In Search of the Promised Land in Pennsylvania

Betty Deloney was a newcomer to RVing when she joined her daughter and granddaughter on her first tour of New England in a Class C motorhome.

The journey took them on a grand sweep of the eastern seaboard, from Maryland up to Maine. The scenery and camping were memorable. But it was on the return trip home that Deloney and her traveling partners stumbled across an unsung treasure – at the very moment they desperately needed it.

Promised Land State Park, located in eastern Pennsylvania south of I-84 along PA 390, is a 3,000-acre gem tucked deep within the Pocono Plateau and surrounded by 12,464 acres of Pennsylvania’s Delaware State Forest.

With two lakes, waterfalls, about 50 miles of hiking trails, lush forests, and loads of scenery, the park has much to offer. But on that night, it was the promise of a clean, well-kept campground and strong, hot showers the travelers were interested in.

They found that, and more. The park provides four campgrounds – as well as rustic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Deloney and her family wound up at Lower Lake Campground, a delightful stopover for RVers, a forested campground near the shore of Lower Lake that features paved roads and pull-through RV sites, 30/50-amp electric hookups, restrooms, and glorious showers.

All told the answer to their prayers.

Betty Deloney: “The trip had gone great. We’d just had a wonderful time camping in Maine. I mean, I’m from the Midwest. I’d never had a whole fresh lobster before, that you actually choose yourself!

“We were well on our way back home when we ran into an accident that backed things up along the Massachusetts turnpike for hours.

“By the time we reached eastern Pennsylvania, it had grown dark and gloomy and had started to rain. And it rained and it rained just poured sheets. We were off schedule, and to make matters worse, according to the map, we couldn’t find anything that even looked like a campground.

“There it was getting later and later, darker and darker, nothing but huge trucks passing you throwing back rivers of water. It was late, we’re traveling with a baby, grandma’s getting tired, we didn’t even see a motel – things were not looking good. And then we saw a sign: Promised Land State Park.

“It was a sign! We laughed and felt like God had really sent us a sign! Talk about a Promised Land!

“I had no idea what we would find there, but I thought, ‘this is a self-contained camper, and we’ll at least get off the road and sleep for awhile.’

“It must have been 9 or 10 o’clock at night, but we had a thread of hope. We pulled off the Interstate and drove and drove. It took awhile. I was beginning to think ‘The Promised Land’ was a myth.

“Then suddenly, there’s a little entrance. Then there’s a little building with a light on, someone inside getting ready to shut it down. They gave us a map and directed us to Lower Lake Campground.

“We drove down to find this lovely spot – quiet, campsites that were roomy and wonderful. Shower houses weren’t far away. We knew we had cheese and crackers and fruit in the refrigerator. We were set! “I can’t tell you how wonderful it was not to be on the road with those huge trucks zooming past. And the hot showers were beyond wonderful.

“We spent a great night there, woke up in the morning to a misty, post-rain morning with the sunlight just beginning to cut through the clouds. It was a terrific spot. Trees, a lake quite close. If we hadn’t had somewhere else to go, it would have been a great place to linger.

“Looking back, it was one of those times you were really thankful that you were in an RV because there were really no other options. It was so dark out there, and the weather was vicious. And yet, we were able to pull off, eat, clean up, and had a comfortable bed – what more could we have asked for?

“What a shame that we’d never heard of it. It was a glorious place – and yes, it WAS the Promised Land at that point. I almost hated to leave the next morning. Such a pleasant, quiet, setting.

“I remember chatting with a woman at the shower house who told me that she was a single mom who always brought her children there for vacation – they came twice a year and it was always their destination of choice. The kids got to run around, hike through the woods, boat on the lake, and fish.

“They were tent campers, so even if you don’t have an RV it’s a great little place. Everyone was well-behaved, it was very family friendly.

“On the way out the next morning, rolling through the forest, I began to appreciate how beautiful the scenery was. A lovely, natural setting – really a diamond in the rough.

“At the time, I was a novice to RVing – my daughter had to talk me into this trip. I’d always thought, ‘Well this is a nice thing for people with a lot of disposable income.’ But that night convinced me that having an RV was well worth it.

“Promised Land was both a surprise and a wonderful respite. Everyone was so friendly; I suppose that’s just something about RVers.

“But that night, it really was the Promised Land – how fortunate we were! It was like it was meant to be.

“The most aptly named campground I’ll ever see.”

 

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1 Comment

  • The Eaglewoman – dudes, i’ve had to revive her, like, three times SOOO dliseh! they even sell some frozen in little zip lock bags. perfect for random guests and late night cravings!

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