licensure or permit.  Please visit the DCNR website to learn more about obtaining the proper documentation (if necessary).

Interested in experiencing this beautiful park?  Come join us at the Sayre Mansion.  Our bed and breakfast is located in the heart of historic Bethlehem. Our rooms and suites offer travelers the perfect combination of old-world style and modern amenities. You won’t find a better way to experience Lehigh Valley than a stay at the Sayre Mansion! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Photo Credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli / Flickr