Local destinations to help clear your mind

It’s the time when – amidst growing piles of papers and tests – a desire starts to grow called wanderlust. Commonly defined by scholars and students alike as an innate desire for travel, wanderlust emerges with the changing of the season and nearing end of the semester. Well, wanderlusters, you’re in luck, because a 2011 study at the University of Illinois proved that a break from studies makes the brain work more effectively. If you’re looking for options for a daytrip or hike, here are a few in our area of PA:

1. Ringing Rocks, Upper Black Eddy (1:40 from Wilkes)

True to its name, Ringing Rocks consists of a boulder field where striking the rocks actually causes them to ring in various metallic tones. Bringing a hammer or different objects is suggested, but not required because there are several smaller rocks that can be used to elicit music from the boulders. Sites like this typically require a challenging hike to reach the boulders, but Ringing Rocks has a parking lot located only a short .25 miles from the field.

2. Mauch Chunk Lake, Jim Thorpe (1 hour from Wilkes)

A combination of lake scenery and secluded trails make Mauch Chunk a perfect trip for groups with diverse interests. A boat rental is located on site for kayaking and canoeing, and although prices vary during the season, they tend to fall around $12/hr. Mauch Chunk Lake Park is located just minutes from the town of Jim Thorpe, filled with coffee and ice cream shops and other attractions.

3. Ricketts Glen State Park, Benton, (1 hour from Wilkes)

While the weather  is warming up, so are the 21 falls located in Ricketts Glen State Park. Trails vary in distance and difficulty, with one of the longest making a full loop of the trails in 7.2 miles. Several trails connect so that hikers can see the falls without taking the longest loop.

4. The Pinnacle, Berks County (1:20 from Wilkes)

The Pinnacle is the local high point on the Blue Ridge Mountains, centered between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Most routes to this spot are around 6 miles, but the uphill hike will be worth the view. Pharmacy majors Amanda Gingrich, Dylan Smith, Dylan Fox and Aaron Knopp recently visited this spot and captured great shots of their view.

5. World’s End State Park, Forksville (1:20 from Wilkes)

Listed by the PA Department of Nature Resources and Conservation as a “Must-See Pennsylvania State Park,” World’s End is full of captivating views and attractions. The park remains very wild and rugged, and although it tends to get hot in the summer, there are several swimming holes.