Promised Land State Park 'Promised Land Winter' © Marty Straub
upload your photos

view photogallery

USA Parks
Northeast Region
Promised Land State Park
RR 1 Box 96
Greentown, Pennsylvania   18426

Phone: 570-676-3428
Toll Free: 888-727-2757
Reservations: 888-727-2757
Promised Land State Park
'Promised Land Winter'
© Marty Straub


Promised Land State Park
© Marty Straub


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
Comfort Inn Pocono Lakes Region - Lake Ariel, PAHotels/Motels
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.

Get directions
to this park:

by Town and state
by zip code

Nearby Parks

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.
Things To Do in the Area
Peters Valley Craft Center - Layton , NJArts/Cultural/Drama
Peters Valley is a non-profit education center and gallery for craft arts. Tour the studios on weekends during summer. Workshops May to September, 2 to 5 days. Expert instructors from US and abroad. Commute or sleep over for a mini-vacation close-to-home. Wood turning, weaving, jewelry, ceramics, blacksmithing, photography, papermaking, beading and more.
Web Site:
20.5 miles from park*
Black Walnut Country Inn and Stables - Milford, PAHorseback Riding
The Black Walnut Inn is a delightful English Tudor-style Bed Breakfast, tucked away on a 162-acre wooded estate in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains, minutes from the Delaware River. Adjacent to thousands of acres of wooded trails. Overnight boarding available to Inn guests. Trail Rides.
Web Site:
15 miles from park*
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 12 Family favorite for generations
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.
The first time I visited Promised Land Park was in Oct.1961. My friend Chet had rented cabin 3, Tuscarora for the full week. Bob, Rich, and I arrived Friday evening amid rainy weather. Back then the cabins were really RUSTIC. There were outhouses that occupy the area where modern wash/shower/toilet facilities now are. Back then the park rangers supplied a hugh mountain of firewood just outside each cabin. You had to bring an axe to split the wood. We really enjoyed the open fireplace inside the cabin; very cozy but not fuel efficient. Back in 1961, the park did not have all the modern conveniences as today. We had a pump outside our cabin to fill our water buckets. Also, there were no modern concession stand or shower facilities near the swimming area. Things have changed, but I still have fond memories of weekends spent at Promised Land Park. I look forward to renting a cabin in Oct. 2012 with my son Adam to help me celebrate my 70th birthday year. Promised Land Park is one of my favorites within the Pa. Park System.
May 19 top notch park
I have been to promised land a number of times for bike riding and marathon training. It is one of the most beautiful parks that I have ever visited.
May 2 Great Family All Day Spot by annabean
This park has it all.Great playground area,sand,swimming lake,concession stand(seasonal) and barbecue spots with nice shady picnic spots.You can fish,relax,swim eat and play and rent boats too.There is lots of space for volleyball etc. and I swear the bathrooms are the cleanest and nicest I have ever seen in any park.You can even take a warm shower with Quarters too.You can hike too.A really nice and all day family outing because of all the things you can do.Camping is also available for a fee and need reservations.Great hidden spot at the end of a long road.Worth the trip.

Area Campgrounds

Mount Pocono Campground
30 Edgewood Drive
Mt. Pocono, PA

Otter Lake Camp Resort
4805 Marshalls Creek Road
East Stroudsburg, PA

Ironwood Point Recreation Area
155 Burns Hill Road
Greentown, PA

Ledgedale Recreation Area
153 Ledgedale Road
Greentown, PA

Lake Moc A Tek Campground
PO Box 481
Hamlin, PA

Wilsonville Recreation Area
HC 6 Box 6114
Hawley, PA

Secluded Acres Campground
Avoy Road
Lakeville, PA

Three Pines Campground
Route 590
Lakeville, PA

Hemlock Campground & Cottages
362 Hemlock Drive
Tobyhanna, PA

Area Cabins and Lodges
Sterling Inn The
South Sterling, PA
(570) 676-3311

Skytop Lodge
1 Skytop
Skytop, PA
(570) 595-7401

Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Whistling Swan Inn - Stanhope, NJBBs / Inns
Nestled in the beautiful Skylands Region of New Jersey, the house now known as The Whistling Swan Inn was built in 1905 by Justice of the Peace, Daniel Best, for his wife, Sarah. Come visit Northwest NJ's finest Victorian Inn Voted Top Ten BB in US by Inn Traveler Magazine
Web Site:
37.2 miles from park*
Wooden Duck Bed Breakfast - Newton, NJBBs / Inns
A brick patio in ground swimming pool invite guests to step outdoors and enjoy their picturesque surroundings and provide a lovely spot for seasonal breakfasting, sunbathing or just plain relaxing
Web Site:
31.1 miles from park*
Black Walnut Country Inn and Stables - Milford, PABBs / Inns
The Black Walnut Inn is a delightful English Tudor-style Bed Breakfast, tucked away on a 162-acre wooded estate in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains, minutes from the Delaware River. Adjacent to thousands of acres of wooded trails. Overnight boarding available to Inn guests. Trail Rides.
Web Site:
15 miles from park*
Photo Gallery
Share Your
Promised Land State Park
(click here)
Weather Forecast, (18426)

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.
Area Shopping
Peters Valley Craft Center Store - Layton , NJArts Crafts
The store at Peters Valley Craft Center offers original handcrafted art, jewelry, clothing, ceramics, and home furnishings. Unique items from over 300 artists offer distinctive ideas to embellish the home, treat yourself, or to select for a gift. Visit the Gallery upstairs for our latest exhibit of fine art craft.
Web Site:
20.5 miles from park*

USA Parks
Northeast Region
Promised Land State Park
© 2014