Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
285.00 ft (86.87 m)
Trail type
3.60 mi (5.79 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Observant adventurers hiking along Sand Spring Trail will pass intriguing remnants of the long history of the land now known as Hickory Run State Park.

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania, the boundaries of the park were once the boundaries of the land owned by millionaire General Harry Trexler. When he died, his will did not mention this land. The National Park Service purchased the property in 1935 with the intention of creating a National Recreation Demonstration Area.

It didn’t take long until Works Progress Administration workers began building roads, trails, water lines and group camps. By 1939, the Civilian Conservation Corps joined the effort and by 1945, the Hickory Run National Recreation Demonstration Area was transferred to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and renamed Hickory Run State Park.

Rated as more difficult hiking, Sand Spring Trail is generally a well-maintained trail with a couple of exceptions where spring water flows onto the path. One location requires using stepping stones to cross a tiny stream and traversing a short, rocky, muddy slope. The trail is easy to follow through forest highlighted with sections of massive rhododendron as it leads alongside the scenic Hickory Run with its’ native trout population. The trail ends at railroad tracks where a gazebo and picnic tables lure hikers to take a break, but a sign states: No Trespassing Private Property.

Along the way, hikers can’t miss some of the artifacts remaining from the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps. One pipe sticks straight up in the middle of the trail. A group of bricks lay in formation as if it is a step in the path. Other historic remnants are alongside the trail. Seemingly random pipes and occasional loose bricks can be seen but should be left in place. Though it is obscured by thick underbrush and surrounded by trees, hikers can view an enormous wooden water tower.

This out-and-back trail has convenient parking at the PA 534 trailhead. The trail is also accessed via the campground near sites 13 and 108.  Hiking and cross-country skiing are permitted. There are no benches or amenities along the trail. The park office has potable water and flush toilets.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Woodland hike. Follows along stream. Historical artifacts.


No benches. No information signs about artifacts.

Trailhead Elevation

1,149.00 ft (350.22 m)

Highest point

1,165.00 ft (355.09 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Historically significant
Family friendly
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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