Spend the day taking in the sights and sounds of nature at the Lacawac Sanctuary. The Lacawac Sanctuary, in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania, is a nature preserve that surrounds a 52-acre glacial lake. Lacawac Sanctuary was founded in 1966 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The sanctuary came about with the donation of 341 acres and now totals 545 acres. The mission of the sanctuary is to preserve the glacial lake, its watershed, surrounding forest, and historic buildings. Lacawac provides public education on environmental and conservation issues and they maintain a venue for ecological research, scholarly interaction and the training of scientists
Declared a National Natural Landmark, Lake Lacawac is free from development and is the southernmost glacial lake in the hemisphere. It has been referred to as “the southernmost unpolluted glacial lake in North America” due to the owners being careful to not allow wastewater into the lake. There are two areas surrounding the lake each with very different habitats to explore. The Natural Boreal Bog community is an undisturbed, relatively pollution-free wetland rich in plants. The region to the east and north consists of sand and rock. There are eight hiking trails on the grounds. These range from an easy one mile hike on the Historic Great Camp Trail to a more moderate hike on the 1.1 mile Lake Lacawac Trail to a difficult 2.9 mile hike on the Big Lake Trail.
Lacawac Sanctuary offers a few programs to get the community involved. Areas of interest include photography, art, habitats, and plants. Children can sign up for the sanctuary’s summer camp to experience outdoor learning and do hands-on activities. This year’s camp will be July 12th through the 18th. There are also events throughout the year at the sanctuary including the Lake to Lake 8k Trail Run and Woods Walk, Nature Fest and Tapas and Tunes and Toasts. On March 28th, join Jenna, the Sanctuary’s naturalist educator for Walkabout and Wonder starting at 10:00am. All ages will enjoy this guided hike around Lake Lacawac.
For a private event at the Sanctuary, the Carriage House and Watres Lodge make a beautiful spot for hosting a wedding any time of year. The Settler Inn in Hawley, Pennsylvania offers offsite catering for weddings at Lacawac Sanctuary. The rental area would also be a great location to host birthday parties, corporate events or family reunions. All rentals include lodging for up to 24 guests. The sanctuary is open daily from sunrise to sunset with visitors center open from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. For rental information, stop in or call 570-689-9494.
Just a short 20-minute drive from Lake Ariel is Hawley, PA where you will find the historic Pocono Mountains bed and breakfast, The Settlers Inn. Beautiful guest suites and an award-winning restaurant all await at this restored arts and crafts lodge. Let the outdoor adventures continue while here at the property as it is located in the Lake Wallenpaupack region and close to the outdoor recreation at Bingham Park.
Photo courtesy of Nicholas A. Tonelli