An October 2004 trip
to Poconos by Laalasa
Quote: Contrary to its name, Big Pocono State Park is actually small -- around 1,300 acres, on Camelback Mountain in Monroe county of north-eastern Pennsylvania.
There are several parking areas with short hikes down the slope and to the edge of steep drop-offs. This small park boasts 50 or so picnic benches and 7 miles of hiking and horseback-riding trails. The adjacent State Game Lands 3, 38, and 943 offer hunting activities.
Attraction | "Walking and Scenic Vistas"
We had our first wildlife encounter here. We hiked about a mile out down the slope and came to a truly breathtaking overlook point. We got off the trail and sat on the edge of the cliff. After about 15 minutes of utter silence and soaking it in, my husband turned around to get up and less than 15 feet away, blocking the entrance to the trail, was a big jet-black jungle cat with yellow eyes. We stood up and started yelling with our hands raised (as we were told to do on one of our first guided hikes), and the creature calmly looked at us for a few seconds and ambled away.
We know that neither cougars nor mountain lions get that black, and it definitely wasn't a black bear. Later, a friend who has a cabin in the area, said it was probably a coyote, but coyotes don't look like cats, do they? He said that, in fall, they eat a lot and grow extra fur in preparation for winter. This makes them larger and more rounded, so the untrained eye could mistake them for jungle cats.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 10, 2004
Big Pocono State Park
Exit 299 of I-80
Poconos, Pennsylvania 18466
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania