Covering almost 2,900 acres, Bruce Lake Natural Area is one of Pennsylvania’s special places. It features miles of trails, streams, diverse forests, large wetlands, and two lakes- Egypt Meadow and Bruce Lakes. Egypt Meadow was formed by a dam built by the CCC. This lake with its meandering shore, bays, and coves, is a favorite of paddlers willing to carry or tow by hand their boat in from the parking area. Bruce Lake is the gem of the natural area- a lake formed by glaciers, completely spring fed with clear water. Both lakes are undeveloped and can only be reached by hiking. Both are very scenic.
I had been here a few years ago. I decided to return, with plans to hike an 8 mile loop. We began by hiking to Egypt Meadow Lake as the trees began to turn orange and yellow. The trail crossed the outlet of the dam and wrapped around the lake. We saw the swampy inlet of the lake, all the trees were in full fall foliage with a spectrum of red and orange. The water in Egypt Meadow is red from tannin in the swamps. We continued on to Bruce Lake. This place is so beautiful. The lake is completely untouched and the water is so clear. We enjoyed the views of the lake from some small ledges on the north shore. Few natural lakes in Pennsylvania are undeveloped, or inaccessible to cars, making Bruce Lake that much more special.
We continued on our loop through brushy lowbush blueberries. We crossed the outlet of Bruce Lake where the trail was swampy. A descent to a stream followed with a meadow and beautiful forests of rhododendron, pine, and hemlock. In places, there were rhododendron tunnels, making this an ideal hike in early July when these plants bloom. We continued on the loop, returning to a hardwood forest and boulders along a private property line. The setting sun began to send shafts of light through the forest. The loop returned us to Egypt Meadow Lake, where we hiked along the west shore, enjoying more views of this serene spot. We completed the loop and returned to the car.
This loop is fairly easy with level and rolling terrain. I think it is one of the more enjoyable loops in the Poconos. The trails are in good shape, although some spots are wet or brushy. Various trails intersect this loop, where there are posts identifying the trails. We could hear traffic from I-84 along the northern part of the loop. Bruce Lake is a must-see since isolated, undeveloped, natural lakes are so rare. Promised Land State Park has a good trail map of the area.