Taking time to plan breaks in working is incredibly important for any family or creative individual. For me, those breaks usually take the shape of time spent outdoors. We were fortunate to get some time in July to spend with extended family on Lake Harmony in the Pocono Mountains (in Pennsylvania). Our house was beautiful and the lake peaceful.
This little lake community has become a regular vacation spot for us over the last few years and it has been fun to explore. There is so much to do right around the lake with some state parks and small towns not too far away that are great for exploring. Here is just a sampling of some of the fun that we had together.
Juniper was in her glory waking up so close to the “beach” every morning and feeding the ducks. Our house had a wonderful backyard that led right to the water. A 6-foot wide patch of sand provided the perfect amount of beachfront for a two-year-old, and we visited that spot several times a day. We even had a few family jam/dance sessions there.
This beach also created a great launch area for the canoe and kayak that were available at our house. Singing “row, row, row” and paddling around the perimeter of the lake was one of the highlights of the trip – as canoeing has a special place in my heart. I spent a couple summers in Canada hiking and backpacking as a teen and have always wanted to make it back some day.
And if man-powered boating isn’t for you, you’re in luck. Lake Harmony Water Sports is right on the lake and will come pick you up. I had the opportunity to try my hand at wakeboarding for the first time. I was reluctant because all of my past water sport attempts were unsuccessful, but I was pleasantly surprised when I finally popped out of the water and up onto its surface (after several falls of course). It’s actually pretty cool! If wakeboarding isn’t your style they will also just pull you on a tube :).
One of the best parts of any summer trip for me is finding the local ice cream shop after dinner. Lake Harmony doesn’t disappoint! Hog Heaven ice cream is a quaint little shack with some excellent flavors and style. We frequented there more than once to fulfill our little one’s desire for ca-ca (chocolate) and our own hankering for some cold treats. After all what good is vacation if you can’t indulge a little?
In order to work off all of those sweet treats tho we did go on several hikes. The Poconos are littered with state parks that feature waterfalls (with cliff diving), boulder fields, lakes, and beautiful forests. Within a 12 minute drive from our house, we could be on several different well-manicured trails of various lengths. We visited at least 3 on this trip but have enjoyed others in years past.
One of the things I love about this area is that there is a little of something for (almost) anyone. On the last day at the lake, we took a little drive down to a town called Jim Thorpe. This little gem of a town features a historic prison with tours, train rides, and plenty of cute shopping. My favorite store in town is a letterpress shop that had all the right feels. Somersault Letterpress is run by Amy and Mitch. They have done an incredible job decorating their shop and sell some of the coolest pressed cards and goods. But on top of all that they also have several functioning letterpress machines to produce client work. They were so welcoming and I’m now a super fan of their shop!
It is really difficult to summarize all of the memories we made as a family at the lake and writing this post is making me really want to go back! Beyond all of the fun places and activities, we had a great time together as a family, time that I wouldn’t trade for anything. If you’re looking for an awesome place to hang for a week or even just a weekend I’d recommend you consider Lake Harmony.