Summer may be prime vacation time for beach locations, but fall is the most impressive season in the Poconos. Maples, oaks and birch trees explode with color, their leaves bursting in gold and crimson until the winter drop. It’s the time for sipping hot cider and breaking out the sweaters. If you’re headed to the Poconos in Pennsylvania this fall, here are a few of the activities and sights to expect.
Fall into Adventure
With 5,500 acres to explore, there’s no shortage of Instagram-worthy imagery at Skytop Lodge. Resort guests can hike or bike 30 miles of woodland trails, go kayaking in the onsite lake or score a one-of-a-kind view of colorful fall foliage on a zipline ride through the treetops. Adventurous types will also appreciate the 33-foot rock climbing wall and active pursuits like archery tag (think Dodgeball with arrows) and paintball. If you’re in town on Sunday, October 8, check out the annual Harvest Lake Stroll. The afternoon event, which runs from noon to 3 p.m., includes a self-guided tour through the beautiful fall foliage plus food and wine tastings. Food options range from charcuterie and roasted pig to savory truffled mac n’ cheese, while California’s Ferrari-Carano and Frog’s Leap are among the wineries sampling their vino onsite. Tickets are $65 per person, which includes wine; click here to purchase.
A Vine View
With its lush greenery and regular rains, the Pocono Mountains region has stellar soil for growing grapes. The Poconos is home to seven relatively new wineries, including Mountain View and Rowan Asher Winery (RAW) in Stroudsburg. RAW is also the state’s first hard cider maker, with brews made from local apples and organic herbs. Many of the wineries offer daily tastings and tours of the vineyards, which are especially beautiful in the fall. And, of course, you can buy a bottle and bring it home to your room at Skytop Lodge for an in-room nightcap. Visit the Poconos Wine Trail site for store hours, details and a driving map of all seven wineries (including one across the New Jersey border).
Claws N’ Paws Animal Park isn’t your typical zoo. Guests can get up close and personal with many of the animals at the family fun park, including parrots, tortoises and tall, lanky giraffes. The park is home to more than 120 species of exotic animals – lions, tigers, bears, you name it. Kids especially love the Dinosaur Outpost, an interactive exhibit with dino replicas. They’re not exactly Jurassic Park, but little ones can get their picture atop a triceratops statue or participate in a dinosaur dig for bones. Tip: You’ll need cash to feed the animals (and your family) so stop at an ATM in nearby Hamlin before you arrive.
Cruise the Lake
Lake Wallenpaupack is one of the top destinations for boating and fishing in the Poconos. While there are plenty of boat rentals available around the lake, visitors who want an easy, short trip can take a short 50-minute cruise around the lake. Your guide will talk about the history of the area and the lake, as you leisurely observe the fall foliage dotting the shore. Early fall is the perfect time for this trip, before the weather gets too chilly.
Start Your Adventure
The Pocono Mountains are scenic year-round, especially in fall when the colors blaze and the weather cools off. Skytop Lodge is the area’s premier resort destination, with plentiful access to nature and picturesque views that take your breath away. Contact Skytop Lodge at 855-345-7759 or online to get your Poconos vacation planning in the works.