Birding · Fall Colors · Fishing · River/Creek · Views
This loop run provides quick access to a memorable viewpoint above Lehigh Gorge within 0.5 miles from the parking area. From there, it continues south along the Fireline Trail
where some steeper grades are met along with secluded sections of forest beside Hickory Run and a moderately strenuous switchback climb up the Switchback Trail
The return links the Switchback Trail
with the Skyline Trail
, back to the Fireline Trail
to the parking area. Both the Skyline Trail
and the Gould Trail
provide opportunities to cut across earlier from the Fireline Trail
to loop back to the beginning, cutting down the overall mileage and elevation gain. See the Trail Run Project mobile app
to navigate the trails.
The trails throughout the park can be traveled in any direction so this run can be reversed or adapted to accommodate for time and ability.
Secluded and shaded, with steep and rocky sections around Hickory Run.
From the parking area off PA 534, duck into the woods on the Fireline Trail
, which used to provide access to the local fire crew. The wide, gradual grade descends toward the viewpoint above the gorge within 0.5 miles. From the viewpoint, head south to follow above the Lehigh River.
The Fireline Trail
passes the Skyline Trail
and then the Gould Trail
. Both trails provide ways to cut across to the eastern half of this loop run, cutting the mileage and elevation down.
To continue on this route, continue across Goulds Run to begin a half-mile climb and descent over to Hickory Run. Around the 2.2-mile mark, the Fireline Trail
meets its southern terminus, transitioning into the Hickory Run Trail
. The trail heads east along the trout-filled Hickory Run before arriving at the Switchback Trail
Here begins the biggest sustained climb of the run. Luckily, the trail is named accurately as a handful of switchbacks help ease the grade. After gaining the hill, continue north along the Switchback Trail
until it arrives at the Gould Trail
and eastern half of the Skyline Trail
Continue onto the Skyline Trail
for another up-and-over hill to return to the Fireline Trail
, heading right (east) for the final section of trail to retrace back to the parking area.
Flora & Fauna
Blackburnian warbler, red-breasted nuthatch, northern waterthrush, Jefferson salamanders, and wood frogs. American redstart, red-eyed vireo, and scarlet tanager, American robin, wood thrush, hermit thrush, Swainson's thrush, veery, and eastern bluebird.
Serviceberry trees, mountain laurel, rhododendron, and highbush blueberries. Beech and chestnut oak trees.
History & Background
This land was part of the territories of the Lenni Lenape, Susquehannock, and Iroquois, though no traces of settlements have been found. It was later bought and developed with dams, mills, and logging during the 19th century, before becoming an established state park in 1945.
Shared By: Zander Göpfert