From mountain hiking to paintball skirmishes, this central Pennsylvania resort area offers a great combination of outdoor adventures and man-made thrills.
For decades the Pocono Mountains have been a popular place for east coast U.S. residents to go for a peaceful vacation away from hectic city life. You can still find peace and quiet, but now there are more attractions to keep you busy too.
Explore 2,400 square miles (6,216 square kilometers) of forested mountains with beautiful landscape views. Hike, rock climb, mountain bike, hunt, fish, camp, ski and enjoy nature. Boat on, swim in, or parasail over Lake Wallenpaupack with its 52 miles (84 kilometers) of shoreline. Enjoy a whitewater challenge on the Lehigh or Delaware rivers. Hike the Lehigh Gorge to reach Glen Onoko Falls.
Be sure to try some of the area’s man-made attractions too. Ride Kittatinny Canoes’ 3,000-foot (914-meter) zip line to experience the thrill of gliding through treetops at 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour and 150 feet (46 meters) above the ground. At the Blue Mountain Ski Area, try out the 2,000-foot (609-meter) Olympic luge, shoulder-to-shoulder with Olympic athletes in training.
For even greater speed, become a stock car racer. At Pocono Raceway, you don’t just watch Sprint Cup racing, you actually drive the track with your 600-horsepower engine taking you to speeds up to 160 miles (257 kilometers) per hour.
Get behind a team of huskies to dogsled through the mountains from your home base at Skytop Lodge. This isn’t just a winter sport. Dogs also guide a summer dry land “sled,” which is actually a golf cart.
Visit No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford for a tour that shows how coal was mined to support the coal and steel industries in central Pennsylvania.
Go antiquing in the many quaint villages scattered throughout the region. Golf at one of the 30 golf courses. Or, test your skill at Skirmish, the world’s largest paintball fields with 50 courses over 700 acres (283 hectares), including a variety of themed games with obstacles and props.
All of the activities in the Pocono Mountains are best accessed by car. Most sites include parking in the activity fees.