Posts Tagged ‘Carbon County’

Train Rides in Jim Thorpe PA

 

train pic for cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train Rides in Jim Thorpe PA!


Bring the entire family for a 70 minute, 16 mile train ride into the beautiful Lehigh Gorge State Park. From the comfort of our historic vintage coaches, you can witness the grand sights of the Lehigh River gorge to Old Penn Haven. The trip follows the majestic Lehigh River over bridges, through Glen Onoko, into the Lehigh Gorge State Park with high cliffs, mountain scenery and wildlife abound.  Click here to read how one family enjoys train rides in Jim Thorpe PA.

 


Open: Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays      

May through December.  – 11AM, 1PM, 3PM, 4:30PM

 

2015 Bike Trains

Bring you own bike or rent a bike and take a hour train ride from Jim Thorpe thru the entire Lehigh Gorge State Park to White Haven, PA.  Once in White Haven, pedal at your own pace down the Rail-Trail 25 miles back to Jim Thorpe.

May 30, 31

June 27, 28

July 25, 26

August 22,23

September 19, 20

November 7, 8

 

 

Rides depart from the former Central RR of New Jersey Train Station Jim Thorpe, PA, 18229

570-325-8485                info@lgsry.com
www.LGSRY.com

Enjoy Train Rides in Jim Thorpe PA all year round! Check website for seasonal events and schedule changes.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL TRAIN SCHEDULE AND OTHER EVENTS!

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Hayrides at Mauch Chunk Lake

DSCN4219Fall Foliage Hayrides!

Weekends in October, view the beautiful colors along the Switchback Trail on a 45 minute hayride. Be sure to reserve your time early!

Hayrides leave at 10 a.m.    11:30 a.m.   1 p.m.   2:30 p.m.  &  4 p.m.

To make your fall foliage hayride at Mauch Chunk Lake reservation, call the Park Office:   (570) 325-3669
Office hours are Monday – Friday  8:30-4:30.

Camping is still available in autumn, also! Camping season ends October 27, so make your fall camping reservation today!

Mauch Chunk Lake Park
625 Lentz Trail
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229

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Jim Thorpe Yoga

JTYoga snip

 

JIM THORPE YOGA

 

Yoga for All Ages & All Abilities, Variety of Yoga Styles & Experienced Instructors, Kids Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation, Hoop Fitness, Special Workshops & Retreats, Massage, Reiki

 

KEEP UP WITH NEW EVENTS, CLASSES, WORKSHOPS, AND RETREATS ON WWW.JIMTHORPEYOGA.COM

 

 

434 Center Street, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229

(570) 527-5453           info@jimthorpeyoga.com

www.jimthorpeyoga.com

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Reading Escapades & Math Explorers

logo just pictureReading Escapades & Math Explorers fosters a love of learning and feeds curiosity through customized games you won’t find at big name learning centers. Reading Escapades & Math Explorers offers a variety of ongoing reading and math clubs, book discussions, and private tutoring, as well as summer, holiday, homeschool, and in-service day camps.

 

 

 

Check website and Facebook for monthly family events and camp schedule.

 

Reading Escapades & Math Explorers offers easy FUNdraisers for your organization, too!

 

 

222 Delaware Avenue, Palmerton, PA

(610) 826-READ (7323)     info@read2day.com

www.read2day.com

 

 

 

Reading Escapades & Math Explorers is also here for parents! With ongoing parent workshops and online resources, parents can access everything they need to be a positive influence in their child’s education.

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Carbon County Services

The Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) is committed to helping members derive value by connecting people and business. As a “one stop shop” the organization provides support in the areas of business growth and economic development. The members of the CCEDC are a catalyst for continuously creating cooperative and prosperous businesses to improve the economy and quality of life in Carbon County.

137 South Street, Lehighton, PA 18235

610-379-5000      mail@carboncountychamber.org  

www.carboncountychamber.org

Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce – Located at the base of a steep valley carved by the Lehigh River, the town of Jim Thorpe combines a rich history with a growing reputation as a place where residents and visitors can enjoy the beauty of the mountains while also experiencing the town’s many accommodations, shopping, dining, entertainment and outdoor recreation opportunities. Jim Thorpe’s proximity to the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, New York and other population centers along the eastern seaboard makes it a great place for both doing business and getting away from it all.

(888) JIM THORPE    info@jimthorpe.org
Visit  
www.jimthorpe.org

Mauch Chunk Trust Company   

www.mauchchunktrust.com     570-325-BANK (2265)

Main office:  1111 North Street, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229

Branches:

Pine Point Plaza, Albrightsville

Redner’s Warehouse Market, Nesquehoning, PA

735 Blakeslee Blvd. Drive East, Lehighton, PA

Railroad Station, Jim Thorpe, PA

226 Claremont Ave., Hometown, PA

West Penn, 1331 Clamtown Road, Tamaqua, PA

Mauch Chunk Plaza, 1202 North Street, Jim Thorpe

Mrs. Domestic Services, LLC provides scheduled cleaning services for vacation and second home-income properties. Quotes are provided following a free consultation with the owner or manager to discuss the care needed for the property. If you own a property that is rented out for vacation rental, you need a dependable maid service to ensure your property is ready for arriving guests. Mrs. Domestic Services, LLC will ensure great reviews from your guests.

 855-SHE-CLEANS            mrsdomesticservices@gmail.com              www.mrsdomesticservices.com



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Places to Stay in Jim Thorpe, PA

Hotel Switzerland Rooms are Available at The Hotel Switzerland right up stairs from Molly Maguire’s Pub & Steakhouse at Great Rates. No “2 Night Minimum” Required here.

5 Hazard Square, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
Restaurant: (570) 325-4563        Hotel Switzerland: (570) 325-8995 
www.jimthorpedining.com           www.hotelswitzerlandjimthorpe.com 

InnJT
Built in 1849 and situated in the heart of the historic district, the elegant Inn at Jim Thorpe combines old world charm with modern amenities. Our hotel has comfortable rooms and romantic suites with whirlpools, fireplaces and spa services. Broadway Grille & Pub downstairs. Steps to  shops, galleries, restaurants, pubs, live music and outdoor recreation.  
One of the most historically elegant places to stay in Jim Thorpe PA.                 

www.innjt.com             800.329.2599    

JT camping

Jim Thorpe Camping   Situated within the town limits of historic Jim Thorpe (formerly called Mauch Chunk), this 28-acre wooded campground offers every modern convenience the camping family could desire. All campsites are level, spacious and wooded. Enjoy a swim in our pool while the kids play in the wading pool. We also have a mountain stream that borders our campground. There are many miles of mountain bike trails which run through the campground. Of all of the places to stay in Jim Thorpe PA this is a family favorite!

Lentz Trail, Jim Thorpe, PA         570-325-2644          camper1@ptd.net
www.jimthorpecamping.com

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Restaurants Near Jim Thorpe PA

bvt_logoBoulder View Tavern located on beautiful Big Boulder Lake in Lake Harmony. Offers delicious appetizers and unique entrees. Dine inside or outside at the lakeside bar and enjoy the view. Happy Hour specials Monday through Friday. For the full menu and entertainment schedule go to boulderviewtavern.com  Big Boulder Lake restaurant near Jim Thorpe PA
570-722-9696              info@boulderviewtavern.com             www. boulderviewtavern .com


LHD
Eventually, Everyone Shows Up At Shenanigan’s!
Karaoke plus the all new Boomers Dance Club! All Sports on 12 TVs. Friday Happy Hour 6-8:00PM Winter After Ski Parties at Boomers Saturdays 5-9:00PM Open 4pm til 11pm – 7 Days a week. Serving lunch Sat & Sun.

100 S.Lake Drive, Lake Harmony, PA.                (570)-722-1100
www.DineLakeHarmonyPA.com

Louie’s Prime SteakhouseTraditional NY Style Steakhouse serving Prime Aged Steaks, Terrific Seafood and Great Appetizers. Fine Dining in a casual atmosphere! Taste of Italy Thursday. Children’s menu. Open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Monday. Call for seasonal hours.


134 Lake Harmony Rd, Lake Harmony, PA             570.722.3990
www.DineLakeHarmonyPA.com

At Nick’s Lake House, “The only thing we overlook is the lake”
Great Steaks, Sandwiches, and Pizza. Open 7 days a week for lunch & dinner.


110 S. Lake Drive, Lake Harmony, PA                    570.722.2500
www.DineLakeHarmonyPA.com


PJ Whelihan’s at Platz’s  Established in 1983, on a site operating as a local watering hole since the late 1800’s, “if these walls could talk.” Platz’s boasts of a menu with over 70 selections, everything from our famous Buffalo wings and shrimp to char-broiled Baby Back Ribs and Steaks.We offer a full bar featuring six different draft beers. Two levels of dining, casual atmosphere decorated with loads of memorabilia. Open seven days a week from 11:30 am. Also, don’t miss our Early Bird Super Saver daily til 6pm. Reservations accepted. Check out our outdoor seating on our patio! Take the “locals’ route” up the mountain and pass Platz’s on the way. One of the firsts restaurants near Jim Thorpe PA you will pass.

101 Harrity Rd., Lehighton, PA 18235                   610-377-1819
www.platzs.com

Riverwalck
Riverwalck Saloon
is a full service family restaurant sitting along the Pohopoco Creek which runs into the Lehigh River. At Riverwalck, we offer the best of everything, from award winning barbecue, zesty fresh Mexican food, thick cut steaks, and an extensive children’s menu filled with all the favorites, but lots of healthy options as well. Whether it’s dinner with the family, a day cruise on the bike through the hills, or a night out with some friends, Riverwalck Saloon has something for everyone!
One of the most fun restaurants near Jim Thorpe, PA.

8 Center Street, Parryville, PA 18244          610-852-2323
www.RiverWalckSaloon.com

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Jim Thorpe Adventure & Attractions

The Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation, home to one of the largest and historically important collections of Abstract Expressionist Art in Pennsylvania, is located in an historic former church built in 1849 with Tiffany stained glass windows and hand-carved woodwork. Art shows, poetry, and film concerts. Open Memorial Day through October. Weekends 11-5 and by appointment.

20 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229                 570-325-5815          610-422-4148
www. Asartfoundation.org

Asa Packer Mansion Museum   Built in 1861 by Asa Packer, founder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Lehigh University. The 18 room mansion contains all of the original furnishings from the time of the last occupant, Asa’s youngest daughter, Mary Packer Cummings, who died in 1912. Upon Mary’s death, the home and contents were willed to the Borough of Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania (now Jim Thorpe). The Jim Thorpe Lions Club was granted trusteeship of the home in 1954 and continues to oversee the operation and maintenance of the museum. The mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985.

Packer Hill, P.O. Box 108, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229            (570) 325-3229   
www.asapackermansion.com

BM ButterflyBear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary    Experience the wonder of butterflies and Poison Dart frogs in Jim Thorpe’s unique Education Center with indoor live-flight “Flutterarium”, kid’s Art Space and nature-based gift shop. Open every day  from June 8th till Labor Day. No reservations needed . Hours & special  events listed on website. Group programs also available on & off location.

Route 903 at Church Road, Penn Forest Township, just outside of town. Plenty of free parking.
570-325-4848 
bearmb@ptd.net                  
www.bearmountainbutterflies.com

Carbon County Environmental Education Center (CCEEC) promotes awareness and understanding of our environment through education. By providing a variety of environmentally related services, and in stressing human environmental impacts, CCEEC encourages responsibility for, and appreciation of all natural resources. Come visit the center, see our live birds of prey, or check out one of the many family-friendly events scheduled throughout the year.

Open Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm. Call for weekend hours Memorial Day through Labor Day. Trails, pavilion, and raptor mews (cages) are open 7 days a week from dawn until dusk. The outdoors is ALWAYS open!

151 East White Bear Drive, Summit Hill, PA 18250

(570) 645-8597         www.carboneec.org 

The Carbon Model Railroad Society is an organization devoted to model railroading. Our Building is located at . The CMRS sponsors two Train Meets each year, has a Christmas in July Open House during the summer and a Holiday Open House for the winter Holiday season. The Society has specialty model railroad cars that it produces each year named after Boroughs in Carbon County . As a railroad modeler, one has the opportunity to do carpentry, electrical work, painting and scenery or even practice their photography skills. Our main goal is to portray the surrounding regions the railroads served in either miniature or full size railroading. Our model railroad is an excellent learning tool as well as entertainment for the young and young at heart. Always has open enrollment.This complete indoor water park features attractions for all ages, including the KOMODO DRAGON – Pennsylvania’s 1st Indoor Flow Rider. Daredevils will want to try the VIPER, PIRANHA and AMAZON BLAST Slides, which drop 4 stories. Those looking for refreshing relaxation will enjoy the LAVA SPRINGS hot tubs. The little ones will have a great time at the JUNGLE FALLS & LEAPIN’ LIZARDS play areas.

100 Moseywood Rd., Lake Harmony, PA 18624            570-722-9111          800-255-7625
www.splitrockresort.com

JFBB snip

Jack Frost and Big Boulder Ski Areas–something for everyone, some of the most challenging terrain and terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders and top notch ski school for all abilities and ages and a great snow tubing park. One Snow Pass – 2 great mountains!

570-443-8425                  570-443-4710                         info@jfbb.com      www.jfbb.com 

 

Jim Thorpe River Adventures    CLICK HERE TO VIEW JIM THORPE RIVER ADVENTURES

Lehigh Gap Nature Center is located on the Kittatinny Ridge at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail, the D&L Trail, and the Lehigh River. Admission is free and you will find great opportunities for hiking, biking, birding, nature photography, paddling, and fishing here. Trail maps and other information available at the visitor center, which is normally open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily, staffed by volunteers.

8844 Paint Mill Road, Slatington, PA 18080
            610-760-8889                  
 www.lgnc.org  

Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center    Discover old Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe, PA) and its history at the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center. Through artifacts, video, and photo images, the Museum portrays the town’s fascinating industrial and cultural history. Additionally, it houses “the grand Ballroom” available for lease for wedding receptions, etc.

41 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229  
           (570) 325-9190
www.mauchchunkmuseum.com

No 9 MineTour No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum.  Explore the world’s oldest, continuously operated, anthracite coal mine opened in 1855, and tour the region’s largest mining museum.  Ride the mine train 1600 feet inside the mountain beneath the town of Lansford where guides will then lead you on a walking tour filled with amazing sights and fascinating stories of how coal was mined.  After the mine tour, enjoy the exhibits inside the region’s largest mining museum or browse the gift shop for history books and souvenirs. Free parking and picnic pavilion.  Mine tours available May to November.  Museum open year round.  Call or check out our website for details.  Special events include the Coal Miners Heritage Festival in July, No. 9 Haunted Mine tours in October, and Old Time Picnics on Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends.

Located in Lansford, PA only 10 minutes from Historic Jim Thorpe or Tamaqua, PA.
9 Dock Street, Lansford, PA 18232            570-645-7074 
www.no9mine.com 
  

 


Whitewater Rafting Adventures
offers the BEST Rafting Trips on the Lehigh River. Whitewater Rafting Adventures is also the home of Pocono Mountain Paintball, Biking, and NEW 900 ft. Zipline! It is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you start 8 stories high and zoom up to 30 MPH through the treetops. Discounted Adventure packages are available!

 

101 W. Adventure Trail Road, Nesquehoning, PA 18240
1-800-876-0285
www.adventurerafting.com

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Places to Stay in Carbon County

HamptonLogo
Hampton Inn Lehighton/Jim Thorpe Area
  A warm welcome, a comfortable stay and great value await for you here, just off exit #74 (PA Turnpike), and only  minutes from the beautiful historic town of Jim Thorpe, and skiing, rafting, hiking and other outdoor activities. Keep in touch with family and friends during your stay thanks to complementary WiFi and a 24-hour business center. Unwind after a busy day with a workout in the fitness room or by making a splash in the indoor pool and Jacuzzi. Start the day off the right way at the Hampton Inn Lehighton  thanks to a Hampton’s complementary hot on the house breakfast. If you are in a rush, pick up a Hampton On the Run® Breakfast Bag to take on the road with you. Hotel is 100% Non-Smoking. One of the most comfortable places to stay in Carbon County.

877 Interchange Rd, Lehighton, PA 18235            610-377-3400     
www.lehighton.hamptoninn.com

Split Rock snipSplit Rock Resort & Golf Club is a four season lakeside destination in the Poconos of Pennsylvania that boasts 27 holes of golf, a new indoor water park, tennis, bowling, mini-golf, movie theater and many more amenities. Enjoy many types of accommodation, 3 restaurants, and great getaway packages and special midweek rates only 5 miles from the ski areas. Many amenities open to the public.   One of the best places to stay in Carbon County.

For reservations and information call 800-255-7625 or visit our website at www.splitrockresort.com

sunnyrestlogo
Sunny Rest Resort
is a clothing optional resort located in Palmerton, PA, having over 190 acres of rolling hills, partially wooded grounds, modern amenities, and fun events. Accommodations include hotel rooms, campsites, and day visits. Sunny Rest has a heated swimming pool, heated conversation pool, hot tub, pool bar, sports bar, night club, restaurant, sauna, gym, nature trails, volleyball & tennis courts, and much more!
One of the most fun places to stay in Carbon County.

425 Sunny Rest Road, Palmerton, PA 18071                 1-866-SUNNY50         610-377-2911    
www.sunnyrest.com         sunnyrest@sunnyrest.com 

Clothing Optional Pocono Resort near Jim Thorpe, PA
CLICK HERE FOR SUNNY REST RESORT’S FULL CALENDAR OF EVENTS!

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Split Rock Resort Festivals

BEERFESTNovember 22-23, 2014   SPLIT ROCK RESORT, LAKE HARMONY, PA 

GREAT BREWS CLASSIC BEER FESTIVAL  

Come enjoy some fantastic new brews with us at Split Rock Resort’s Annual Beer Festival, with non-stop Live music, great food and lots of vendors. Contests, prizes and all types of new fun and games are in store this year… and of course, lots of awesome beer! No one serves better food and drink than the Split Rock Resort Festivals!

Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day of the festival and are available to purchase for both days of the festival. Each ticket to the Beer Festival includes a commemorative beer tasting cup (must be 21+), tastings from all breweries in attendance (must be 21+), admission to all seminars, musical entertainment, and access to many vendors featuring a wide variety of food and crafts. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 25+.

 Please note that Beer Festival tickets are limited per day. In order to guarantee entrance, you must have a ticket in hand for Saturday.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL EVENT INFORMATION OR TO BOOK YOUR OVERNIGHT PACKAGE!


JUNE 21-22, 2014    SPLIT ROCK RESORT, LAKE HARMONY, PA

The Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine & Food Festival takes place at Split Rock Resort located in beautiful Lake Harmony, PA. This two-day outdoor festival, located on resort grounds in the Poconos, features continuous musical entertainment on three separate stages, over 30 of Pennsylvania’s finest wineries, and a wide selection of food vendors to tempt your taste buds. Educational seminars are held during festival hours – noon to 6:00pm daily – on The Essentials of Wine Tasting; Wine and Cheese: The Perfect Pairing; and Summer Time Whites. Check them out and learn some new things about wines and pairings!

WINE FEST
Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day of the festival and are available to purchase for both days of the festival, as well as for the Winemakers Dinner held on Saturday night. Each ticket to the Wine Festival includes a commemorative wine glass for tasting (must be 21+), tastings from all wineries in attendance (must be 21+), admission to all seminars, musical entertainment, and access to over 100 vendors featuring a wide variety of food and crafts. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 25+, designated drivers, non-drinkers and attendees under 21 years of age. Split Rock also offers weekend packages for attendees wishing to stay the duration of the festival. Weekend packages include accommodations, a complimentary bottle of select Pennsylvania wine upon arrival (must be 21+), tickets to the festival for both Saturday and Sunday, admission to the Winemakers Dinner on Saturday night, and a Wine Festival t-shirt.

Only 21+ with valid ID will be served. Outside food and beverages are not permitted on festival grounds. Ice coolers are allowed for chilling wine only.
No pets allowed.

Contact us or call      (800) 255-7625          for more information or to make reservations.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS ONLINE!

Check back regularly for updates to Split Rock Resort Festivals! Split Rock Resort Festivals are the place to be in Summer and Fall!

Split Rock snip
Split Rock Resort & Golf Club
is a four season lakeside destination in the Poconos of Pennsylvania that boasts 27 holes of golf, a new indoor water park, tennis, bowling, mini-golf, movie theater and many more amenities. Enjoy many types of accommodation, 3 restaurants, and great getaway packages and special midweek rates only 5 miles from the ski areas. Many amenities open to the public.

 

For reservations and information call 800-255-7625 or visit our website at www.splitrockresort.com

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Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary – Jim Thorpe, PA

 

 

Experience the wonder of butterflies and Poison Dart frogs in Jim Thorpe’s unique Education Center with indoor live-flight “Flutterarium”, kid’s Art Space and nature-based gift shop. Open every day  from June 7th till Labor Day.

 

 

No reservations needed.

 

 

Hours & special events listed on website. Group programs also available on & off location. Route 903 at Church Road, Penn Forest Township, just outside of town. Plenty of free parking.

 

 

 BM Butterfly

Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary     

570-325-4848 

bearmb@ptd.net

www.bearmountainbutterflies.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the regularly scheduled weekly events at Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary – Have a new experience every day of the week.

 

 

 

Welcome the Butterflies Back to Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary!     May 23, 24-25, 2015

Annual Preseason celebration, butterflies, frogs, special films and programs, hatching kits, door prizes , crafts for kids and more. No reservations needed.

 

 

 

June 6th Gets the public walk-in season started. We will again be open every day through Labor Day Monday.

 

 

 

GRANDPARENTS  DAYS      Every other Friday beginning June 12, 2015   One Grandparent admitted free with each full price child admission.                 

 

 

 

Click Here to View Full Calendar of Activities…

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Shopping near Jim Thorpe, PA

Big Creek

Big Creek Vineyard & Winery   Wine Tasting and Sales Every Afternoon. Our quiet little shop anchors the eastern end of Historic Stone Row- the most romantic little street this side of Europe. Wines made from our nearby vineyard are available for tasting and all your questions can be answered by our knowledgeable staff. We look forward to your visit.
27 Race Street, Jim Thorpe          570 325 8138
bigcreek@ptd.net  
                  bigcreekvineyard.com

Fairview Beverage    Your One-Stop-Shop located right next to the Wine & Spirit Shop, supplying beer, soda, water, ice, snacks, energy drinks, cocktail mixes and cigarettes. Open Mon-Sat 10-9 & Sun 12-5.   Delivery Available.

1215 North Street, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
                 570.325.SUDS (7837)


The Gandy Dancer 
    Named after a slang term for railroad workers and owned by a retired locomotive engineer, The Gandy Dancer pays homage to the beauty and history of Jim Thorpe. Specializing in local in-town and landscape photography and old restored railroad photos, this is a wonderful place to bring home some local history.

12 Hill Rd., Opera House Square, Jim Thorpe, PA               610-533-3556

cj snip   
   Country Junction

   Endless shopping experience. “Streets” filled with gifts and accessories for your home. Furniture, Huge Pet Store, Candy, Wine. Restaurant & Theater, Free Petting Farm & Much More! Service Team Showroom & Installed Services. We are all about Family Events! See web site for info.

   
6565 Interchange Rd. (Rt 209), Lehighton, PA 18235                      610-377-5050         
www.countryjunction.com

6565 Interchange Rd. (Rt 209), Lehighton, PA  18235                    610-377-5050          www.countryjunction.com 

Spring Mountain Farms
Spring Mountain Farms 
Family owned and operated farm committed to raising premium quality meats naturally. Our store offers 100 % Grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured pork and poultry year round. Besides our natural, better tasting meats we offer fruits, vegetables, and eggs. We also have PYO blueberries July and August. Good farm shopping near Jim Thorpe PA.

Our Farm Store is open 8 am to 5 pm            Tuesday – Sunday       Closed on Mondays

4595 Interchange Rd, Lehighton, PA 18235              610-871-2310       
bill@springmountainfarms.com              www.springmountainfarms.com

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PA State Parks in Carbon County

BeltzvilleBarrBoat (8)

Beltzville State Park is in the southern foothills of the Poconos. Pohopoco Creek, an excellent trout stream, feeds the 949-acre Beltzville Lake, which is a rest stop for migrating waterfowl and is a destination for boaters and anglers. The sand beach and picnic pavilions are very popular. Hiking, Mountain Biking, Picnicking, Swimming, Boating, Water-skiing, Fishing, Hunting, Cross-country Skiing.

 

Beltzville is five miles east of Lehighton, just off US 209. From the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, take Exit 74 and follow the signs to the park.
888-PA-PARKS

 

 

 

90px-Boulder_Field_Tree_Hickory_Run_State_ParkHickory Run State Park has over 40 miles of hiking trails, three state park natural areas and miles of trout streams. The Boulder Field, a striking boulder-strewn area, is a National Natural Landmark. Hiking, Picnicking, Swimming, Fishing, Hunting, Disc Golf, Education, Cross-country Skiing, Snowmobiling, Ice Skating, Organized Group Cabin Camps, Organized Group Tenting, Camping.


888-PA-PARKS

 

 

Lehigh Gorge State Park follows the Lehigh River from the outlet of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Francis E. Walter Dam at the northern end, to the town of Jim Thorpe at the southern end of the park. Hiking, Biking, Fishing, Hunting, Education, Snowmobiling, Cross-country Skiing.

 

 

White Haven is the northern access area and can be reached off of Exit 273 of I-80. Follow PA 940 east to the White Haven Shopping Center. Turn right on Main Street and bear right to the state park access area.
888-PA-PARKS

mclpark

 

 
Mauch Chunk Lake Park is located in the Boroughs of Jim Thorpe and Summit Hill. Today the park exceeds 150,000 visitors annually and has become a popular vacation destination for many families. The park has facilities for swimming, picnicking, hiking, biking, fishing, and boating.

(570) 325-3669              

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Jim Thorpe River Adventures

Jim Thorpe River Adventures on the Lehigh River!

Take a Close-to-Home rafting vacation on the Lehigh River! Rafting with family and friends is one of the coolest things you can do for a Day-Trip. Choose an exciting whitewater rafting trip, a more easy-going Summer Rafting Trip, or check out our Cool Options for an Inflatable Kayaking River Adventure. Fun-loving, professional river guides are with you the whole way. Take a little Rafting DayCation this year with Jim Thorpe River Adventures!

One Adventure Lane, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229       
800-424-RAFT (7238)            info@jtraft.com        
www.jtraft.com


Do you want to know what it takes to be a Lehigh River Guide? Or are you planning a whitewater rafting trip in Carbon County, PA and want to be prepared?

Jerry McAward from Jim Thorpe River Adventures shares his years of experience guiding on the Lehigh River in beautiful Carbon County. Find out more about the gateway to the Poconos, Jim Thorpe in Carbon County, PA.   Find out firsthand what fun Jim Thorpe River Adventures can be!

 

Jim Thorpe River Adventures

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Santa’s Winterfest at Country Junction

Bring your family to…

2nd Annual Santa’s Winterfest at Country Junction
Lehighton, PA

Weekends starting Black Friday

santas_list-2304Get a “Do It All” wristband or pick and choose your activities!

3d Wonderland

Frozen Sing Alongs

Bumbles’s Adventure

Freezin’ Funland’s Maze

Cookie Decorating

Ornament Making

Coloring Contest

A letter to Santa

Winter Hayrides

Also available:

Breakfast with Santa (reservations required)
Pictures with Santa
Fresh cut trees!

Visit Country Junction for lots of holiday family fun and great shopping!

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Jim Thorpe Olde Time Christmas Celebration

Jim Thorpe Olde Time Christmas Celebration

December 5, 6 & 7 & December 13-14

christmas treelighting2

Jim Thorpe, PA comes alive at Christmas and takes you back in time to the Victoria Era when Jim Thorpe was in it’s heyday.
Bundle up, round up the family, and head in to town for some very special holiday events.


Olde Time Christmas events include:

Train rides with Santa
Expanded shopping hours throughout Jim Thorpe
Strolling carolers and musicians

Headlining shows at the Mauch Chunk Opera House
Seasonal restaurant specials
Historic Ghost Walks
Asa Packer Mansion tours
Live Nativity
Gingerbread House contest
Kick off the holiday season with the Tree Lighting by the train station in downtown Jim Thorpe, PA on December 5 at 5:30pm.

Limited parking available throughout downtown Jim Thorpe. Parking is available in the downtown municipal lot.
Remodeled public restrooms available at the train station for your convenience.

Make Jim Thorpe Olde Time Christmas Celebration part of your holiday tradition.
Don’t forget to share your photos with us on facebook!

Need directions to Jim Thorpe, PA?

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Get Your Tail on the Trail! Lehigh Gorge Trail – Jim Thorpe, PA

It’s not too late to take the challenge! Are you up for this?
Get your tail on the trail! Maybe you should start in Jim Thorpe, PA !

D&LSt. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) and Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) are partnering to bring the community a family fun initiative — get off the couch and get active!

By linking St. Luke’s University Health Network healthy lifestyle expertise with the recreational and heritage leadership of D&L trail, members     of our community can participate in challenges throughout the year!

     This is an excellent way to get your family moving. No more couch potatoes! Lots of great prizes for participation, not to mention the enormous benefit to your body and mind, and, of course, the amazing sights and scenery along the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. Have you hiked or biked the D&L yet?

Start your journey today – possibly in Jim Thorpe, PA ! Register for this fantastic event, then visit Jim Thorpe, PA or one of the other points
to get your tail on the trail. Hiking in Jim Thorpe, PA was never more rewarding.

Want to register? Need a map? Want to know what else is in it for you? To register and get more info click here:  http://tailonthetrail.org/. Or like the new Facebook page for Get your Tail on the Trail, where participants are sharing pictures and adventures on the D&L Trail.

“It doesn’t matter if you are fifteen or eighty five, physically-fit or a self-proclaimed couch potato,  this challenge is for everyone.

Get outdoors, get active and explore nature by walking, running or biking the D&L Trail, 165 total miles of natural beauty in our own backyard.”


1-866-STLUKES                     Info.Link@sluhn.org  

 

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Old Fashioned Miners Memorial Day Picnic

No 9 MineCome One! Come All!
To The Annual MEMORIAL Day Weekend
“Old Fashioned Miner’s Picnic
Sunday MAY 25, 2014
11:00 AM till 4:00 PM       (Rain or Shine)
No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum

9 Dock Street      Lansford, PA 18232

“ a classic and antique car show “

Sponsored by the anthracite region a.a.c.a
As an added attraction : images of scott d. herring
our “last anthracite photographer”

Great Homemade Ethnic Foods! Halupki, Pierogies, Halushki, Bean Soup, Barbecue, Hot Dogs, Bake Goods, & Refreshments

Coal Mine and Museum Tours! Music!     FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY
Phone 570-645-7074 for information                             

CLICK HERE FOR EVEN MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENTS AT THE MINE!

 

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Carbon County Oktoberfest

Carbon County Oktoberfest 2014

oktoberfestFriday, October 4       
Saturday, October 5                  

Rain or Shine

         2440 Fairyland Road Lehighton, PA 18235
         484-357-6549          CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

 

Event includes:

Local craft brews & other German American beers
Traditional European Foods
Carnival Games & Treats for kids  (All day ride pass for $8!)
VIP tent featuring NEW Blue Mountain Cigars and VIP service by Red Castle Brewery girls
LIVE Entertainment!
Craft vendors

 

Don’t miss the 2nd annual Carbon County Oktoberfest – and check back again next
year for more Oktoberfest fun!

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Medical Services near Jim Thorpe, PA

StLukesJT snip

Lehighton Medical Associates, Jim Thorpe, PA

www.sluhn.org

StLukesLEH snip

Lehighton Medical Associates, Lehighton, PA

www.sluhn.org

StLukesUC snip

St. Luke’s Urgent Care, Jim Thorpe, PA

www.sluhn.org

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Fireworks in Jim Thorpe, PA

Fireworks in Jim Thorpe, PA!           Check out the  Jim Thorpe, PA  Stay-At-Home Festival


One Day Only!    SATURDAY, JULY 4, 2015

 

Memorial Park, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229

 

fireworks

Enjoy a good old fashioned Independence Day celebration right here in Jim Thorpe! Rides, games, food, fun, and MORE all day long!
The festival begins at noon with Opening Ceremonies and continues in the night with a spectacular fireworks display, courtesy of Mauch Chunk Trust Company. There’s no better way to celebrate the 4th of July better than The Stay-At-Home Festival in Jim Thorpe, PA!

 

 

 

 

Schedule for the Stay at Home Festival in Jim Thorpe

www.jtfestival.com/July4

 

fireworks03 Enjoy LIVE entertainment ALL DAY

DON’T FORGET TO STAY FOR THE GRAND FINALE! Fireworks in Jim Thorpe, PA!
FINISH OFF YOUR DAY WITH A SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS DISPLAY SPONSORED BY MAUCH CHUNK TRUST COMPANY!    

10 PM!     JULY 4, 2015!

 

Memorial Park, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229

 

 

 

101-things-Slides

Want a free copy of 101 Fun Things to do in the Poconos while you are in town?

 

Get it here…

 

 

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Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration

    SATURDAY & SUNDAY, MAY 17-18…………..       ALL DAY             

thorpeDOWNTOWN JIM THORPE

 

The 19th Annual Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration will be held at Josiah White Park in Jim Thorpe. The celebration starts with a Native American tribute at the Jim Thorpe Mausoleum, followed by the carrying of the lighted torch by the Olympian Cross Country and Track teams to the Jim Thorpe High School Stadium.  The weekend includes free musical performances, Native American folklore, dancing and drumming, craft and food vendors, a clown for the children, a large Chinese Auction, and a headline show at the Opera House.

Don’t miss out on this year’s Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration!

One of Jim Thorpe’s notable festivals!

www.jimthorpe.org

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Rattlesnake Run – 5K Race in Jim Thorpe, PA

RATTLESNAKEJUNE 29        8AM

Rattlesnake Run – 5K Race in Jim Thorpe, PA

A 5K race and one mile fun walk to benefit Carbon County Environmental Education Center. The event includes free t-shirts for participants, unique awards, and organic baked goods at the finish line. This is the second year for this fundraiser, and last year’s event was rated FIVE STARS by participants!     $20/5K, $12/fun walk (prices increase after June 13, 2013)

Lehigh Gorge State Park
Across from 1 Adventure Lane, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
(570) 645-8597          MORE INFO!             CCEEC

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St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Jim Thorpe

st-pattys-day-crewIt’s time for the annual Carbon County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Jim Thorpe!

The Eighteenth Annual  Carbon County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade  will be held in Jim Thorpe
on Sunday, March 15, 2015
starting at 1:00 PM
Grand Marshal – Gary Dobias

 

The 18th annual Carbon County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Alec Campbell Division 1 of Carbon County and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Mollie Maguire Division 1 of Carbon County, will take place along Broadway in Jim Thorpe starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 15, 2015.

The event will be held rain or shine.

In addition to honoring St Patrick, this parade has become a huge draw for the residents of Carbon County to celebrate their Irish heritage and reunite with loved ones and old friends. The parade will follow the same route as in past years – starting at the upper end of West Broadway and ending at the County parking lot, a downhill route that showcases the natural scenic beauty and unique history of Carbon County.

We hope to see you at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Jim Thorpe! Please share your photos on Jim Thorpe, PA’s facebook page!

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Fall Foliage in the Poconos: Science, Art, & Fun!

Fall is migration season. The monarchs are on their way to Mexico, the birds are en route to all points south, and humans head for the hills in search of one of nature’s most remarkable displays – the brilliant colors of fall foliage.

It’s no wonder visitors flock to the Poconos at this time of year.

Fall foliage season is not only one of nature’s most striking phenomena, but a fairly predictable one as well. With peak color arriving in mid to late October each year, visitors can plan

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their trips well in advance, as area parks, businesses and tourism agencies prepare for the annual influx of foliage-seeking “leaf peepers”.

For the trees, autumn colors actually begin shaping up months before the typical fall foliage season. A warm, wet spring is ideal for keeping trees healthy, and allows them to develop an abundance of leaves – green at first, but set to transform into the familiar reds, golds and browns of fall.

Those leaves serve a purpose far more important – and far more miraculous – than the simple change of color. They are the primary site of food production for the tree; think of them as “food factories”. These factories turn two common molecules into sugar in a simple recipe: water and carbon dioxide go in, and in a reaction powered by light from the sun, food comes out. Viola! It’s called photosynthesis, from photo, meaning light, and synthesis, to make.

What’s amazing about photosynthesis is

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that it’s something you and I can never do. No matter how hungry we are, no matter how much water, sunlight and carbon dioxide are at our disposal, we cannot make our own food. We can and do, in fact, take in the energy harnessed by this process. Every time we eat seeds, greens, fruits or other plants, we’re taking advantage of the work those plants have done. Even meat eaters rely entirely on photosynthesis for energy, since they’re consuming the cows, chickens and pigs that in turn were fed by plants and plant parts.

Where sunlight is abundant year-round, as in tropical climates, photosynthesis is carried on throughout the year and plants continue the business of food production without interruption. But here, in more northern latitudes, in the poconos and Jim Thorpe,  our trees must come to terms with the decreasing amount of solar energy available in autumn.

Some species continue to capture what little light they can in winter-proof foliage; evergreen trees and shrubs are equipped with waxy, thick leaves designed to withstand the cold. The familiar pyramid shape of most evergreens helps them to shed ice and snow as they hold on to their little food factories all year long.

Deciduous trees – those that lose their leaves during each fall foliage season –store enough food in their trunks and roots to afford shutting down the factories in their fragile leaves come fall. Faced with the approaching cold and increasing darkness, these trees simply cut their losses by dropping their leaves, then hunkering down and waiting for spring.

The factory shut-down begins as trees cease production and begin a breakdown of chlorophyll, the compound responsible for capturing most of the sunlight used in photosynthesis.

Chlorophyll is also what gives green plants their color. As chlorophyll levels drop and green color fades, other pigments in the leaves become apparent. These pigments include orange carotenoids, also responsible for the color of carrots and pumpkins, and yellow xanthophylls, found too in sunflowers and egg yolks.

The scarlet red of maples and dogwoods is another story. This color is produced by pigments called anthocyanins, and their production is triggered by crisp – though not freezing – autumn nights.

Despite the temperature dependence of most of the reds seen in fall, light levels are more critical than temperature for setting color changes in motion. This is why peak color times are fairly easy to predict.

Dates for Jim Thorpe’s Fall Foliage Festival coincide with peak color, even though they are set far in advance.

Pocono area rafting, biking and hiking trips are scheduled to allow visitors a variety of experiences under a colorful forest canopy.

Unfortunately, predictable color doesn’t always mean spectacular color. Certain factors may contribute to disappointing displays at the time of peak color. The caterpillars of the gypsy moth, for example, can defoliate vast expanses of forest in a single summer. The worst invasion of this alien species occurred in 1981, resulting in damage to nearly 13 million acres of trees.

Drought can trigger the early loss of leaves, reducing the overall brilliance of a fall display. Since otherwise healthy trees manage fairly well during periods of reduced rainfall, only severe or prolonged drought significantly affects foliage.

Luckily, neither insect damage nor drought threatens to affect this season’s color. Leaves are on schedule to reward visitors with a spectacular show – and area businesses and parks are preparing to offer those same visitors a variety of ways to experience it.

Jim Thorpe’s Fall Foliage Festival takes advantage of the full length of the fall foliage season. 

Here, leaf peepers will find food, craft and fine art vendors, plus free music throughout the downtown area during autumn’s peak color. With the entire town surrounded by maples, oaks and birches – just to name a few, the view is unforgettable.

One of the best ways to experience the colors of the fall foliage season is by train. The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway offers autumn tours in open-windowed, 1920s-era rail cars, and visitors can choose from a variety of routes and departure times. Though train rides are available at other times of the year, fall is the time to see the area by rail.

If train rides aren’t your thing, an equally expansive view can be had from atop Flagstaff Mountain, just outside Jim Thorpe. Here, incredible views, as well as Gallo’s Pub and Restaurant are ready to greet those who make the drive up the mountain, a route accessible from Route 209, roughly midway between Jim Thorpe and Lehighton.

A similar experience can be had at Penn’s Peak, also just outside of town. Though not a mountaintop view, the outdoor wooden viewing decks, indoor stone fireplaces and massive log construction of this restaurant and entertainment venue combine to allow visitors the sense of being fully immersed in a Poconos forest.

And speaking of being immersed, there are plenty of opportunities to view fall foliage from in or near the water. Outfitters such as Jim Thorpe River Adventures lead autumn rafting and kayak trips along the Lehigh. The reflection of leaves in the water virtually doubles the amount of red, yellow, orange and gold in view.

The same effect can be seen on the still waters of Beltzville State Park, and at Mauch Chunk Lake. Boat rentals are available at the latter, and the nearby Carbon County Environmental Education Center offers a mid-October fall foliage hike, led by a knowledgeable forest consultant.

Like any of nature’s more impressive displays, autumn colors don’t last forever. That’s not to say a few individual leaves can’t be collected and preserved with color intact. There are actually several ways to preserve autumn leaves, each of them requiring little equipment or preparation.

Traditionally, leaves are pressed between sheets of newspaper flattened by heavy books, or in the books themselves. This may do little to preserve leaf color, and may leave specimens dry and brittle. Soaking the leaves in a solution of glycerin and water can help to preserve both the leaves and their brilliant colors.

Ironing leaves between sheets of waxed paper, or microwaving them for a few seconds at a time are other methods to try. Microwaved leaves should be dry, not brittle or scorched, and flat rather than curled at the edges. They can then be pressed and preserved as mementos of an autumn trip to the Poconos.

Several field guides are available to help identify leaf souvenirs.

There are also cell phone apps to aid in identification, and even one to help pinpoint peak color places and times; “Leaf Peeper” lets users upload photos and contribute data on leaves in their own areas. The phone app also displays color-coded maps, with every county in the U.S. shown as “green”,“turning”, “moderate”, “peak”, “fading” or “gone”.

“Gone” is a strictly human term, of course. Nature puts those colorless, dried leaves to good use as mulch and as fertilizer for next year’s crop of color. That’s the real magic of the autumn season, after all; for a few weeks each year, one moment in nature’s never-ending cycle of growth and decay, life and death, puts on a show that just happens to be pleasing to the human eye.

It’s explainable, predictable, and most years, it’s the most spectacular thing you’ll see in the Poconos.

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The Rocks That Rolled – Boulder Field, Hickory Run State Park

Written by Susan Gallagher,
Chief Naturalist at Carbon County Environmental Education Center and author of nature blog:

The Lonely Raven

 

Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Hickory Run State Park, Boulder Field, Carbon County’s hundreds of millions of years old geological oddity, is a bit off the beaten path. Though it can be reached on foot via Hickory Run State Park’s vast trail system, most people prefer to travel there by car. Signs beginning along State Route 534 and continuing through Hickory Run State Park direct visitors to a small parking lot and interpretive signs at Boulder Field’s edge. From the main highway, the drive to the entrance of Boulder Field is about four miles long, and this part of the trip is, in itself, worth the time. Though years ago Hickory Run’s trees were decimated by clear cutting and forest fires, many impressive specimens remain, and some can be seen along the first paved mile of the ride. After that, the forest opens up a bit and the road becomes a one-way dirt track. There is no winter maintenance, though visitors will have little trouble making the trek under normal weather conditions.

 

Wildlife sightings aren’t uncommon on the drive through Hickory Run to Boulder Field. Turkeys, grouse, warblers and woodpeckers of all sorts – it’s a birder’s delight! Drivers can also make a quick stop at Hickory Run Lake along the way. Though there is no swimming here, the place is a hotspot for local fishermen during spring stocking season. At other times of the year it’s usually a quiet place, and one of Hickory Run State Park’s better kept secrets. The best part of this ride comes at the end. After a few meandering turns, you swing around to the right and Boulder Field suddenly pops into view – a wide, flat expanse draped on all sides by lush evergreens. It seems starkly out of place, and immediately begs the question, How did these rocks get here?

 

How the rocks came to be, and how the field came to be are really two different stories. The rocks themselves are ancient, laid down as sediments which slowly turned to stone more than 300 million years ago. The rocks are older than the dinosaurs, a part of what geologists call the “Catskill Formation”. This is the type of bedrock underlying a large portion of northeastern Pennsylvania, including most of Monroe, Pike, Wayne and Susquehanna counties. Rub your fingers gently on one of the boulders, and you may be able to feel the fine grains of sediment which were cemented together eons ago. The red color and sandy texture of these grains give the rock its common name: red sandstone. Scattered about Boulder Field you’ll also find conglomerate sandstone – rock with chunks of white, milky quartz crystals embedded within.

 

Geologists don’t all agree on exactly how this sediment-turned-to-stone became Boulder Field in Hickory Run State Park. Signs at the edge of the field’s parking lot describe an ancient valley where the boulders now sit, a valley straddled on either side by cliffs made up of red and conglomerate sandstones. Others suggest the sandstone cliffs weren’t cliffs at all, but a single, gently sloping mass of bedrock situated to the east of the current field (to your left as you enter from the parking lot). Whichever form the sandstone took on, the consensus is this mass of rock was broken into boulders by the same kind of “freeze / thaw” process responsible for most of our potholes and cracked sidewalks; rain or melt water seeps into small crevices in the rock, then freezes solid. Because water expands as it freezes, it expands the crevice in turn. Repeated freezing and thawing continues to widen small spaces in the rock, eventually splitting cliffs or masses of bedrock into boulders, and boulders into smaller pieces over time. The freeze / thaw process was helped along by the area’s glacial climate. Scientists agree most of the rocks were broken apart about twenty thousand years ago, during North America’s last Ice Age. It was then that a massive glacier stopped just short of Boulder Field – only a quarter-mile to the northeast. Though the glacier didn’t deposit the rocks in their current position, its proximity was an important factor in shaping the weather, and therefore in shaping the Hickory Run State Park landscape.

 

At the time, the area that is now Hickory Run State Park looked much like present-day Greenland. This meant less plant life, which in turn meant more exposed rock. Temperatures fluctuated, things froze, things thawed, and the rocks rolled. Boulder Field was also shaped by “frost heave” – another process to wreak havoc on our present day roads and sidewalks. Water that has seeped into soil also expands when it freezes, sometimes uplifting that soil an inch or more. Some geologists think frost heave was responsible for the depressions found scattered throughout the field – ancient “potholes” that look like odd stone circles, with larger boulders on the outer rim, and smaller ones in the center. Though the glacier has long since receded, freezing and thawing still shape Boulder Field – though much more slowly today. Look closely and you’ll find evidence of recently fractured rocks, their sharp edges standing out in contrast to the more rounded forms worn smooth over time.

 

 

Other factors influence Carbon County’s Boulder Field as well. Some plants are able to make a living by growing directly on the rocks, without the benefit of soil. These plants secrete chemicals that allow them to stay fixed to the boulders. These chemicals are slowly wearing away fine bits of sediment from the stones. One of these plants is actually a type of algae called protococcos. It appears as patches of flat, circular green growths throughout the field. Plants called lichens (pronounced LIE-kens) also grow on the rocks, but take on a variety of forms. Some look like withered lettuce, others like simple black dots. One – known as reindeer lichen – resembles tiny little deer antlers, and can be found in abundance on the south side of the field. Your own footsteps, scraping away at the rocks as you teeter your way across the field, are slowly wearing away at the rocks, too, turning big boulders into smaller ones by the slightest of margins. That wear and tear is expected, and does little to take away from the natural beauty of the area. Vandalism, littering and the removal of rocks are more serious threats, and are strictly prohibited.

 

In addition to preserving the area as it is, visitors are asked to consider their own safety before hiking out on the rocks. Sturdy shoes are a must on this hiking trail. Sandals or flip-flops are an invitation to disaster. Even with the proper footwear, rocks are slippery when wet, making rainy day hiking a bad idea. Visitors are encouraged to take along extra water on warm, sunny days, since the temperature of the rocks may be higher than that of surrounding air. Plastic drink bottles are recommended, since glass should not be taken out onto the boulders.

 

To make the most of your visit to Boulder Field, consider attending one of the lectures offered by Hickory Run staff. The park’s Environmental Education Specialist may also be available to schedule hiking tours for school or scout groups. Visiting naturalists from Carbon County Environmental Education Center in Summit Hill can do the same.

 

 

Whether you make it a quick stop, or decide to spend the day hiking out on the rocks, be sure to include a hiking trip to Boulder Field in your plans when visiting Carbon County. It’s a truly unique way to connect with a geologic past full of sand and soil, ice and water – and rocks that rolled.

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Black Bear Country

By: Susan Gallagher, Chief Naturalist, Carbon County Environmental Center 

 

Imagine a big stomach. No, a BIG stomach. A little bigger… little bigger… okay, good. Now give it a huge snout, capable of sniffing out up to 20,000 calories a day. Add four legs because, hey, all that food isn’t going to come to it. Drape the whole thing in some glossy black fur, tack on a stubby little tail, and what you have is a Pennsylvania Black Bear.

 

 

Think of a black bear as a digestive system on the prowl, and much of its behavior starts to make sense. Roaming more than a dozen miles in a night, raiding campsites, dumpsters and curbside trash bins are perfectly logical when the mission is to find food, and then to find more food. Food is also the reason black bears are a fairly common sight in the Poconos. The Poconos have plenty to eat in the way of acorns and other tree seeds, grasses, insects, carrion, fruit – there’s not much in Pocono forests that isn’t on the menu. Add some wetlands or mountain streams for keeping cool in summer and a few rocky den sites for shelter, and you have the perfect black bear habitat that is Northeast Pennsylvania.

 

Unfortunately, some Pennsylvania highways slice right through that habitat, leading to the kind of bear encounter no one wants to have. Combine high speed travel, roads crowded with cars and trucks, poor or low visibility at night, and the next thing you know there’s a dead bear on the side of the road and an insurance deductible to pay. Since collisions with whitetail deer can be equally damaging, it’s best to obey Pennsylvania’s posted speed limits and avoid distracted driving. Stay especially alert while traveling at night or in early morning. In Carbon County, both Interstate 80 near Hickory Run State Park and Route 903 near Albrightsville are known for frequent bear crossings and wildlife collisions.

 

 

A far more common, and perhaps more expected, kind of bear encounter is that of a raiding bruin at the campsite. Black Bears have an incredible sense of smell, making it almost impossible to hide the fact you’ve been roasting hotdogs around the fire. As giant stomachs with feet, it’s no surprise black bears are sometimes attracted to campgrounds throughout the area. Local park directors, rangers and wildlife officers go to great lengths to prevent the occasional campsite raid from resulting in what’s termed a “nuisance” or “problem” bear. Bear-proof dumpsters are put in place. Black Bears are discouraged from associating campsites with food, sometimes with harmless scatter-shot, and visiting campers are reminded to keep food out of and away from tents or cabins. Incidentally, it may be more than food that attracts super-sniffing bears to a campsite; sweetly scented toiletries can do the same. For Black Bears, an animal whose sense of smell far surpasses that of humans, (and bloodhounds!) something like strawberry shampoo or soap may be enticing enough to warrant further investigation.

 

 

At all Pocono and northeast Pennsylvania area parks, bears and other wildlife are encouraged to develop a healthy fear of humans. This is as much for their sake as for our hikers and campers, since the story of an animal regularly looking for handouts rarely has a happy ending. Posters displayed at campsite check-ins sum it up in poetic brevity: A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear. This is a lesson we sometimes forget, especially when watching bears from the safety of our own homes. We’re pretty brave when we can toss marshmallows to a black bear from the security of a porch or deck, but meet that same animal along a wooded path, and it’s no fun trying to explain that you are out of marshmallows.

 

 

Encountering any wildlife on its home turf can be a moving experience, but there is something special about coming across a black bear in the woods. Here is an animal with teeth and claws, muscles and jaws, sufficient to do some serious harm. It’s not surprising that for some of us, wild bear sightings cause a certain amount of fear or anxiety. We become especially cautious if the black bear happens to be a mom with cubs in tow. Surprisingly, mother bears rarely turn out to be a serious threat; in fact, the vast majority of bears behaving badly toward humans turn out to be young males. To understand why, we need to consider some basic bear biology.

 

 

We’ll begin at the beginning, with a newborn bear cub. These adorable little bundles come into the world in January, while mom bear is snoozing in her winter den. Blind, nearly naked, and weighing in at around one pound, bear cubs grow quickly. By the time the family leaves the den in spring, the cubs are able to climb. This climbing ability sets black bears apart from their grizzly cousins to the west, and polar bears of the north. Having evolved in a forested landscape, our bears depend on oaks and maples for more than just food; trees offer safety. Given the choice between “fight or flight”, a black bear is pre-programmed to opt for flight up the nearest available tree. When confronted with anyone or anything perceived as a threat, mother bears generally shoo their young bear cubs upwards to safety. Trees can instantly defuse what might otherwise be a dangerous situation. Once the cubs are safe, mom is less agitated, and less likely to become aggressive. In addition to honing their climbing skills, bear cubs have a lot to learn from mom (males don’t help in raising the young) which explains why bear cubs stay with mama bear through their first winter. Late in the following spring, or early in the summer, these “teenagers” are kicked out on their own as mama bear starts work on the next litter. By June or July, year-and-a-half old cubs find themselves newly independent, and must come to terms with their destiny as walking stomachs.

 

Everything black bears encounter is food, unless and until proven otherwise. Logs are pawed through for insects; all manner of plant parts are sampled; carrion is inspected and taste-tested; and people are sometimes – yes, sometimes – followed as potential prey. This is where things can get a little scary. Time to seek counsel from Fred Merluzzi, local Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation Officer. Having served more than 30 years with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Merluzzi speaks with the measured patience of a man who has mediated human-bear conflicts in the Poconos for a long, long time. “I wouldn’t call these ‘attacks’”, he advises. “They are more like ‘uncomfortable encounters’, and they all center around food.” Years ago, Merluzzi investigated the case of a teenage girl who had been knocked to the ground by a young bear. She was sniffed, pawed at gently, and her face was licked by the animal before it took off. “That sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. It all made sense when I found out the girl was walking through the woods on her way home from work at a fast food restaurant. She smelled like food.” Merluzzi suspects that bear was a young male, as most of his “problem” bears turn out to be. These male black bears may grow to be hundreds of pounds heavier than their female counterparts, and so must roam farther in search of food. This increases the odds they will cross paths with people, and anyone walking around smelling like a giant french fry is bound to elicit some curiosity.

 

So, what do you do if, all of a sudden, you find yourself being stalked like a lowly prey animal? Merluzzi’s advice is simple: don’t act like food. “Stand your ground. Don’t lay down and don’t run. If you are in a group, bunch together. Do whatever you can to make yourself look bigger and more threatening. Send a message that you’re not worth the hassle.” Merluzzi recommends hikers and campers in Pennsylvania’s bear country consider pepper spray. “Carry it, but don’t use it unless you have to.” Will you have to? Chances are the answer is no. Most black bear encounters here in the Poconos and northeast Pennsylvania are anything but “uncomfortable”. Every once in a while a bruin may raid the garbage cans or knock down a few bird feeders; a few may become too cozy at local campsites and require intervention by park staff or game officers, but the vast majority of these animals maintain that healthy fear of humans so important for their own survival.

 

Pennsylvania black bears have managed not only to survive, but to thrive in our midst. They are among the largest in the world, and the Pocono region boasts some real record-holders. Bears in excess of 800 pounds are not unheard of. The skull of the third-largest road-killed bear in the Commonwealth is on display at Carbon County Environmental Education Center, not far from where it met with ill fate on an area roadway. Tourists and other visitors are often drawn here with the hope of glimpsing one of these big guys. When that happens, it’s unforgettable.

 

Imagine hiking a lonely trail, surrounded by the thick greenery of summer. There’s rustling in the laurels ahead, the crack of dry branches underfoot and maybe a soft chuffing sound – all indicating the approach of something big. Suddenly, there he is, and you’re too captivated by that mass of biological beauty to be frightened. You watch for a moment, rooted to the ground. Then the wind changes direction, carrying your scent to a wide snout. He’s off, his bulk disappearing slowly back into the thicket. You’ve just been reminded that wild things and wild places still exist here in the Poconos.

 

You’ve had a bear encounter of the best kind.

 

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A Family Guide to Jim Thorpe: Gateway to the Poconos

Written by Susan Gallagher of the Lonely Raven  www.thelonelyraven.com

It’s a parental rite of passage: plan what you hope will be an exciting family trip, stow the luggage and pack up the kids. Then it’s time to sit back and relax as an endless stream of complaints issue forth from the back seat.

“I’m BORED!”
“Are 

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we there yet?”

“I gotta go to the bathroom!”

There is no easy fix for the stressful family road trip, but rest assured, if Jim Thorpe, PA is your destination, our abundance of natural areas will offer plenty for the kids to do on arrival.

Children and nature go together, well, naturally! A growing body of evidence supports what common sense already tells us – that spending time in “green places” can havepositive impacts on a child’s physical and emotional development. One study in particular found that simply playing in a natural area is as effective as medication (or perhaps even more so) in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children.

BM ButterflyOpportunities for nature play abound in Jim Thorpe and its surrounding Pocono areas, northeast of the Lehigh Valley, where there is something for every age and interest. For the youngest visitors, Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary is a must-see and just a few miles north of downtown Jim Thorpe. These people literally invented the word “flutterarium” to describe their walk-in butterfly feeding room. Here, kids can feed monarchs, painted ladies or other butterfly species on nectar-soaked sponges and brushes, or browse the nature-themed gift shop, well stocked with items that won’t break the piggy bank. Bear Mountain Butterflies also has plenty of space and supplies for crafts, games and puzzles. The staff is especially accommodating for developmentally challenged children, and can provide programs tailored to special needs groups.

Equally kid-friendly is Mauch Chunk Lake Park on the west end of Jim Thorpe off of Lentz’s Trail. Visitors can enjoy not only the standard fare of camping, fishing and boating, but also a “Tot Lot” playground for the little ones, some easy hiking trails, and plenty of friendly ducks to feed. Sections of the historic Switchback Gravity Railroad cut through the park, great for easy hikes and favored by local walkers and runners.

At the west end of the park sits Carbon County Environmental Education Center, a wildlife rehabilitation facility housing injured, non-releasable raptors. Nowhere else in the Poconos can kids get as close to a red-tailed hawk, great-horned owl, or bald eagle. A handicap accessible boardwalk trail circles the raptor enclosures for easy viewing of the birds at any daylight hour.

As a county-operated park, Mauch Chunk Lake Park is unaffected by the budget cuts that often leave state parks without lifeguards to monitor their swimming areas. If you are looking for a lake swim on a not-so-crowded beach, Mauch Chunk may be your best bet.  

Jim Thorpe is the county seat of Carbon county and at the foothills of the Poconos. Carbon County’s three (yes, three!) state parks are not to be missed and are just a short drive from the downtown area of Jim Thorpe. They offer a range of opportunities for family fun.

Lehigh Gorge State Park bisects Carbon County from north to south, with a crushed-stone trail paralleling the scenic Lehigh River. Three trail heads allow entrance to the Lehigh Gorge, beginning in White Haven with access from the parking lot of the town’s small shopping center (Pssst! This shopping center is home to Wood’s Ice Cream, one of the Pocono area’s best kept secrets). Here, a local outfitter runs a small shop offering mountain bike rentals, drinks, and snacks to get the whole family set for a riverside trek. You can also set off in to the Lehigh Gorge from the park’s opposite end in Jim Thorpe and head up-river; another outfitter in the center of town offers everything you will need, including specific directions to the Lehigh Gorge State Park entrance.

“The Gorge” can be reached by car at Rockport, a tiny town situated about halfway along the park’s 20+ mile stretch. Though the only accommodations here are a drinking fountain and rest room, this is still a popular access point. From the parking lot, take the kids for an easy walk either 2/10’s of a mile down-river, or 3/10’s of a mile up-river to check out the waterfalls. Up-river, the falls cascade down to where children (and pets!) can splash in a small, icy-cold pool of spring water; the perfect destination on a hot summer day. Note: Rattlesnakes and copperheads are not uncommon sights in Lehigh Gorge State Park. Supervise children accordingly.

For the fossil enthusiast, Beltzville State Park is the place to be. Visitors to Beltzville can expect to find five kinds of fossils here, including the coveted trilobite! Just check with park staff to find where digging and collecting might be permitted. Beltzville also offers picnic areas, easy walking trails, and a picturesque covered bridge. This bridge once housed a huge colony of little brown bats, now sadly reduced due to white-nose syndrome, a fungal infection affecting many of the Poconos’ bat populations.

At the northern end of Carbon county is Hickory Run State Park, where you will find hiking opportunities to suit every age and ability level. Of Hickory Run State Park’s 23 trails, Deer Trail, Lake Trail and Nature Loop Trail are especially suitable for young visitors.

Hickory Run State Park is home to Boulder Field – a 20,000 year-old collection of sandstone boulders in an area measuring roughly 400’ wide by 1,800’ long. This geologic oddity is a great place to let your kids roam freely; not only can you keep an eye on them from a distance, you can also put your mind at ease if worried about ticks or snakes – there simply aren’t any of them here! Just be sure to outfit everyone in sturdy shoes, ideally with rubberized soles for traction on the rocks.

All of the above-mentioned destinations offer formal programming for children and families. If a structured experience is what you’re after, check their websites for schedules and fees (many programs are available for free or at a nominal cost). Planned adventures can also be had through any of the area’s rafting companies, most ofwhich welcome young children on certain sections of the river. Some of these facilities also provide skirmish, mountain-biking and hiking tours.

The great thing about nature exploration is that you don’t need a park, a planned activity or a guide to have fun. Kids are particularly good at creating their own adventures when given a bit of freedom, and there’s tremendous value in this “unstructured” type of play. Damming a stream, planning and building a tree fort, falling down and getting back up – these all provide the kinds of life lessons you won’t find in any book. So, don’t be afraid to relax the rules a bit. If you’re anxious about things like ticks, wasps, or venomous snakes, talk with staff at any of the above-mentioned Pocono area parks. They can provide more information on potential threats in any given area. You can encourage safe, rewarding nature play on any trip with a bit of planning and some inexpensive materials.

Here are a few tips for putting together a simple “nature exploration kit” to accompany your little trailblazer on his or her Jim Thorpe adventure. Pack light for your Pocono family adventure so you can include some of these items!  
Start with a junior-sized backpack and the basics such as tissues, hand wipes, first aid supplies, sunscreen and snacks. Then add a few of the following to tailor it to your child’s age and interests:

·

Whistle – A loud whistle is the outdoor equivalent of 911. Teach your child to deliver three strong blasts if lost or separated.
Notepad and pencils (or crayons for younger children.)
Hand lenses (attached to key chains or lanyards so they won’t be easily lost.)  
Tweezers, a small garden shovel and a net for “collecting expeditions”.
Specimen containers such as small plastic bottles or cups. Sandwich bags work well for rock and leaf collections.
A home-made scavenger hunt list of ten or twenty things kids should be able to find. Acorns, feathers, worms, bugs, and different kinds of leaves or seeds are a few ideas. (Avoid over-collecting and release any live animals back into the habitats where they were found. Keep in mind some parks may not allow the removal of plants, animals or minerals, so check the rules before taking anything with you.) ·
A collection of the color sample cards found in the paint department of any hardware or home improvement store. Yes, paint samples! Ask kids to find natural objects thatmatch the colors exactly. You’ll be amazed at how many shades of green are to be found in nature, not to mention the pinks, blues and purples of flowers in bloom. · If you have a serious junior naturalist in the family, check out “Acorn Naturalists” online. This company offers everything from bug collecting kits and posters to kids’ laminated field guides and quality student-grade binoculars.

Whether you choose to sign up for a planned program, or set out to make your own fun, the family is assured a memorable, meaningful experience in any of Jim Thorpe and its surrounding Pocono natural areas. Of course, there’s no guarantee the ride home will be a quiet one. That stream of complaints may very well issue once again from the back seat.

“No! We’re not leaving already!”

“C’mon, why can’t we stay?”


“Awww, when do we get to come back?”

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Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce

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Located at the base of a steep valley carved by the Lehigh River, the town of Jim Thorpe combines a rich history with a growing reputation as a place where residents and visitors can enjoy the beauty of the mountains while also experiencing the town’s many accommodations, shopping, dining, entertainment and outdoor recreation opportunities. Jim Thorpe’s proximity to the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, New York and other population centers along the eastern seaboard makes it a great place for both doing business and getting away from it all.

(888) JIM THORPE info@jimthorpe.org
Visit www.jimthorpe.org

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JT vs The World

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It’s only human to compare…

After finally getting into the Facebook frenzy to help publicize my JTX Tour business, I have also gotten into the personal side of the website which allows people to keep in touch.  Looking at the page of a friend is a way to better understand someone, especially if there are lots of pictures to view.  In order to make my page a little more representative of ‘me,’ I recently uploaded a bunch of pictures from trips we’ve taken over the past couple years.  It was fun to relive trips to San Diego and Joshua Tree Nat’l Park in California, or New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada as I put the pictures on Facebook for others to see.
Around the same time, I also put up some pictures from recent JTX tours around Jim Thorpe, and scrolled through a bunch of old tour pics, too.  In looking at these local views versus the ones from more ‘exotic’ places, something struck me….
The Jim Thorpe area is BEAUTIFUL – in an Adventurous sort of way!
In comparing JTX pictures to vacation pictures, there are a lot of differences (sure), but there are a lot of things that are just as beautiful about this area as places in Nova Scotia, for example.  We’d been hearing about Nova Scotia for years before finally getting to visit, and all the hype was true – it is truly an amazing place.  Joshua Tree NP was also quite stunning, although in a completely opposite way – it is high desert, with a flora/fauna mix that is totally different than anything here on the east side of the continent.  The Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada, has some awesome rock formations and a uniquely sculpted coastline.  All of these areas gave us memories and pictures we treasure.
At the same time, we have similar things right here in Jim Thorpe and the Western Poconos area that we need to appreciate more.  Maybe it’s because we live here that we take things for granted (surely, people in Nova Scotia like their surroundings but say the same thing), and it is true that people living in other places talk about going to Jim Thorpe like some faraway, utopian destination – like we talked of Joshua Tree before our visit.  But even though we live here… actually, BECAUSE we live here… we need to recognize all the amazing things that we have around us.
Some examples:
Just as Joshua Tree has old mining trails to mountaintop vistas, Jim Thorpe has the Switchback and Broad Mountain Loop (both old work trails) that take you to some of the best views in the Poconos.
Just like New Brunswick has a water-sculpted shoreline, the Lehigh River creates amazing works of ‘rock art’ as it cuts its way through the Pocono Plateau.
Similar to many of Nova Scotia’s awesome hiking trails, with their sweeping views and remote atmospheres, hiking on the Appalachian Trail or even to a short hike to Buzzard’s Point can give you the same feeling.
It might not have as many rocks as areas of Joshua Tree NP, but Boulder Field is a really neat place to visit, and some of the rock formations along the Gorge Trail are impressive, as is the geologic splendor of the Glen Onoko hike.
Speaking of Hickory Run State Park (where Boulder Field is), the trails there are as good as many we’ve hiked all across the country, with tightly wooded singletracks giving close-up views of plants and animals and then opening up to wider doubletracks through high meadows with sweeping vistas of the Lehigh Gorge – they’ve got it all!
As far as mingling history with adventure, Jim Thorpe has many of these places beat, with the Lehigh Gorge Trail traversing the same grounds as the nationally-imp

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ortant Lehigh Valley Railroad and Mauch Chunk Lake Park being home to the Switchback – the world’s first roller-coaster and a great biking/hiking trail now.
In a set of vacation pictures from New Zealand (not on Facebook yet), we have mementos of hiking an old mining railroad  and biking on an old railbed and through vineyards, as well as photographs of beautiful waterfalls and thousands of sheep in pastures along our hiking routes.  Save for the sheep, the Jim Thorpe area offers all this same scenery, albeit a little smaller and maybe a little less ‘raw’ than that of New Zealand. On the other hand, this area is a lot closer than a 27-hour, half-way-round-the-world flight!  On other trips, we have been to places throughout America that have some truly unique stories and sites, and sure it’s true that Jim Thorpe doesn’t have everything (Everglades NP, for example, is pretty unique; Mt Rushmore is one-of-a-kind).
But Glen Onoko’s waterfalls are impressive even after you’ve seen Yellowstone Falls, and the view from the Oxbow overlook is still neat even after standing on the Grand Canyon’s rim.  Hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail immerses you into a story of Americana – a sub-culture almost – that places in Colorado will never have.  Sure the Rockies are bigger – they and the Tetons really are magnificent – but hiking out there is not too much different than hiking right here:  it’s one foot in front of the other, watch the placement so you don’t turn an ankle, look around when you’re on an easy stretch, enjoy the flora and fauna all around you… in other words, it’s Hiking!  And better yet, here we don’t have to worry about Grizzly Bears! (…although rattlesnakes are almost as scary an encounter)
Riding mountain bike is what brought me here – Jim Thorpe has long been known as a mountain biking mecca, but I have ridden all across the country and will stand up for this area against anyplace else.  For example, the reputation of Moab, Utah as the best trails in the world is (in my mind) questionable… they are not that much better than what we have here – but very different.  The MIX of trails in this area is what makes it a better mountain biking destination than most other famous bike places – we have something for everyone, from the scenic/easy Lehigh Gorge trail, to the insanely technical trails on Mt Pisgah and Broad Mountain, and for the intermediates we offer the Broad Mountain Loop and Switchback/Upper Switchback and Mauch Chunk Ridge.  Truly something for everyone… other places just can’t match that.
In the winter, this area has a whole bunch of other activities that can be compared to places in New England or out West, too:  skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and even ice climbing.  Those, however, will have to be another story… maybe in 8 months when Mother Nature brings on the White Season.
For now, however, we have about 7 wonderful months of exploration ahead of us.  We have so much here to see and do, all right here around Jim Thorpe: an impressive mix of natural attractions that make it a great place to come for adventures and an excellent place to call home.  If you’re lucky enough to call it that, get out and enjoy what you’ve got.  If you’re one of the 27 million people who live within a 4-hour drive, you owe it to yourself to come visit ‘our neck of the woods’ and experience all the things for which we moved here.  There are all kinds of outfitters and guides ready to help you enjoy the area on your choice of adventure, so you have no excuse.  Come visit Jim Thorpe, where you will see beautiful sights, take some amazing pictures and create some of your own favorite memories.

Tom Loughery is a tour guide with the Jim Thorpe eXperience (JTX) www.thejtx.com who thanks his lucky stars he moved to Jim Thorpe 9 years ago this month. thejtx@hotmail.com

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Recreation during Hunting Season in Jim Thorpe, PA

Recreation during Hunting Season in Jim Thorpe, PA

by Tom Loughery
Tour Operator
the Jim Thorpe eXperience
www.theJTX.com

With its mountainous setting, Jim Thorpe is famous for having adventures all around the town – on the river and lakes, on the trails and out in the woods. We’re lucky to have different levels of adventures, too, so people of all abilities can find something they’ll enjoy when they visit. Whether your chosen activity is hiking, biking or kayaking, you can find a spot to do it that will match your ability. People have been coming to the Jim Thorpe area for years just for this reason.

 

Something that all visitors (and local adventurers, too) need to keep in mind is that we share the land with the original adventurers – the hunters who have been getting out in the woods and on the mountains for hundreds of years. In this area, October 2 to December 11 is the major part of hunting season, which should impact your plans if you’re coming to the area to partake in any outdoor activity. Even though we all need to share the land for most of the year, and there is an attitude in many adventurers that we have just as much right to use public lands whenever we want, it is my opinion that hunting season is a time when we (as non-hunting adventurers) need to concede that the local woods are primarily for the hunters.

 

As an outdoor lover, it is very hard to say that I am not going to go in the woods between early October and mid-December. And it does not have to be true… there are times I will be out there. However, foremost in my mind is always safety, and it isn’t always safe to be out in the woods during hunting season, so I will definitely think about my adventures a lot more right now. For example, it is just not smart or considerate to plan a long hike or a bike ride through hunting lands on any Saturday for the next 2 months. Saturdays are when 90% of the hunters are out there… why would we want to risk our safety and disturb their activity? It causes disputes between hunters and bikers/hikers, and a few times it ends up in tragedy. None of us wants to be a statistic on hunting safety!

 

So what do you do in order to get your nature fix? There are several options, and here are some hints to stay safe:

 

1. Find no-hunting lands that are open to the public, and explore them for a while. Many smaller parks in populated areas do not allow hunting because of the proximity of homes/people, so these parks are available year-round.
2. If you’re coming to Jim Thorpe to do something outside, plan the major activity for a Sunday, when there is no hunting. That’s a pretty easy one.
3. If you are coming for a multi-day adventure, plan some other things on hunting days… for example, on a Saturday you can kayak on the lake/river or bike/walk the Switchback or Lehigh Gorge Trails. (FYI, you may still see some hunters from these trails, as they gain access to remote lands)
4. Remember that ‘Private Property’ does not necessarily mean there won’t be hunters out there. If you see a section of woods that is ‘posted’ or you think is owned privately, that does not mean it won’t be hunted. Often, landowners give special permission to certain hunters to be on their land – best to ask the property owner if any hunters are allowed there.
5. If you have to be out on a hunting day, avoid the times when the hunters are most likely to be out – early mornings are a given, and late afternoons are sometimes popular for people getting out of work. This applies more to weekdays; Saturday is a whole day when it’s just not smart to be out in hunting areas.
6. Another thing to think about is being visible, no matter when/where you are out in the woods over the next couple months. There are signs on public lands saying: “Hunters wear Orange, you should too.” This is good advice. Bright, non-natural colors will stand out and let everyone know you are not a wild animal. Neons, blaze orange, etc…fashion takes a back seat during hunting season!

 

These hints are just some of my ideas to help visitors enjoy their time in the outdoors in a safe and courteous manner. I know it will stir up resentment among some adventurers who think we all have every right to be wherever we want, whenever we want.

It’s not an argument I wish to make…

 

I just want people to be safe, and I really don’t want bikers or hikers causing problems with hunters around Jim Thorpe. Hunting is big here… huge, even. It is part of the culture for far longer than mountain biking or anything else…

 

Getting shot because you’re pedaling through the woods on a popular hunting day, (and maybe dressed in a brown shirt and wearing a white bicycling helmet !@#$*) is definitely not an enjoyable outing…. We’d all like people to remember their time in Jim Thorpe in a positive way, so avoiding conflict or tragedy is an important part of that.

 

Basically, regardless of your opinion on public lands or user access, hunting as a sport, private property, or sharing the land, we all need to have a realistic attitude about hunting season and implement practices that will help keep us safe while feeding our outdoor passion.

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Celebrate the Great Outdoors!

This September is a great time to come visit this area and do something cool outside.  Across all of Carbon County, there is a month-long celebration of the outdoors that showcases the fact that there is so much to see and do here.  This area is blessed with mountains, lakes, rivers, trails, wilderness, parks, nature centers, golf courses, outfitters, guides (like JTX!) and then all the other stuff that you need AFTER the adventure, like restaurants, B&B/hotel/guesthouses/motel, shopping, historic attractions, etc.  Carbon County truly has everything you need to have a great time outside.

Throughout September, there is something going on almost every day, which helps showcase the natural environment and adventures that are available here.  Visit www.carboncountychamber.org and click on the circular logo on the left-middle of the page.  This takes you to a big PDF file that has the general info PLUS a calendar of events (takes a moment to load).   You have to SCROLL DOWN from the picture to the calendar.  It’s not the best calendar, but it’s a sampling of what’s available. (Next year, there will be a better website and calendar.)

This month of activities will show you just how much is here, and even if you can’t get here in September, it will give you ideas for next time you DO visit.  If you live in the area, it will let you know of a bunch of things that area available right in your backyard.

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A Train Ride in Jim Thorpe, PA

Pop pop was in town and we promised both him and the kids a train ride. on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. We took the first ride of the day at 11am on Saturday.  Ana got a big old hug from their mascot while Pop pop upgraded our tickets to the open air coach.  tickets please

The weather was beautiful, sunny with a warm breeze as we took our seats in the first coach.  The seating filled up pretty quickly and you could see the look of antispation in the kids eyes (and pop pops too:) as the train blew its horn to let everyone know we are about to start moving.  Tickets PLEASE!

going over the bridgeI was surprised at how quickly the train moved thru town on our way up the glen.  The river sparkled as we crossed it and we saw rafters headed down river. The parking lot was filling up on the Lehigh Gorge Park with bikers and kayakers as we approached and everyone waved as we passed.

The ride is about an hour and they give a nice tour and information about what we are seeing as we pass.  I knew the kids would hungry so I brought a thermos of milk and banana bread I’d made the night before. You can learn more out the Lehigh Scenic Railway here…and here is the route we took (from their website)

For our 16 mile roundtrip, we ride 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. We follow the winding Lehigh River, rounding curve after curve until we reach Old Penn Haven.

They showed us the new tracks they are laying and I thought about how much work  it must be to keep railroads up and running and safe and how lucky we are to have this in our backyard to enjoy a few times a year.new tracks

I am not sure who had more fun, pop pop or the kids but I know we will be taking a train ride up the gorge again once fall foliage is at its best.

warm breezelooking thru carslooking up at train

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Bringing it together

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How to bring more people to experience the spectacular cultural, heritage and tourism opportunities in the area? How can we get more people to see MORE of Carbon County and stay LONGER?

This illustrated map will help in this mission as it gives a broad overview of everything Carbon County has to offer and where everything

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is in relation to the currently best known areas.

The map will be THE visual source of information for everything to do, see and experience in Carbon County in a way that makes it fun and easy to explore more of the area, stay longer and check out location that would have otherwise been overlooked.

Stay tuned for more…

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Getting this going…

It seems like forever since the decision to take on this project was made.  I have lived in Carbon County for 12 years and have much pride when it comes to sharing the natural beauty of the mountains.

The question that is always asked is: “What else is there to do?
Do they like Outdoor adventures?  beautiful overlooks with breathtaking rapids?  Maybe shopping the counties' many quaint shoppes is to their liking.  Restaurants serving hearty and delici

What Husbands Cant Resist

ous fare without breaki

What Husbands Cant Resist

ng the budget, a real plus when kids are in tow.  And speaking of kids, with activities like a scenic train ride and tubing the Lehigh River, the young ones will have memories that last a lifetime.  Then came the directions, follow Rt. 209 to the bridge, cross over the river, go up the mountain until you see…

And what else is there to do?
Well, a lot.

I was having this conversation with old friends from the city, newcomers at our kids soccer game, and people stopping me in the street while taking my morning walk.  What must it be like for locals who come face to face with visitors and new comers every day? How do they get anything done with needing to answer this question all day. I knew there had to be a better way.

What Husbands Cant Resist
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Snowshoeing with Kids

             SNOWSHOEING WITH KIDS

We are always looking for fun ways to burn calories (me) and energy (the kids)and enjoy the beautiful winter scenery. Hiking this time of the year is sloppy and unpredicatable unless you follow established trails, so we decided to get snow shoes and just blaze a trail into the woods. Snow shoes are easy to purchase and affordable for both adults and kids. I got them for less then $50 each on ebay (for me) and LL Bean (for kids). They fit over snow boots and is the only equipment you need. The only extras recommend is warm clothes, a drink and maybe a snack.

My son and I set out on a snowy winter day with our dogs in tow. The cool thing about snowshoeing is that you can walk through the bare winter woods that would be impenetrable when the foliage is thick with Rhodos in the summer months. The snow shoes keep you right on top on the deep snow with a swoosh, stomp, swoosh, stomp.

As we walked, we looked for tracks and tried to guess what animals had left them. We also followed deer runs and tried to imagine the extent of the deer highway and exactly where they were going. The bark of the pines tree exposed all of its texture and the wind had blown snow one the side of nearly every tree.

Our dogs leaped and bound through the deep snow as we glided across it. We were able to cover a lot of ground before we wanted to stop for a drink.

Once we got through the woods we came to an open field and had a chance to appreciate the winter landscape, bare mountains and feel the bright sunshine. We stopped and sat on a tree truck and ate our cookies (many favorite hiking snack and a must with kids). As we made our way back up the mountain towards the car I found out that the workout works different muscle groups than normal hiking.

Fun in the winter sun.

Where is your favorite spot for snowshoeing?

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