rail trail biking in the Poconos, PA

Jim Thorpe in Northeast Pennsylvania is a small town rich in history and culture. Jim Thorpe is a must see tourist destination. Peaking the charts for one the best places to visit in Pennsylvania, Jim Thorpe is filled with shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, bars, and historic attractions.

Located on the outskirts of the Pocono Mountains, Jim Thorpe is just 35 minutes from the Lehigh Valley, 90 minutes from Philadelphia, and 2 hours from New York City.

Art and Culture

Art

Jim Thorpe is home to a handful of art galleries and boutique stores offering everything from fine art to novelties. Take a walk along Broadway in downtown Jim Thorpe and you can view artwork at the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation, Hazard House Gallery, Black Diamond Gallery, Out of the Blue, and more. Artists from all backgrounds have settled down in the Jim Thorpe art studios creating paintings, lithograph prints, blacksmithing sculptures, stained glass, jewelry and photography.

Music

On weekends you will often find musicians in the town square or playing live music in one of Jim Thorpe’s many restaurants or bars. The Mauch Chunk Opera house also offers a variety of performances throughout the year.

Festivals

Jim Thorpe’s most notable festival is the Fall Foliage Festival which takes place on three consecutive weekends each year. Visiting the Pocono Mountains when the leaves are at their peak fall color is the perfect time to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown, rent a bike and take to the trails just outside of Jim Thorpe to take in the fresh air and scenic wonders of the region.

Other festivals and parades are held throughout the year including the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration, and Winterfest.

Restaurants of Jim Thorpe

Fine dining, casual dining, or checking out the bar scene in Jim Thorpe is a great way to end your day in Jim Thorpe. Sit down the locals at Molly Maguire’s Pub or enjoy a meal the Broadway Grille and Pub in downtown Jim Thorpe. Take a break on a hot summer day to cool down with an ice cream cone from Wood’s ice cream near the Train Station.

History of Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe’s charm is not the only thing that draws visitors to the area. Tourists and locals alike are drawn to the mystery of the Jim Thorpe Jail and the stories of the Molly Maguire’s of the coal era. You can tour the grandeur Asa Packer and Harry Pack Mansions that grace the hillsides of Jim Thorpe.

Visit the Old Mauch Chuck Train Station. This stop provides historic displays or take a ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railways. The railways take you through the Lehigh Gorge State Park where you can step out into nature.

Outdoor Recreation Near Jim Thorpe

Escape the busy streets and get into the wilderness. The Pocono Mountains provide some of the best hiking & biking trails, whitewater rafting, and wildlife observation in Pennsylvania.

Whitewater Rafting

The Lehigh Gorge State Park that stretches from the White Haven area to Jim Thorpe, PA. Home to the best whitewater rafting in the area! The Lehigh River is a family friendly river that offers fun and exciting Class I, II and III rapids. Rafting trips are available from April through October.

You can book whitewater rafting trips with Whitewater Challengers which is located just 20 minutes outside of Jim Thorpe. Conveniently located to the Upper Lehigh River Gorge. This section of river boasts some of the best rapids on a 9 mile section of the Lehigh. Just a short 10-15 minute shuttle from the river to Whitewater Challengers Rafting Center in Weatherly, PA.

Jim Thorpe rafting is also available in a more family-friendly format. Trip for ages 5+ are available every day of the week. On weekdays trips include a free lunch when rafting with Whitewater Challengers. Family-style rafting begins in Jim Thorpe and takes you south on the Lehigh River through calmer Class I & II rapids.

Trail Biking

The Lehigh Gorge State Park also features a rail/trail system for hiking and biking. Start at White Haven and end in Jim Thorpe for almost 25 miles of trail with a slight downhill grade. Whether you are on bike or foot the scenic trail passes waterfalls, wildlife and historic remains of lock and dams. Bike rentals and shuttles are available from Whitewater Challengers.

Combine your tour of Jim Thorpe with experiences in the mountains. Camp out with Whitewater Challengers for a few nights at the Lehigh River Rafting Center and campground while you enjoy a vacation full of art, history and outdoor adventure in and near Jim Thorpe, PA.

Need help planning your trip? Call the river experts at 800-443-8554.