Bushkill Falls, PA

I decided to take a weekend to check out Bushkill Falls, a string of 8 waterfalls in the Pocono Mountains that can be accessed through a series of trails, steps, bridges, and boardwalk. There are levels to the intensity of the hike you choose, but even for the easiest, shortest route, there are a nice amount of steps to go down, and back up. If you choose to take the longest, most inclusive trail of the falls, there are two options. If you start off going left, you will encounter a pretty steep, rocky incline, as well as a seemingly never ending stair case going up. But if you start off going right, those inclines become declines, obviously, making other small inclines easier to manage. Everyone feels differently on what their adventure should entail…we went left without knowing it would be harder, so our adventure included me making numerous stops to question my life, and my son a good 20 feet ahead of me, looking back to make sure I was still alive.

There are plenty of areas to stop and relax, with random benches, and gorgeous views for pictures. If there is a line for the $16.50 tickets, don’t worry about crowds once you start on the various trails…everyone will roam at their own pace, and people can come and go fairly quickly at any particular point of interest. The main attraction is to just enjoy the beauty of nature, and relax to the sound of rushing water. It can be easy to lose track of time taking in the majestic views, but kids may not feel the same way, so there is a cool spot where people have begun a field of cairns, and in the main entrance area there are small exhibits, a petting zoo, mining for the kids, plus various shops and places to grab a bite to eat. There is even a fairly large picnic area for large groups.

We stayed in the Rodeway Inn and Suites Stroudsburg-Poconos, for about $100, and I have mixed reviews on the place. Since there wasn’t much else to do out there, it was worth the stay to not have to make the 2 hour drive after all the hiking. We did luck out in that it had very friendly staff, an arcade and a pub on the first floor, plus it was only a 2 min. walk to a small town block offering BBQ, sushi, ice cream, pizza, and a bakery. The downside was it is a bit run down, a walk up, and I’m pretty sure the sign was never changed from the previous name, so I went in crossing my fingers that the booking was valid. I use Hotels.com, so I haven’t had a problem yet, but you never know.

The next day we checked out Columcille Megalith Park, in Bangor, PA. It is a privately owned Celtic Art Center based on 19+ acres of land, with megalith settings made from stones found in the park, as well as the shale quarry a few miles down the road. I wanted to check it out because some of the displays looked pretty impressive, and the site states it is a spiritual destination for peace and tranquility… it turns out people come to just walk their dogs there as well, so watch for droppings. It has a suggested donation of $5, but you can leave what you wish. And drive slow as you try to find it…there is just a small, dirt packed parking area directly off of the road, with the entrance being a small, unlocked iron gate. It’s cool to check out if you’re in the area already, just make sure you have bug spray.

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