The Pocono Mountains are located in quiet and scenic northeastern Pennsylvania. When you visit, you’ll hardly believe that it’s less than a 2-hour drive from bustling New York City. Here are some of the highlights for your stay in the Poconos:
Best Things to Do
The Poconos are great for people who love to be active in all seasons.
The most obvious choice is to take advantage of this snowy winter locale for excellent skiing and snowboarding with over 185 slopes and trails at places like Blue Mountain, Camelback, Big Bear, Big Boulder, Shawnee and Jack Frost. You can also go snow tubing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even learn how to mush a team of Siberian Huskies with Arctic Paws Dog Sled Tours! Adventure Center at Skytop Lodge hosts many of these activities, as well as luge and toboggan runs for something new.
For summer fun, The Poconos abound with outdoor activities. The mountainous area boasts 150 lakes. Check out Lake Wallenpaupack for canoeing, kayaking, sailing lessons, jetskiing, a leisurely boat tour and much more. If you’re up for something more adventurous, go whitewater rafting or tubing on the mildly rough Delaware or Lehigh Rivers.
For hiking, head to Bushkill Falls - the Niagara of Pennsylvania - to see eight brilliant cascading waterfalls from trails marked by level of difficulty. The Yellow Trail, a moderate hike, is an excellent 45-minute walk that passes several of the falls. Kids will enjoy the paddle boats, miniature golf and gemstone mining.
For alternate means of transportation, rent bikes and spend a day in nature at the Lehigh Gorge State Park in White Haven or the Gouldsboro State Park in tiny Tobyhanna, or go horseback riding at scenic Sugar Mountain Stable in Bushkill.
Historic Sites and Sights
There’s plenty of fascinating history in The Poconos.
Take a tour of the Asa Packer Mansion in Jim Thorpe. This Victorian home was built in 1861 for railroad magnate and philanthropist Asa Packer. The tours are interesting and the inside is stunning - 95 percent of the furnishings are original. The Grey Towers in Milford is another historic home that architecture buffs will enjoy.
Visit Eckley Miners’ Village in Weatherly - a well-maintained ghost town and museum that offers a look into the lives of anthracite and coal miners of the past.
Take a ghost tour of the Old Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe if you like a good scare. The jail has a sordid Civil War-era past. Learn the tale of the handprint that just won’t go away!
See the Jim Thorpe Memorial - a commemoration and marking of the gravesite of one of the greatest athletes and Olympians the U.S. has ever seen.
If you’re in the area at the end of July or the beginning of August, don’t miss the two-week Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival. There are shows during the day and a live show almost every night in Buck Hills, Canadensis, East Stroudsburg or Skytop. There’s everything from opera to broadway favorites.
For a more quirky option for the foodie in you, head to the annual Pocono Garlic Festival in Shawnee every Labor Day weekend to sample garlicky foods, listen to music and visit over 50 unique vendors.
Take part in history at the Wayne County Fair, which has happened for over 150 consecutive years in Honesdale! It’s a major event, featuring harness horse racing, truck pulls, live country music, fair food and rides and games - a treat for the entire family.