Review of Nay Aug Park in Scranton (PA): A park with a national natural landmark, gorge, and a museum!


Dave Wenzel Tree House, Nay Aug Park, Scranton, PA

When my wife and I (and our Pomeranian Toby) lived near the suburbs of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), one of our favorite pastimes was exploring the great outdoors with our dog.  Eastern Pennsylvania is blessed with beautiful lakes, serene rivers, rolling hills, famous Pocono Mountains, and tons of state/county/local parks everywhere in between.

During a typical workweek, I would research potential locations to explore on the weekend.  It was, and still is (after early retirement), one of my favorite things to do.  Sometimes, researching a place to visit is arguably better than the actual trip.  

It’s the thrill of the hunt, figuring out where our pack would hike or explore, that really got my blood pumping.  Like most worker bees, I lived for the weekend, thinking about visiting somewhere scenic outdoors so all of us can enjoy together, spending quality time together…

We visited many great places during our time in the Keystone State: Ricketts Glen State Park, World’s End State Park, Promised Land State Park, Poconos, Nockamixon State Park.  We would always cherish those places, and since retiring, we still love revisiting the state from time to time.  It’s like our second home.  It feels good heading back to Pennsylvania from elsewhere…

One of the most memorable places we’ve visited during our time in Pennsylvania was Nay Aug Park in Scranton.  On our first visit there, our pack took a close to 2 hour drive from our home near the suburbs of Philadelphia, and arrived in town to pick up some tasty Italian food before heading into the park.

I remember the impossibly steep streets of the city, feeling like we were visiting San Francisco (even if we never actually visited there).  The climb on some streets would be like a 30 degree angle up, with nothing but the sky visible at the apex of the climb!  

We were secretly hoping our then car (a Hyundai Sonata) won’t bottom out on our way down the hill!  It was definitely an exciting experience…

When we arrived at the Italian restaurant (more aptly, a pizza parlor), the owner of the place offered some fresh drinking water for our dog, which was very nice of him.  The food was good too, very tasty, decent portions, and affordable.  After finishing our foods, we got out of our car to explore Nay Aug Park.  

Nay Aug Park turned out to be a beautiful destination for a day trip at that time, as it had everything we looked for when picking a place to explore: nice scenery, nice hiking trails, and dog friendly.  We really enjoyed our trip there, all of us enjoying the hike and seeing brave divers jumping off cliffs in the gorge near Rie Rie Overlook.

On our trip to the Pocono Mountains in the month of October, we got a chance to revisit this fantastic park for the second time.  Even though our Pomeranian Toby was no longer by our sides (he crossed the rainbow bridge), we enjoyed the park while reminiscing about our first visit way back when.

On a rather cloudy day on a chilly October morning, we left our temporary home in the Pocono Mountains for the park.  The drive would take under an hour thanks to our temporary home’s proximity to Scranton, PA area.

We arrived at the park, first heading down to see the main attraction of the park: Nay Aug Gorge, a registered National Natural Landmark.  On our first trip to the gorge, we hiked down via Davis Trail to get closer to the gorge.  At certain wet spots, I lifted Toby as he was giving me his puppy eyes, begging me to lift him up. 

Along Davis Trail…

Way to get down to the gorge

On our second visit, my wife and I went down the same path, and saw the same impressive gorge.  The gorge area was devoid of people thanks to a weekday morning, but that’s not a bad way to travel, as we had the entire gorge to ourselves.  

The gorge!

We took a moment to enjoy the beautiful gorge, then headed back up the Davis Trail to check out the other side of the gorge.  We stopped at every overlook to enjoy the awesome scenery!

We cut short our hike at the Davis Trail when the trail got overtaken by overgrown trees/shrubs, then headed for our second stop at the park: Dave Wenzel Tree House.  Built in 2007, the tree house was one of the first ones of its kind in the area, opening up new vistas of the gorge and the surrounding areas.

Dave Wenzel Tree House from below

The views from the tree house was, and still is, top notch!  It helped that fall foliage was in full swing in the famous Pocono Mountains and it was absolutely stunning.

We took in the awesome sights, the fragrant smells & the cacophony of sounds for several minutes then moved on to check out our third stop at the park: Everhart Museum.  Founded in 1908 by Doctor Isaiah Fawkes Everhart, the museum is the largest one of its kind in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

We walked through the park to get to the museum, enjoying various displays and placards strewn over the grounds proudly displaying Pennsylvania’s railroad heritage.  We saw remnants of old trains, mines, and historic artifacts/landmarks.

As we walked through the grounds, we saw a playground complete with set of swings which we couldn’t pass up!  Like two little children, we promptly got on the swings and had a good old time, thinking back to our early years when life was simpler…

After we got our fill of childish fun, we walked over to the museum.  We loved the areas surrounding the museum as it was nicely landscaped with seasonal flowers and decorations.  

Everhart Museum 

We walked inside the museum, paid the $5 per person entrance fee, then turned left to see the displays.  The museum’s collection was impressive right from the get go.  We saw the impressive dinosaur exhibit, rock/mineral exhibit, the gigantic bird collection, and multiple dioramas of Pennsylvania outdoors.

We absolutely loved them all, and had a wonderful time learning and relearning the natural world.  Hey, you are never too old to learn something new…

In conclusion:

We have fond memories of our first visit to the park thanks to our dog Toby, who loved walking around the trail near the gorge.  Our second trip, however, was just as good (even if it’s without our baby) thanks to us exploring more of this great park.

We finally had a chance to visit the Everhart Museum, which turned out to be much better than we expected!  Nay Aug Park is a gem of a place to visit in Northeastern Pennsylvania and it should be on the top of your list of places to to visit!

Thank you for reading and happy travels!


Wandering Money Pig 

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