Lake Wallenpaupack was at one time the largest lake entirely within Pennsylvania. While it has lost that crown to Raystown Lake, it is still one of the largest lakes in the state. The lake is a popular destination for both locals and visitors to the region and people spend time enjoying both the lake and the many resorts and cabins that line its shores.
In contrast to Raystown Lake, which has almost no development on its shoreline, Lake Wallenpaupack has very little natural area remaining around the lake. However, there is one piece of land along the northeastern corner of the lake that has been preserved for future generations: Shuman Point Natural Area.
Shuman Point Natural Area occupies a 250-acre piece of land that juts out into Lake Wallenpaupack, roughly two miles off of Pennsylvania Route 6. Managed by Talen Energy, the same company that owns the lake and its dam, Shuman Point Natural Area offers a great chance for visitors to the region to hike along the shoreline of the lake and see the flora and fauna in the region.
The three-mile loop hike through the natural area starts from a large parking area on Purdytown Turnpike. Trails branch from either end of the parking lot, but most find it easiest to hike in a counter-clockwise direction, which is to the right of the parking area.
Almost immediately upon leaving the parking lot, the blue-blazed trail heads uphill. While rather steep, this section lasts a very short distance and is the only real uphill portion of the hike. The trail continues through the forest until reaching the lake about 10-15 minutes into the hike.
For most of the remainder of the hike, the trail will follow near the lake. Take one of the very short side trails over to the lapping waters for a very impressive view overlooking Lake Wallenpaupack. The area that you are looking out over used to be the community of Wilsonville, which was flooded when the lake was completed in 1926.
The trail continues to follow within 100 feet or so of the lake shore for much of the rest of the hike, offering very beautiful views of the lake’s blue water. About two miles into the hike, you’ll come across stone walls. This area used to be home to farmers’ fields, and these walls were used as fencing to separate land during this time. The trail continues directly through cuts in these stone walls.
Eventually, the trail curls away from the lake and follows an old roadbed for the last half mile of the trail back to the parking area. It’s easy to find this spot as the trail very obviously leaves the lakeshore, so you don’t have to worry about missing the turn.
Shuman Point Natural Area isn’t the most challenging, diverse, or beautiful hike in the Poconos. However, as one of the parcels of protected land along the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack, it offers visitors the chance to see a unique landscape and get great views of this very beautiful lake. If you find yourself traveling through Wayne County, Pennsylvania, the Poconos, or Lackawanna County, you can’t go wrong taking a bit of time to hike Shuman Point Natural Area.
How to Get to Shuman Point Natural Area
Shuman Point Natural Area is located two miles off of Route 6 near Hawley, Pennsylvania. The parking area for the area is located off of Purdytown Turnpike at the following coordinates: 41.450632, -75.205198.
Trails leave from both the northern and southern ends of the parking area, but it is recommended that you hike in the counterclockwise direction following the trail on the southern end of the parking area (to your right if you have your back to the road).
A very simple map of the Shuman Point Natural Area can be found here.