Explore Lake Wallenpaupack for endless adventures every season
By Rebecca Schweitzer
In the heart of the Pocono Mountain Range in eastern Pennsylvania lies Lake Wallenpaupack, a perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts. This man-made lake, constructed in 1926, resides in Hawley, Pennsylvania, a small but charming town (population: 1,195).
“There’s a lot to do in the area,” says Chrissy Powell, visitors center supervisor of the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center, which is managed by the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. “The area is big in the summer, with camp groups and a public beach, but offers activities all year such as ice fishing in the winter.”
Ice fishing isn’t the only unique experience offered during the cold season in the Pocono Mountains. Visitors can rent snowshoes for snow hiking, try their hand at dogsledding from Arctic Paws Dog Sled Tours or challenge friends to a winter paintball game at Skirmish. Additionally, fans of winter sports can ski, snowboard or go snow tubing on numerous slopes of varying experience levels for all types of visitors.
During its most popular season, Lake Wallenpaupack entertains its visitors with numerous water activities. Adventurers can rent paddleboards, jet skis, kayaks and boats from various companies along the 52-mile-long shoreline. Swimming from the public beaches is encouraged, as well as fishing in the designated areas.
Forests surrounding the lake offer numerous hiking trails of varying difficulty for all types of hikers, such as Wallenpaupack Creek Trail and Wallenpaupack Lake Trail, which winds right along a portion of the lake. Some trails lead to waterfalls, like Wangum Falls or High Falls, while others offer overlooks for beautiful views of the lake.
Traveling with family? The Claws ‘N’ Paws Wild Animal Park, open from May to October, is located only 25 minutes from Lake Wallenpaupack. This park offers opportunities for children to pet specific animals, such as deer and sheep, and feed lorikeets. Country Junction, which claims to be the world’s largest general store, also includes a petting zoo at its location south of the lake.
In addition to animal parks, the area surrounding Lake Wallenpaupack lures visitors with numerous theme and water parks. This includes Costa’s Family Fun Park, Split Rock Resort and S&S Speedways – Indoor Go-Karts.
For those hoping to take advantage of the lack of sales tax on clothing, Hawley’s shops provide the perfect location. Hawley Silk Mill, a silk factory turned shopping location, houses boutique and art shops, an art gallery and a coffee house. Specialty shops, such as antiques and home decor, are especially popular in the area, while other stores such as Lake Art specialize in Lake Wallenpaupack souvenirs, providing visitors with physical mementos of their trip so they return home with more than memories.