Lehigh Gorge, Jim Thorpe And Other Adventurous Activities Near Skytop Lodge  

Jan 26, 2021

The location of Skytop Lodge makes it the ideal place to visit in the Poconos. Not only do you have the ability to enjoy all of the onsite amenities we offer, but you’re also able to explore the surrounding region with ease. There’s plenty to do for anyone that loves nature and wants to spend some time relaxing in luxury. Explore the Lehigh Gorge, take the scenic railway, or go on a long bike trail ride to see the region up close.

Here are our recommendations for exploring the Pocono Mountains and the region. At Skytop Lodge, we’re happy to help you do it all.

Explore the Lehigh Gorge

Lehigh Gorge State Park is an exceptional place to visit. This gorge has deep, steep walls, carved out from thousands of years of the river moving through it. The vegetation is thick, and there are waterfalls throughout the area. The rocks themselves have unique shapes and patterns, creating a one-of-a-kind experience. The park itself follows the Lehigh River from the Francis E. Walter Dam all the way to Jim Thorpe, a town at the southern end of the park.

lehigh gorge | poconos activites | skytop lodge

When you are at Lehigh Gorge, you have the ability to explore the beauty of it, but you also get to enjoy a lot of adventure and fun along the way.

Do Some Whitewater Rafting

For those seeking true adventure, whitewater rafting and boating are among the most popular things to do. Choose the type of experience that’s right for your comfort level. There are several options for whitewater rafting including private trips perfect for adventure seekers. The flow of the river is monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along with streams that flow into the river from various regions. Take a look at some of the whitewater rafting experiences:

  • White Haven to Rockport is about 8.7 miles
  • Head from Rockport to Glen Onoko for about 12 miles
  • White Haven to Glen Onoko straight is almost 21 miles

Guided trips are also available. You can find several commercial options available here.

Bike the Rail Trail

One activity we love to recommend to our guests is biking the Lehigh Gorge Trail. This biking trail spans more than 20 miles along the river and is all downhill, so you can choose your speed. It takes about 3 – 5 hours to complete the full trail, so make sure to plan your day accordingly.

While here, you can check out the remnants of the Grand Section of the Lehigh Canal. It’s interesting to see just how much time has changed this area.

Don’t forget to see all of the wildlife surrounding you as well. There’s lots of it including snakes and lizards. Numerous birds are also seen throughout the area. It’s not uncommon to see animals right off the trail.

What else can you do at this state park? There’s lots to explore including:

  • Turn Hole Tunnel – This 1860s railroad tunnel has been abandoned since 1956, but you can walk through it from the Glen Onoko Trail. Within it are railroad ties you can walk over to get to the north overlook. You can see over into the river and even see some piers that remain in this area along the old bridge.
  • Explore the waterfalls – the Glen Onoko and Buttermilk Waterfalls are beautiful. Though the trail is best for more experienced hikers due to the conditions, with the right shoes and skills, you can hike up the 3.7 miles to see 50-foot waterfalls falling over the rocks.
  • Visit the No. 9 Mine & Museum. It’s a bit further away in Lansford but gives you the ability to check out a mine dating back to 1858. Learn more about the importance of mining in the area.
  • Do some fishing. Anglers will find the northern section of the river is stocked with trout. You will need a permit to do so, but it’s worth the exploration. There’s even a campground available nearby for those looking for an extended trip.

Take the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway to Jim Thorpe

The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway is the perfect way to see the area. Passengers can take a round trip excursion in a 1900s diesel train. The railway follows the river. The views of the dense forests and cliffs are spectacular. The train leaves from the Jim Thorpe Station twice a day, most days during the summer and on the weekends when possible. These trains have been running since 2005 to provide visitors with a way to experience the region quite uniquely.

lehigh gorge scenic railway | skytop lodge

The train itself is special. The vintage railroad coach cars come from the early 1900s. If you would like to do so, you can rent the new caboose. You can have up to six people with you.

The city of Jim Thorpe is about an hour south of Skytop Lodge. It sits on the bank of the river, providing for some historic and modern charm. It’s easy to feel as though you’ve stepped back in time to a community of Victorian-style homes and buildings. When you arrive, you can walk through the main street area of the city. There are shops and restaurants to stop in during your trip. This is an excellent day trip from Skytop Lodge.

As perhaps one of the best gems in the Pocono Mountains, Jim Thorpe is great for entertainment, museums and art galleries. It’s quite the tourism center, which means there is always something new and interesting that brings people back to the area.  Explore the Asa Packer Mansion, take a motorcycle tour of the area or check out the Old Jail Museum. Tours are available and many of them paint a very clear picture of what the region was like 200 years ago.

Come Back to Skytop Lodge to Explore Even More

These trips out in the region are just a few of the things that make Skytop Lodge the ideal place to stay when you are visiting the Pocono Mountains. Our team is here to help make this the best trip for you. Check out the numerous onsite features and amenities we offer, from golf to fine dining. You’ll see it’s in the perfect location to explore all that the region has to offer. Contact us today to learn more.