Pine Hill Vista

Within the friendly confines of Pinchot State Forest in southern Lackawanna County, there are quite a few scenic areas. One of these scenic areas is the Pine Hill Vista, at the top of the Big Pine Hill at 2260 feet above sea level. As I have become more interested in seeing the various scenic vistas of the Keystone State, a recent trip to the Poconos pointed me in the direction of the Pine Hill Vista. After all, I enjoy visiting fire towers and other scenic overlooks no matter where my travels take me. Traveling along some bumpy dirt roads through the Pinchot State Forest near Thornhurst, I reached a closed gate on Pine Hill Road and walked the rest of the way up to the vista, which was about a quarter of a mile long. You also have the option visiting the Pine Hill Vista as part of a longer hike, utilizing part of the Pinchot Trail system in the process, or by following a hiking loop on a number of trails.

Once you reach the summit of Big Pine Hill, you are at one of the highest points of the Pocono Mountains. There are a number of places that come close, such as Big Pocono State Park on Camelback Mountain, Tobyhanna State Park and the Pohopoco Fire Tower at Pimple Hill, but there are not many places in the Poconos can you go any higher above sea level than you are at this point. At the top of Big Pine Hill, there is an observation platform where you can take in views of the surrounding lands of the plateau that makes up the Poconos. The platform was built in 1985, and from that point, you are at a point where water drains to the south towards the Delaware River, or north towards the Susquehanna River.

From the observation tower, you can spot the Moosic Mountains near Scranton, which is at about 1900 feet above sea level, Wyoming Mountain of Wilkes-Barre at 2100 feet above sea level. You can see a number of other places from the platform too, and feel like you are on the top of the world, because in a sense, you are. Even though I was only at the Pine Hill Vista for just a few minutes, it was certainly worth visiting while I was in the area.

Starting the short hike up to Pine Hill Vista.

It's an easy hill to climb with not a lot of an incline. I was here in early April, so there was a closed gate about a quarter mile from the summit, but I would imagine that this path sees vehicular traffic from time to time.

At the observation tower, you will learn that the platform was built in 1985, plus get an idea of which way the water drains from Big Pine Hill.

Now for some views from the platform. I took pictures in all directions.

I think that's the Jack Frost ski resort in the distance.
Hello there, porcupine.

There are plenty of shorter trees, giving a clearer view away from the vista.

Looking towards the north.

Views as far as the eye can see.

There's a feeling I get, when I look to the west.
Last photo before heading back to my car. I see some peaks jutting out in the distance.

How to Get There:

Sources and Links:
Pocono Record - An eye on the high in Pocono Mountains
CNY Hiking - Big Pine Hill Loop
Pennsylvania DCNR - Pinchot State Forest


Popular posts from this blog

Warden Mine - Elizabeth Township

Star Gazers' Stone