The 486-acre former Rock Hill Boy Scout camp in Pike County has been acquired by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The camp, off Route 739 is about five miles southeast of Lords Valley in Dingman Township. It is next to, and will now be included in, the Delaware State Forest.
With the addition of the camp, the Delaware State Forest is 85,000 acres.
The land was used as a Boy Scout camp from the 1950s to the 1990s. It has an 18-acre natural lake with a small portion of shoreline cleared for swimming and canoeing.
The land buy, facilitated by Pike County, cost $1.2 million and was funded through DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program used for purchasing land. DCNR intends to remove many buildings and other camp infrastructure and return the land to a natural forest landscape.
“Although bordered on two sides by Delaware State Forest these lands are feeling the mounting pressure of surrounding development and increased use,” said DCNR Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti. “This addition will protect critical habitat and the watershed, and provide more opportunities for the public to enjoy the outdoors.”
Delaware State Forest, along with the neighboring 32,000-acre Lackawanna State Forest, is part of the Pocono Forests and Waters Conservation Landscape Initiative.
It is one of seven major land protection efforts underway across Pennsylvania. The regional initiatives partner with local governments, conservancies and residents with the DCNR and other state departments in long-term projects that promote sustainability, conservation, community revitalization and recreational projects.
The goal of regional initiative is to increase public and private land under conservation in the Poconos.