A deep, steep-walled gorge, thick vegetation, rock outcroppings, and many waterfalls characterize Lehigh Gorge State Park. In Luzerne and Carbon Counties in eastern Pennsylvania, the 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. Whitewater boating and biking are popular activities.
The 25-mile Lehigh Gorge Trail is a rail-trail following a rail line that was originally constructed by the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The line traversed the Lehigh Gorge to tap the anthracite coalfields in the Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre areas. With coal exhausted, other business could not sustain the Central Railroad, which made way for the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1965. The Lehigh Valley Railroad then abandoned the line in 1972.
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- The 25-mile Lehigh Gorge Trail's grade is mostly downhill, making for an easy scenic spin. A number of local outfitters offer bike rentals, as well as shuttle services once you reach the trail's endpoint at Jim Thorpe. (Or you could turn around and make it a 50-mile day.)
- Join a local historian for a walking tour through Lehigh Gorge and the historic town of White Haven. Visit www.whitehavenwalkingtours.com for more.
- Local outfitters like Pocono Whitewater (www.whitewaterrafting.com) and Jim Thorpe River Adventures (www.jtraft.com) offer guided rafting trips down the Lehigh River's Class II-III whitewater. The rafting season runs from late March to October.
Lehigh Gorge State Park
RR 1 Box 81
White Haven, Pennsylvania 18661
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