Running Wild With Jen Mathiesen: Seven Tubs Nature Area


A photo taken from the wooden bridge crossing the channels.

Jen Mathiesen, Web Editor

Do you crave adventure? Enjoy Mother Nature’s beauty? Want to make your own decisions and escape for awhile?

Then head to the Seven Tubs Nature area, located on Bear Creek Boulevard in Wilkes-Barre. The park gets its name from the seven channels of water that lead into swirling tub-like pools, fed by the Wheelbarrow Run stream. The best time of year to go see the area is during summer weekends and wet spring weekdays. The water is much more full during these times, yet the area is still beautiful with even little amounts of water.

It takes approximately 20 minutes with normal traffic to get to “the Tubs,” as it’s affectionately known to locals. To get into the nature area, you must make a sharp right turn off of Route 115.

The large wooden sign pictured can be seen at the top of the hill at the entrance of the nature area. Seven Tubs Nature Area is a part of State Game Lands 292, which is roughly a 527 acre Luzerne County Park.

The area is open from dawn to dusk. When you enter, follow the road and you will see three different parking areas.   I found that the one at the bottom on the right is the best place to park because the hike starts a few feet from there.

The hike is about a half of a mile long, and it takes about an hour to complete the loop. However, this location is  picturesque, so if you enjoy taking nature and wildlife photography, expect to take additional time to snap shots. Or, if your roommates like to venture off in opposite directions like mine did, you may need to devote a little more time to finding them.

There are two marked trails: the blue blazes and yellow blazes. These trail markings set a general route for the visitor to take, but my roommates and I found that you are able to decide your own direction and go wherever you please. The area has a few bridges and man-made entities, but besides those, the paths are clear of general obstacles. Still, make sure to still proceed with caution and pick up your feet so you don’t trip over the various rocks and roots on the trail. Wear footwear that offers support and traction, although I hiked the path in my Crocs just fine! Please be aware that there are no fences to block you from the edges of the ledges on the channel walls.

Seven Tubs Nature Area is not just a park; it offers a lot of unique features. My roommates and I came across a little door built into a tree. As we continued farther into the trail, we found a second little door built into another tree. After the hike, I did some research and discovered that the person who makes them had a Facebook page called the “Fairy, Elf, and Gnome Carpenters Guild.” “Building homes for wee lil folk everywhere,” the “about” section said. Apparently these little doors are placed in various locations surrounding the area.  A second unique feature further along the trail, are railroad tracks, which are part of the Susquehanna Railroad.

The wildlife is abundant, and you can see and hear many types of animals. It is said to be a very popular area for bird watching. The only animals I saw on my trip were my roommates running wild all over the place (or in the case of my friend Courtney, falling all over the place).

Seven Tubs Nature Area is a wonderful escape. As soon as you walk into the trail-head, a hand-built wooden bridge welcomes you with the natural flow of water underneath your feet. Mother Nature’s natural beauty will undeniably captivate you.

I suggest making a day of it, taking the time to explore wherever the wind takes you. We only went for a couple of hours, but we could have happily lingered. I also suggest having a plan for food to eat when you are finished with your adventure.

So get  some friends and travel the short distance to Seven Tubs Nature Area. It is a wonderful place to explore the beautiful outdoors and relieve some stress.