Lehigh Gorge State Park
Location: S Lehigh Gorge Dr, Weatherly, PA 18255
Just 37 miles North of Allentown, Lehigh Gorge State Park provides some of the most breathtaking outdoor experiences in Pennsylvania.
The steep-walled gorge rises above the Lehigh River. The geographic feature has been shaped in both natural-made and man-made ways.
The area was a heavy coal mining region during the Industrial Revolution, and visitors to the park can learn about the history of the area at local museums, such as the No. 9 Coal Mine & Museum, or even ride the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway for an up close view of the gorge.
For foot travelers, the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and sightseeing. Pets are welcome, too!
There are many small towns along the way for bike rentals, lunch breaks, or shopping. Historic Jim Thorpe is one of many small towns that draw tourists for relaxing time after a long day of outdoor experiences.
The gorge is also well known for its waterfalls. They provide beautiful scenes for photography and nature lovers will enjoy the serene landscapes.
Adventurers will love the opportunity to brave the rapids in the Lehigh River. Class I, II, and III rapids challenge whitewater rafters at all levels of experience.
Local businesses provide gear and guides for adventures for families with children to the most radical rafters.
Spending Time In The Outdoors Around The Lehigh Gorge State Park
Do you enjoy spending time in the outdoors? Nestled in between the historic town of Jim Thorpe, PA and the Francis E. Walter dam in the Pocono Mountain Region is the Lehigh Gorge State Park. Abundant in natural history and scenic views, the Lehigh Gorge State Park, wont disappoint if you are looking for a day outside.
Carved by the Lehigh River the gorge has deep rock walls filled with vegetation, rock outcroppings, and waterfalls. Nature is astounding when you take the time to breathe in the fresh air and open your eyes to your surroundings. Whether you are looking for a recreational activity, a local history lesson or a challenging day hike weve got the spot for you.
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Area
Location: 400 Belfast Rd, Nazareth, PA 18064
Situated just 30 minutes Northeast of Allentown via US-22 E, Jacobsburg Environmental Education Area offers 1,168 acres of forests, hiking trails, and creeks for visitors to enjoy.
The center offers educational programs for preschoolers through college students. The area is rich in history, and almost completely encloses the Jacobsburg Historical District.
In fact, the Henry Rifle was once made in the district, and visitors can learn about colonial gun manufacturing while at the park.
The Jacobsburg Environmental Education Area is focused on providing high-quality educational programming for all ages and is a partner in the Leigh Valley Greenways, which is devoted to landscape conservation.
The park is open from sunrise to dusk daily and is ADA Accessible.
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Canoeing And Kayaking The Lehigh River
Lehigh RiverThe Lehigh River begins in the marshes and bogs of the Pocono Mountains near the town of Goldsboro. The elevation of the marsh headwater area is 2,200 feet above sea level and the river drops approximately 1,000 feet during the 100 mile journey to the Delaware River in Easton, Pennsylvania. The Lehigh River watershed is 1,360 square miles and is part of the Delaware River watershed.
Lehigh River HistoryDuring the 1800s the Lehigh River was an important waterway that enabled the Lehigh Valley to transport coal, lumber and cement to the Philadelphia region. The Lehigh was once privately owned by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company making it the only privately owned river in the United States. Portland cement was manufactured along the banks of the Lehigh in the town of Coplay and a Bethlehem Steel plant was also located along the Lehigh River. The forests that lined the banks of the Upper Lehigh River helped establish Pennsylvania as one of the greatest lumber producing states in during the 1800s.
Lehigh River Water TrailThe Lehigh River Water Trail is 72 miles long beginning at White Haven and ending at the confluence with the Delaware River in Easton. The water trail is comprised of the northern and southern sections and provides plenty of canoeing, kayaking and rafting opportunity in a variety of fast exciting rapids or slow leisurely excursions.
Download the Northern Section and the southern section PDF maps from the Fish and Boat Commission Website.
Lehigh Gorge State Park Campgrounds Perfect For Pennsylvania Getaways Await
Located between the Francis E. Walter Dam and the town of Jim Thorpe in Pennsylvania, Lehigh Gorge State Park is known for its spectacular waterfalls, rock formations, and river views. Its most impressive attraction is the steep-walled gorge that the Lehigh River carved over thousands of years. Visitors will find a wide plethora of things to do in Lehigh Gorge Sate Park including biking, hiking, whitewater rafting, and fishing. It is a great destination for a weekend getaway but camping near Lehigh Gorge State Park, Pennsylvania is also available for those who want to spend a longer vacation.
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Trough Creek State Park
Location: 16362 Little Valley Rd, James Creek, PA 16657
The 541-acre Trough Creek State Park is a stunning scenic gorge. It was formed by the Great Trough Creek, as it cut through Terrace Mountain, before emptying into Raystown Lake.
Located about a 2 hour and 20 minute drive from Lancaster, its possible to explore most of the parks gems in one day. However to really appreciate them you could look to stay a night or two.
The views of the lake here are stunning, whilst a number of rough hiking trails lead you to major highlights like the magnificent Rainbow Falls and the eye-raising balanced rock.
The lake provides excellent opportunities for fishing, swimming and a range of water based activities like kayaking and paddle boarding.
Between mid-April and mid-December the campground is open. Offering 29 sites for any size camper, all of which have electricity, as well as a historic, two storey stone home which is available for rental all year round.
Worlds End State Park
Location: 82 Cabin Bridge Rd, Forksville, PA 18616
Even though its name suggests you will have to drive further, the Worlds End State Park is only a 2 hour and 40 minute drive from Lancaster.
A 780-acre Pennsylvania state park which is almost entirely surrounded by Loyalsock State Forest, the landscape is a hikers dream, with plenty of miles of trails to explore.
Contained within an âSâ shaped valley, some of the highlights in the park include stunning waterfalls, a plethora of incredibly beautiful vistas and the excellent fishing opportunities at Loyalsock Creek. There are also two historic covered bridges, which make for fantastic photo opportunities as well.
The park has very good facilities for trailer and tent camping, as the modern sites are equipped with both electric and non-electric sites, as well as walk-to and pet-friendly ones too.
It also accommodates modern restrooms with warm showers. While there is an amphitheater to relax in and a playground for kids to enjoy too.
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Visit Turn Hole Tunnel
While at the Gorge, dont miss walking through Turn Hole Tunnel, a 1860s railroad tunnel that was abandoned for good in 1956. The south side is open to pedestrians and can be accessed from the Glen Onoko Trail. Inside, walk over railroad ties to the north overlook. Look out onto the Lehigh and see the piers that still stand from the old railroad bridge.
Locust Lake State Park
Location: Locust Lake Rd, Barnesville, PA 18214
If you are looking for a beautiful place to camp, look no further than Locust Lake State Park.
Surrounded by two campgrounds, Locust Lake is 52 acres of space for boating, swimming, and fishing.
Also ringed by beautiful forests, the park offers many hiking trails for visitors to explore.
Locust Lake State Park is located just 42 miles Northwest of Allentown and offers plenty of activities for families to take a side excursion for some outdoor fun.
The park is open for day use from sunrise to dusk, but parking is limited to the visitors center for day use to keep traffic at a minimum for camper safety. If you are visiting the park for the day, be prepared for a short hike to the beach from your vehicle.
The park offers a wide variety of educational programs, including curriculum-based environmental education programs for local school groups. They also provide teacher training through workshops in environmental education.
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Hickory Run And Nescopeck State Park
Hickory Run State Park and Nescopeck State Park are neighboring natural areas that offer even more outdoor activities. Near White Haven, Hickory Run State Park offers more hiking opportunities in addition to fishing, boating, camping, wildlife watching and swimming.
The areas between White Haven and Jim Thorpe offer abundant natural resources and spectacular views, perfect for spending time in the great outdoors.
If you are looking for something to do or places to stay near Lehigh Gorge State Park, Whitewater Challengers has a 25+ acre campground with warm showers, bathroom facilities, recreation fields, dining services and a camp store. Whitewater Challengers also hosts a variety of outdoor activities. Call 800-443-8554 for more information or to talk to our river experts. Learn about what the Jim Thorpe and White Haven areas have to offer.
History Of Lehigh Gorge State Park
Over millions of years, the Lehigh River carved out the Gorge, cutting its way through the rocks of Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Region and the Pocono Plateau. The landscape has been shaped by the industrial revolution as well the area’s deposits of Anthracite coal were mined and shipped to cities all over the East Coast in the 1800s. To transport the coal, the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company constructed a series of huge dams, locks, and canals, so impressive that they became known as the “Upper Grand.”
Mining continued throughout the nineteenth century, and renowned naturalist John James Audubon lamented growing deforestation when he spent six weeks painting in the area in 1829. Audubon would be glad to know that today, much of the lush green has returned, and the land is now protected by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Some signs of the area’s industrial past can still be found in the park, like Turn Hole Tunnel near the Glen Onoko Access Area. While the tunnel is currently closed to visitor access, it shows where an abandoned railroad line used to pass through the mountain and over the Lehigh River.
- 9 Dock Street
Tour a real coal mine dating back to 1855! Hop in a mine car and take the tracks over 1,600 feet into the mountain. Once inside, embark on a 600-foot, guided walking tour. Examine the original mine shaft, walk the âmule-way,” and see aâ¦
- 1 Susquehanna Street
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Hickory Run State Park
Location: 3613 PA-534, White Haven, PA 18661
Just under a 2 hour drive from Lancaster lies Hickory Run State Park.
Located in the western foothills of the imposing Pocono Mountains, around Carbon County, this 15,990 acre park is one of the largest parks in Pennsylvania.
It is also considered to be one of the most beautiful too, housing two shimmering lakes, three state park natural areas, endless miles of trout streams and the magnificent Boulder Field. A beguiling 16 acre landscape of strewn boulders which is now a National Natural Landmark.
There are over 40 miles of hiking trails in this park as well as a very good swimming beach. The lakes provide good fishing and kayaking opportunities while kids can enjoy a game of disc golf or play in the onsite playground.
Should you want to stay for a night or two, there is a large camping area for tents and trailers here. The campsites are a mix of electric, non-electric, full-hookup, pet-friendly and walk-to.
The restrooms here are modern and feature warm showers. While there is also a camp store that sells general camping supplies.
Cook Forest State Park
Location: Leeper, PA 16233
Cook Forest State Park is also known as the Black Forest. It is famous for its old-growth forest, which has been classified as a National Natural Landmark. It is home to spectacular virgin white pines and hemlock wood stands.
Visitors can participate in watersports like canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and rafting on the gorgeous 3,136-acre Clarion River land.
Theres also a playground, a picnic area, and an amphitheater where guests can unwind and spend quality time with their families.
The park also features 6.5 miles of crisscrossed paths that are sure to satisfy nature and adventure enthusiasts.
For a spectacular panoramic perspective of the entire area, climb the rock walls of the Seneca Point Overlook or hike the 80-foot climb up Historic Fire Tower.
The park has a dump station, flush and pit toilets, restrooms, showers and shower houses, telephone coverage, and potable water.
It also offers ADA-accessible cabins and restrooms in the campsite and cabin area.
The park allows pets in specified areas, so if youre camping with your pet, make sure you reserve your spot ahead of time.
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From Resort To State Park
Lehigh Gorge was a resort area for a brief time at the turn of the 20th century. Railroads operated tourist lines that led to a resort area at Glen Onoko. The resort hotel there had 47 rooms, tennis courts, a dance pavilion, and trails that led to the scenic Glen Onoko Falls. This area was very popular with people seeking to get away from the polluted cities in the northeastern United States. The hotel and surrounding forests were destroyed by fire in the 1910s and the Lehigh Gorge area was largely forgotten until the 1970s. The abandonment of the main line of the Central Railroad of New Jersey through the Gorge provided the necessary real estate for the trail. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased this right of way from the Reading Company, leading to the establishment of Lehigh Gorge State Park in 1980.
Welcome To Roundstone Camping Resort
Rustic Log Cabin and Tent Site Rentals
Prime Fishing Hiking Biking
RoundStone Camping Resort is nestled in a quiet valley among the Appalachian Mountains, not far from the famous Poconos. We offer three cozy, rustic cabins and spacious tent sites tucked away on our 400 acres of breathtaking land for your enjoyment. We take pride in keeping a low volume guest count to ensure you peace, quiet, and privacy, making this one of the many high points of your stay here at RoundStone!
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French Creek State Park
Location: 843 Park Rd, Elverson, PA 19520
If these parks involve too much of a drive for you then the French Creek State Park might suit you better.
Located within the imposing Hopewell Big Woods, which is the largest contiguous forest in southeastern Pennsylvania, the park is only a 50 minute drive from Lancaster.
Boasting two lakes, and over 30 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, the 7,916-acre park straddles the Schuylkill Highlands.
The park is notable for its leafy forests, sparkling lakes and lush wetlands which make it a great place to hike, camp, fish and bike.
Itâs also a great area to observe flora and fauna as the terrain is home to a host of plants and animals, especially birdlife, that are rare in this southeastern region.
The camping facilities are good here, with over 200 wooded and modern sites available, of which 60 have electric hookups and 16 are full service with sewer. There are also shower and flush toilet facilities here too.
Family Camping In The Poconos
Lehigh Gorge Campground in White Haven is an excellent getaway for your next outdoor adventure. Located along the Lehigh River, this campground offers rustic relaxation in the Pocono Mountains. Theyve been family owned and operated for over 40 years and making amazing memories ever since.
Lehigh Gorge Campground offers primitive tent sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and nearby bathhouses. Full-service RV sites include sewer, electric, water, and cable. WiFi is available throughout the campground, and a camp store offers all the snacks and supplies youll need.
Theres plenty to do at Lehigh Gorge Campground. Cool off at the pool, play a game of horseshoes, take the kids to the playground, or cast a line in their stocked pond. They also have a calendar full of fun activities.
Lehigh Gorge Campground provides easy access to popular Pocono attractions. The campground is close to Hickory Run State Park and Lehigh Gorge State Park, which offer amazing opportunities for hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, and more. Other destinations like casinos, wineries and breweries, Pocono Raceway, and more are a short drive away.
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Canoe Creek State Park
Location: 205 Canoe Creek Rd, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
Canoe Creek State Park is a 395-acre park with a lake, wetlands, oil fields, and old woodlands that provide a diverse habitat for migrating birds and other wildlife species.
The 155-acre lake offers year-round fishing for warm-water game fish, as well as a swimming area and boat launching sites with mooring places to encourage boating.
The park also rents rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats to offer a seamless boating experience.
The park has a designated picnic area with picnic tables, charcoal grills, charcoal disposal units, and other facilities, as well as picnic pavilions.
It also boasts 8 miles of hiking paths that weave through forests, farms, historic sites, and more, providing hikers with a birds eye view of the wildlife and stunning landscape.
You can also take advantage of educational programs to learn about the parks history and its flora and fauna.
You can park your RV at one of the parks 8 modern campsites overlooking the lake for a novel camping experience.
The park allows pets in specified areas, so check the details before making a reservation.