Famous for its breathtaking views and rushing waterfalls, the Pocono Mountains are a year-round holiday spot. For a fun-filled Poconos experience in the winter, ski the slopes, ride s snowmobile or mush your own dogsled team. Enjoy the laurel blossoms that bloom in the spring or shop at the outlets or speciality stores. Orienteer your way through the mountains on horseback or by bike in the Pocono Mountains this summer. Tee off at a golf course or sample a micro brew this fall. Choose any, or all, of these activities for your perfect Poconos escape.
With 2,400 square miles encompassing northeast Pennsylvania's Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties, the Pocono Mountains region is home to rolling mountain terrain, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, thriving woodlands and 170 miles of winding rivers. Winters offer guests the opportunity to ski, snowboard, snow tube and even snowshoe their way through snowy wonderlands encompassing over 163 ski trails, while summers also cater to the active traveller allowing exploration of 261 miles of hiking and biking trails, over 35 golf courses, white-water rafting, boating, fishing and open access to nine state and two national parks.
Regions of the Pocono Mountains
The Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania is divided into five regions, Explore the different regions to find a perfect place to stay and discover the exhilarating things to do and refreshing things to see while visiting.
Upper Delaware River Region (Pike & Wayne Counties): What does combining two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen give you? In the Pocono Mountains, that is the recipe for nearly limitless recreational opportunities. When you head towards the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, you'll be headed towards fun. Stretching over 73 miles, the river courses along the Pennsylvania and New York border. This region is rustic and full of the great outdoors that the Pocono Mountains are known for. Learn to raft on its Class I and II rapids or watch for a bald eagle in winter.
The region offers gorgeous scenic roadways, surging white-water rapids and plenty to do for the outdoor enthusiast with countless areas for cross-country skiing, camping and hiking, snowmobiling, bird and eagle watching, biking or just sight-seeing and relaxing. Villages, historic buildings, remnants of a once-busy canal, the nation's oldest existing wire cable suspension bridge and home of author Zane Grey are some of the river valley's sights. Part of the Anthracite coal region, the Upper Delaware River Region was strategic for transporting coal from the area by rail and canal to southern states. The Upper Delaware River Region is a diverse blend of nature, history and culture that yearns to be explored.
Lake Region (Pike & Wayne Counties): The Lake Region of the Pocono Mountains has been a popular vacation destination for many decades offering more than 100 lakes, streams, creeks, rivers and ponds with opportunities for boating, sailing, fishing and swimming, as well as thousands of acres of woods filled with an abundant variety of wildlife. For the outdoor enthusiast, you can enjoy everything that the four seasons has to offer.
The Lake Region surrounds stunning Lake Wallenpaupack, a man-made lake built in 1927 covering 5,700 acres and 13 ½ miles in length with 52-miles of uninterrupted shoreline. Its activities are as endless as its shoreline and are sure to please the whole family as you play the day away. The lake has six public recreation areas featuring hundreds of acres of forest lands, wildlife, walking trails, campsites and boat slips. Outfitters also offer paddleboats, jet skies or boats to help you make the most of your experience.
Whatever the season, the Lake Region has a special appeal. Visitors to this region will want to venture through a wild animal park, play a round of golf, ride the rails of history or even try horseback riding. Dining in the Lake Region offers something for every taste and budget with tempting menus. After dinner, be sure to explore the region surrounding the lake, especially the nearby recreational cooking school. Stroll through the nearby towns of Hawley and Honesdale for quaint shops and rare antiques.
Delaware River Region (Monroe & Pike Counties): The Delaware River Region is your scenic and historic gateway to the legendary Pocono Mountains and the Appalachian Trail. It's an area filled with forests, lakes and mountains, in addition to comfortable accommodations and recreation attractions. Whether you are looking for a nature getaway, an active vacation, a memorable convention or a pampered rest, this region offers something for you.
Familiar to many as home to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the key word is recreation. This region offers something for everyone, in particular, a chance to naturally unwind. Containing approximately 67,000 acres of valley, 40 miles of river adventure, 100 miles of trails and 200 miles of scenic drives, you are sure to enjoy time with family and friends, all while being in the midst of a natural, pristine environment. Activities, such as, canoeing, rafting, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, bird watching, eagle observation, golfing, hunting, skiing, snowshoeing and horseback riding are all available from the Delaware Water Gap, north to the town of historic Milford.
Mountain Region (Monroe County): The Mountain Region is a great place to explore during your vacation in the Pocono Mountains. The natural beauty, lush woodlands, clear lakes, waterfalls and abundant wildlife that first attracted Native Americans to the region continue to attract people of all walks of life.
Renowned for its downhill skiing or snowboarding, tubing down the slopes and other winter fun, the Mountain Region is a gem in the summer months too, especially with its water parks and unique shopping venues including country stores and craft, antique and specialty shops.
Make time for a visit to an art gallery in one of the downtowns like Stroudsburg or East Stroudsburg. Or take a drive down a back country road with views of mountains or through beautiful vistas to your country accommodations. Be sure to explore Sullivan's Trail, reaching from Tannersville to Pocono Pines and part of General John Sullivan's famous march in 1778 from Easton, Pennsylvania to New York City, New York. This trail leads visitors to the road that scales Big Pocono State Park leading to Big Pocono Mountain, one of the highest points in the Poconos.
Make sure to put your palate to the test at the area's wine tasting vineyard. Sipping homemade wine, while breathing in the crisp mountain air will provide an unforgettable experience, which no other region can offer. With many championship golf courses, this area also provides a challenge to golfers at any level. With legendary designers such as Donald Ross and Jack Nicklaus, the beauty and detail of these courses is undeniable.
Lehigh River Gorge Region (Carbon County): The region's recreation and exploration options are as plentiful as the anthracite coal that has shaped the area's history since its discovery in 1791. This discovery laid the groundwork for the region's development as a coal producer, a railroad centre and a land of opportunity for many immigrants from the British Isles and the Slavic nations of Europe.
Today, the region offers clear lakes, wide-open countryside and rugged mountains, perfect for year-round, outdoor activity.
Winter visitors can find pleasure in skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and snowmobiling. During spring and summer, visitors enjoy white-water rafting, hiking, picnicking, swimming, fishing and especially biking the uninterrupted 25-mile trail that travels downhill from White Haven to Jim Thorpe along the Lehigh River. In the fall, three state parks and two recreation areas provide prime fall foliage viewing. In particular, the 4,548-acre Lehigh Gorge State Park is well known as a deep gorge with steep walls, thick vegetation, rock outcroppings and many waterfalls.
In the heart of the Lehigh River Gorge Region lies picturesque Jim Thorpe (formerly known as Mauch Chunk), which offers historic sites, museums, unique shopping boutiques, antiquing, dining and more. The Lehigh River Gorge Region is the perfect destination for the avid historian or recreation seeker and is known best for its history, fabulous views and recreational activities.
Purely Pennsylvania’s top things to do in the Poconos:
You can fulfil all of your holiday needs, from the fast-paced excitement of your favourite outdoor activity, to the exceptional performances of the theatres and concerts. Tour a living history museum in the morning, unwind at a brew pub in the afternoon and dine in an elegant restaurant in the evening. Ski the slopes of a resort by day and relax in a historic hotel or B&B at night. Browse countless antique shops or search for a bargain at an outlet store. Stretch out on a sandy beach at a lake or marvel at the sights while floating down a river. You can always take in a learning experience such as instructional outings at a cooking school.
Outlet centre featuring over 100 designer and name brand outlet stores offering savings of 25% to 65% everyday. Located off Exit 299 off Interstate 80 in Tannersville. Open year-round except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Pocono Manor Stables is located within The Inn at Pocono Manor in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. With a newly renovated barn and expanded services, a visit to the Pocono Manor would not be complete without a horse ride through the beautiful woodlands. With 3,000 acres in a magnificent setting, well trained horses, and a staff of professional guides, Pocono Manor Stables offers the perfect adventure.
The "Niagara of Pennsylvania", Bushkill Falls is among the Keystone State's most famous scenic attractions. This unique series of eight waterfalls, nestled deep in the wooded Pocono Mountains, is accessible through an excellent network of hiking trails and bridges which afford fabulous views of the falls and the surrounding forest.
Hiking the trails and viewing the towering 100-foot Main Falls are not the only activities possible on the expansive grounds of Bushkill Falls. Check out the Pennsylvania Wildlife Exhibit, Native American Exhibit, fish Twin Lakes, visit our variety of gift shops, stop at the Fudge Kitchen for delectable sweets in the Wagon Wheel Pavilion, take a paddle-boat ride, or enjoy a round of miniature golf.
Wander the Old Jail's cold hallways, past Cell 17 with its mysterious handprint on the wall, under the gallows on which seven of the accused Molly Maguire’s were put to death, and down into the eerie dungeon. Resembling a fortress standing guard over the town of Jim Thorpe, the historic Old Jail Museum is a beautiful two-story stone structure with 72 rooms that include 27 cells. For the past 15 year the jail has been open for tours with many visitors reporting ghostly tales of strange smells, strange voices, disturbing feelings and ghostly images.
Ride by rail 1600’ into the earth and tour the No. 9 Mine - the world’s oldest continually operated anthracite coal mine (1855-1972). Visitors will also find the Wash House (Shanty) just as it stood when it was built in 1923. In the Mine, visitors get to inspect a 900’ deep mine shaft and see a coal miner’s hospital cut right into the earth. The Wash Shanty Museum houses the region’s largest collection of mining memorabilia. This museum is the Panther Valley’s “family attic” filled with equipment and artefacts of the anthracite coal industry. Members and staff of the Panther Creek Valley Foundation look forward to taking you on a stroll into centuries past.
This 70,000-acre park is named for the point at which the Delaware River cuts through Kittatinny Mountain.
For 40 miles the Middle Delaware River passes between low forested mountains with barely a house in sight. Then the river cuts through the mountain ridge to form the famed "Water Gap." Exiting the park, the river will run 200 miles more to Delaware Bay at Wilmington, Delaware, and then to the Atlantic Ocean.
Experience wonder in this hands-on family attraction with live butterflies, real poison Dart Fogs, interactive displays, children’s Art Space and nature-based gift shop. Watch a wonderful video, enjoy a fascinating mini-program, hand feed butterflies.
The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway operates train excursions from historic Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania into the beautiful Lehigh Gorge State Park. On the 16-mile narrated round trip you will be riding the former mainline of the Jersey Central Lines leaving Jim Thorpe. The line swings onto the former Lehigh Valley main line before passing Glen Onoko. From here the Jersey Central track is long abandoned, and is now the state park trail. Glen Onoko is the south gateway to the park. You will follow the winding Lehigh River, rounding curve after curve until reaching Old Penn Haven.
Nestled in the base of Camelback Mountain, part of the Pocono Mountains, the sprawling Camel beach Water Park features a slew of attractions, with 30 water slides including the Triple Venom speed slides, the twin bowl rides, Vortex and Spin Cycle, and the mat racing slide, Chequered Flag Challenge. For those who prefer tamer thrills, the park offers the Blue Nile Adventure River, an 100-foot-long lazy river, and the Kahuna Lagoon Wave Pool. And for the kids, there's Camel Cove and Pharaoh's Phortress, two interactive play area with waterfalls, kiddie slides, kid-activated sprayers, and tipping buckets.
It's Time for Golf in the Pocono Mountains... Discover the Game's Great Destination Secret!
Welcome to Pocono Golf - where Arnie met Winnie, the courses on which Masters Champion Art Wall honed his game, a destination where bears are as prevalent as birdies, the site of a memorable PGA Championship - roughly 90 minutes from New York City. Yet the lush mountain golf, spellbinding scenery and lingering presence of legends transport one back to a time when players like Walter Hagen, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson reigned supreme.
Golf has been a cornerstone. Sprawled out over four counties, the Pocono Mountains features iconic course designs by Donald Ross and A.W. Tillinghast - including his first-ever design - and evokes memories of the Golden Age of Golf Course Architecture, when this destination first sparkled. It continues to glow today thanks to the complementary addition of modern championship layouts by Jack Nicklaus and Rocky Roquemore.
The area's mix of playing venues and styles is diverse and challenges better players while offering less imposing options for beginners - the Poconos has something that will satisfy every golfer’s wants and needs. A venerable destination like this could rest on its collective laurels, but it continues to evolve. Through adding new golf amenities and courses, implementing environmentally preserving and wildlife-saving practices, restoring historic clubhouses and building new ones, the Pocono Mountains has become the great golf-and-resort lifestyle destination secret in the Northeast.
An angler can visit the Pocono Mountains region for an entire month and never fish the same water twice. It's the lure of great fishing in an awe-inspiring setting that brings more fishing enthusiasts back to the Pocono Mountains each year. If you enjoy fishing then you will love casting into the thousands of acres of lakes and hundreds of miles of streams in the Pocono Mountains. Lake Wallenpaupack is the third largest man-made lake located entirely in Pennsylvania and has become one of the Poconos' most treasured recreation areas.
The Pocono Mountains is famous for its active, outdoor lifestyle and its huge variety of recreational opportunities. But exercise is only part of the equation. The body needs pampering after exertion. And for that, the Poconos is a dream-come-true. Rich in health and wellness options, from destination spas and day spas to yoga classes and fitness clubs, the Pocono region is a genuine paradise for spas. Treatments range from every style of massage to wraps, chocolate scrubs, acupressure in water and beyond.
The Seasons of the Pocono Mountains
Spring blooms best in the Pocono Mountains with the colour and fragrance of the beautiful Mountain Laurel that cascade down the hillsides, frame the rushing creeks and outline the clear mountain lakes in faint pink blossoms. As the days get warmer, the Pocono Mountains heats up with a resurgence of many outdoor activities. Spring is in the air and life is reborn. With the change of season comes the change in attitudes. Pleasures abound as once-bare trees and meadows burst into a riot of blooms. The melting snow and spring rains cause white-water to rush down from the top of the mountains creating excellent white-water rafting conditions, especially on the winding Delaware and Lehigh Rivers. Fun-seekers delight in white-water rafting, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, golfing, hiking, mountain biking and tennis. A season of wine, food and ethnic festivals, shopping and pampering awaits, as well. Recap the benefits of spring with plenty of adventure, fun and relaxation.
Summers cater to the active traveller allowing exploration of 261 miles of hiking and biking trails, 170 miles of winding rivers and over 35 golf courses. For cool and refreshing summer fun, crystal clear rivers and lakes, including Lake Wallenpaupack, one of Pennsylvania's largest lakes, offer unsurpassed sailing, boating, water skiing, jet skiing and scenic dinner cruises.
t's a time when the Pocono Mountains come alive with family fun parks and attractions, summer theatres, museums, county fairs and concerts. Experience new tastes and great music at a wine, food or ethnic festival. Catch a rising star at a Pocono Mountains nightspot. Take a lazy tube ride down a winding river. Watch a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display. Have a picnic lunch at a waterfall. Rise above it all on a scenic air tour of the Pocono Mountains. Go jump in one of the Pocono Mountains 150 lakes or indoor/outdoor water parks. If you're feeling a little adventurous, play paintball or go stock car racing at the raceway. Escape back to nature on a canoeing, rafting, fishing or camping trip. Check out an arts and crafts fair. For a more laid back experience, sightseeing on horseback or a scenic, historic train ride may fit the bill.
Fall in the Pocono Mountains offers visitors brilliant shows of colour and fun for the whole family. To help you catch the foliage at its peak of colour, call the fall foliage hotline (in season) at (570) 421-5565 which provides weekly updates on when the leaves are at their spectacular best, from mid-September through the end of October. Savour fall's breathtaking foliage in the Pocono Mountains with a leisurely horseback ride, afternoon hike or a chairlift ride at one of our ski areas. Or, take a hayride, mountain bike or even old-fashioned train ride through a colourful canopy of flaming colours. There are many delightful scenic driving routes through the Pocono Mountains. Fall is the perfect time for a drive through our quaint towns in search of the perfect antiques, or a trip to a farm stand or pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Bring some friends to a county fair, hot air balloon, lumberjack, arts and crafts festival, or get in that last round of golf.
Enjoying winter sports is among the many ways to spend a winter day in the Pocono Mountains. Eight major ski areas are located in the Poconos. For fantastic downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding, the Pocono Mountains are among the best in the East. From upgrades and new facilities to technologically advanced grooming equipment, fully-stocked rental shops and better trails, the Pocono Mountains' ski areas are offering winter visitors a new and thrilling winter recreational experience. Over 185 slopes and trails beckon, from steep expert slopes with challenging moguls, moderate trails for intermediates to cruise and gentle confidence building beginner hills for learning, to awesome terrain parks and Half-Pipes for snowboarders. Other popular winter activities in the region include dog sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating, sleigh riding, snowshoeing, tobogganing and more. Or if you'd rather cosy up by the fireplace, you can enjoy this winter wonderland from indoors. Visitors can enjoy a bevy of indoor entertainment, whether it be dining at one of the region's unique restaurants, cosying up by the fire at one of the areas many resorts, inns or bed and breakfasts, shopping for bargains at outlet malls or taking a visit to one of the region's cultural and historical attractions.
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