archbald pothole state park

Archbald Pothole State Park: Explore PA

Welcome to Archbald Pothole State Park, a natural wonder nestled in northeastern Pennsylvania. Named after its iconic feature, the Archbald Pothole, this 150-acre park offers a fascinating glimpse into the geological history of the region. Created over 15,000 years ago during the Wisconsin Glacial Period, the Archbald Pothole is a 38-feet deep elliptical cavity that captivates visitors with its unique formation.

Located just nine miles north of Scranton in Lackawanna County, Archbald Pothole State Park is easily accessible from Interstate 81. Its proximity to major transportation routes makes it an ideal destination for locals and tourists alike seeking to explore the natural attractions of Pennsylvania.

Key Takeaways

  • Archbald Pothole State Park is home to the impressive Archbald Pothole, a 38-foot deep geologic formation.
  • The park covers an area of 150 acres and is located in Lackawanna County, northeastern Pennsylvania.
  • The Archbald Pothole was formed during the Wisconsin Glacial Period approximately 15,000 years ago.
  • Access to the park is convenient, with its proximity to Interstate 81 and the city of Scranton.
  • Visitors can explore the park’s hiking trails, picnic areas, and engage in wildlife spotting activities.

Essential Information

archbald pothole state park

When planning a visit to Archbald Pothole State Park, it is important to be aware of some essential information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

The park is open to the public from the second Friday in April until the third Saturday in November. It offers day use areas that close at dusk, allowing visitors to make the most of their daylight hours exploring the park’s natural wonders.

Additionally, Archbald Pothole State Park is ADA accessible, with accommodations available for individuals with disabilities. The park strives to provide an inclusive environment where everyone can enjoy the beauty and serenity offered by nature.

In the event of an emergency, visitors should call 911 and seek assistance from a park employee. The nearest hospital, Geisinger Community Medical Center, is located in Scranton and can provide necessary medical care if needed.

Park Highlights

archbald pothole state park

When visiting Archbald Pothole State Park, there are two main highlights that shouldn’t be missed. The first is the remarkable Archbald Pothole itself, a geologic marvel that has fascinated visitors for decades. This deep, elliptical pothole offers a captivating sight, and visitors can experience it from a secure, fenced observation deck that provides a unique perspective.

Another noteworthy highlight of the park is the strip mine reclamation on its eastern side, which has been transformed into athletic fields in Ed Staback Park. This showcases the successful efforts of restoring and repurposing previously used land, providing recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

These park highlights truly embody the unique natural and geologic attractions that Archbald Pothole State Park has to offer.


Hiking trail at Archbald Pothole State Park

Archbald Pothole State Park offers a range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you prefer hiking, picnicking, or wildlife spotting, there is something for everyone at this picturesque park.

Hiking Trails

The highlight of Archbald Pothole State Park is the one-mile loop trail known as the Archbald Pothole Trail. This scenic trail takes hikers through a former coal mine tram road, past impressive rock ledges, and through a dense forest. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the park’s natural beauty while immersing yourself in its rich history.

Picnic Areas

For those looking to relax and enjoy a meal amidst nature, Archbald Pothole State Park provides picnic areas with scenic views. Set up a picnic blanket, unwind, and savor your meal while surrounded by the park’s serene atmosphere and breathtaking landscape.

Wildlife Spotting

Archbald Pothole State Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for various bird species, including songbirds and woodpeckers, as you explore the park. With a little luck, you may also spot white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, and chipmunks going about their daily routines, adding to the park’s natural charm.

Whether you’re seeking an adventurous hike, a peaceful picnic, or a chance to connect with nature, Archbald Pothole State Park has it all. Explore the park’s hiking trails, unwind at the picnic areas, and keep your camera handy for capturing glimpses of the abundant wildlife.

Exploring the Area

Tannersville Cranberry Bog

After visiting Archbald Pothole State Park, I highly recommend exploring the surrounding area to discover more natural attractions. One nearby gem is the Tannersville Cranberry Bog, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of a low altitude boreal bog. This unique ecosystem is home to carnivorous plants, rare orchids, and other fascinating plant species. It’s a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

For those looking to continue their outdoor adventures, there are several other parks and trails in proximity to Archbald Pothole State Park. Hickory Run State Park boasts the impressive Boulder Field, a natural wonder formed by glacial deposits. The park is also known for its hiking trails, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and valleys.

If you’re in the mood for more hiking and multi-use trails, Lackawanna State Park is another fantastic option. With its diverse range of trails, you can choose a route that suits your preferences and enjoy a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike. The park’s picturesque surroundings make it perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Water enthusiasts will be delighted to know that Tobyhanna State Park offers boating and water activities. Whether you prefer kayaking, canoeing, or fishing, this park offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the tranquil waters and stunning scenery.


Natural Attraction Description
Tannersville Cranberry Bog A low altitude boreal bog with unique flora, such as carnivorous plants and rare orchids.
Hickory Run State Park Home to the impressive Boulder Field and offers picturesque hiking trails.
Lackawanna State Park Features diverse hiking and multi-use trails for all skill levels.
Tobyhanna State Park Offers boating and water activities in a serene natural setting.

Services and Facilities

archbald pothole state park

Archbald Pothole State Park is dedicated to providing visitors with top-notch services and facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re coming to marvel at the pothole or explore the park’s natural beauty, we have you covered.

I believe that offering exceptional services is essential to surpassing visitor expectations. By providing convenient amenities and well-maintained facilities, we strive to create a positive and memorable visit for all.

– Park Manager, Archbald Pothole State Park


When visiting Archbald Pothole State Park, you’ll find a convenient parking lot located near the pothole. This allows for easy access to the park, making it hassle-free to start your exploration.


We understand the importance of comfort during your visit, which is why we provide clean and easily accessible restrooms for public use throughout the park. You can take a break and freshen up whenever needed.


Archbald Pothole State Park is committed to inclusivity. We provide ADA accessible paths and facilities, ensuring that everyone can fully enjoy the park’s natural wonders. If you have any specific accessibility needs, please do not hesitate to reach out to our friendly park staff.

Overnight Accommodations and Camping

While we offer various day-use facilities, it’s important to note that Archbald Pothole State Park does not provide overnight accommodations or camping facilities. However, there are nearby options for those looking to extend their stay and explore the surrounding area.

With our convenient parking, accessible restrooms, and a commitment to making everyone feel welcome, Archbald Pothole State Park aims to provide exceptional services and facilities to enhance your visit to this extraordinary natural wonder.

Park History and Planning Your Visit

Archbald Pothole State Park holds a fascinating history that traces its roots back to 1884 when it was stumbled upon by diligent coal miners. Recognizing its natural and geological significance, the state of Pennsylvania acquired the park in 1961 to preserve its unique features. Today, visitors can explore the park’s 150 acres and discover the wonders that have captivated generations.

When planning a visit to Archbald Pothole State Park, it’s essential to be aware of its seasonal closure. From the third Saturday in November to the second Friday in April, the park is not accessible to the public. To ensure a smooth trip, it is recommended to check the park office for facility seasons and hours. With its convenient location along Business Route 6, the park offers accessibility for both locals and tourists looking to embark on a memorable adventure.

During your visit, immerse yourself in the park’s rich history and geological wonders. Discover the impressive Archbald Pothole, a deep and elliptical geologic formation, and marvel at its remarkable features from the fenced observation deck. Engaging in outdoor activities is also highly recommended. Take a hike along the Archbald Pothole Trail, which guides you through former coal mine tram roads, rock ledges, and a lush forest. Make sure to set aside time for a relaxing picnic surrounded by nature’s bounty.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a nature lover, Archbald Pothole State Park will captivate your senses and offer an unforgettable experience. With its rich history, diverse landscapes, and an abundance of outdoor activities, this park showcases the beauty of Pennsylvania’s natural attractions. Plan your visit to Archbald Pothole State Park and embark on a journey of exploration, discovery, and appreciation for Mother Nature’s wonders.


Is Archbald Pothole State Park open year-round?

No, the park is open from the second Friday in April until the third Saturday in November.

What are the park’s hours of operation?

The park’s day use areas close at dusk.

Is Archbald Pothole State Park accessible for individuals with disabilities?

Yes, the park is ADA accessible, and accommodations can be made for individuals with disabilities.

What should I do in case of an emergency at the park?

In case of an emergency, visitors should call 911 and contact a park employee. The nearest hospital is Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton.

What is the main highlight of Archbald Pothole State Park?

The main highlight of the park is the Archbald Pothole, a unique geologic formation that can be viewed from a fenced observation deck.

What activities are available at Archbald Pothole State Park?

The park offers a one-mile loop trail called the Archbald Pothole Trail, picnic areas, and opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.

What other natural attractions are nearby?

Nearby attractions include the Tannersville Cranberry Bog, Hickory Run State Park’s Boulder Field, Lackawanna State Park, and Tobyhanna State Park.

Does Archbald Pothole State Park have overnight accommodations or camping facilities?

No, the park does not have any overnight accommodations or camping facilities.

Can you provide some information about the park’s history?

Archbald Pothole State Park was discovered in 1884 by coal miners and was later acquired by the state of Pennsylvania in 1961 to preserve its natural and geological significance.

When is the best time to visit the park?

The park is open from the second Friday in April until the third Saturday in November. It is ideal to plan your visit during this period.

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