Much of Lackawanna County is developed, with small communities knit closely together. But there are still pockets where nature remains untouched. Take a look at these 3 hidden gems to hike near Scranton. They offer a calm respite from the everyday world and can transport you to another place without traveling far.
1. Top of the World
It’s hard to believe you’re in the densely populated Dunmore/Dickson City area when you reach the peak of this hike. Named for the rocky outcrop and scenic vistas at the apex, Top of the World is accessible from Dunmore Reservoir Number One. The 4.2-mile loop trail traverses an area known as The Dunmore Pines Barrens. There are many trails that weave through, so it’s easy to get disoriented. Be sure to bring along a cell phone. Although located on private property, the trail is open to the public during daylight hours. Hiking and off-roading are popular activities here. In fact, hikers share a portion of the path with quad and dirt bike riders. The trail is rated moderate due to some steep and rocky stretches. Spend some time at Dunmore Reservoir Number One. A 1.4-mile loop trail circles the 83-acre reservoir. Highlights include a scenic waterfall, an abandoned bridge and small picnic area. The parking area is located on Dunham Drive near the intersection of Interstate 84 and Route 6.
2. Eales Nature Preserve at Moosic Mountain
The Nature Conservancy added this property to its collection of preserved spaces in 2001. Located in Jessup, the area was under threat of development until The Nature Conservancy intervened. It’s known for its sweeping views of the Lackawanna Valley, but is also one of the best examples of ridge-top heath barrens in the northeastern U.S. The barrens are comprised of stunted pitch pine and scrub oak as well as huckleberry, blueberry and rhodora. About 1,200 acres are protected at Eales Nature Preserve. The area is popular among bird watchers, hikers and mountain bikers who take advantage of 12 miles of trails of varying lengths. Eales Nature Preserve is located along Route 247 in Jessup.
3. Blakely Falls
Bustling neighborhoods and shopping centers border this bit of wilderness in the Mid-Valley that’s known mostly only to locals. The trail begins behind Sawnsee Baseball Field in Blakely and follows the course of Hull Creek. Along the way several cascades ranging in height from four to six feet are visible. The water also flows over a large, smooth rock formation known as a slide. That’s all a prelude to the main event, Blakely Falls. The scenic falls measures about 12 feet in height creating a dramatic sight. Surprisingly, the gorge sits just beneath the intersection of Business Route 6 and 347, a main artery in the area. At about a third of a mile, this hike near Scranton is a nice stretch of the legs to a hidden gem. Swansee Field is located off Columbus Avenue in Blakely.
Stay in the Heart of it All
Hotel Anthracite combines all the amenities of an urban location with all the charm of a small-town accommodation. Whether business, leisure or family gatherings bring you to the area, a stay here puts you conveniently located to everything the area has to offer. Take time to explore the region’s natural assets with a hike near Scranton. Check out the guest rooms available at our boutique hotel and make plans to visit soon.