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Mt. Pocono overlook

The Pocono Mountains region comprises approximately 2,400 square miles (6,200 km²) located in northeastern Pennsylvania, United States.

The Pocono Mountains is a popular recreational destination for local and regional visitors. While the area has long been a popular tourist destination, many communities have seen a rise in population, especially in Coolbaugh Township and other communities within Monroe County. The region has a population of about 340,300, which is growing at a rapid pace, largely attributable to vacationers from the New York City region who are turning vacation homes into permanent residences.[citation needed] The region lacks a major population center, although there are municipalities such as Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg, Mount Pocono, and the townships around them which are all in Monroe County where the population is 165,058, which is about half of the total population in the Poconos. The Poconos now serves as a commuter community for New York City and Northern New Jersey, even though the commute often takes as much as 2 hours each way due to distance and traffic. Because the region lacks a population center, it has been difficult to establish transit infrastructure to feed (future) commuter rail and bus lines.



Map of the main regions of the northeast Appalachians.

The Pocono Mountains is a vaguely defined area encompassing Carbon, Monroe, Pike, and southern Wayne Counties of Pennsylvania [1], as well as portions of neighboring counties such as Schuylkill, and Susquehanna, Luzerne, and Lackawanna. The region of Northampton County from the Slate Belt northwards is also sometimes included[2]. In total, the Poconos encompasses over 2,500 square miles. The Poconos are geologically part of the Allegheny Plateau, like the nearby Catskills. The Poconos' highest summit, Elk Hill’s North Knob, reaches 2,693 feet (821 m), while its lowest elevation is 350 feet (107 m) in Pike County.

The Delaware River flows through the Pocono Mountains and gives the region its name, from a Native American term roughly translating to "stream between two mountains." The Lehigh and Lackawaxen Rivers also flow through the region, totaling about 170 miles (270 km) of waterways. The Pocono Mountains are also home to some 150 lakes and many waterfalls, such as those in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area of Monroe County and Ricketts Glen State Park in northwestern Luzerne County.


The popularity of the Pocono Mountains as a summer retreat began at the dawn of the 20th century when Philadelphia Quakers started the resorts of Buck Hill Falls and Pocono Manor, and later in the 1920s, Skytop.

Midday view of Lake Harmony
Evening view of Lake Harmony

The Poconos is a well-known outdoor recreation destination for visitors around the northeast, especially from New York City and Philadelphia. The Poconos encompasses the Delaware State Forest [3], including six designated natural areas [4], seven state parks [5], seventeen state game lands [6], and one national park: The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. There are extensive opportunities for water sports, with many of the lakes and rivers stocked for fishing. Hunters pursue white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, and other wildlife. More American black bear are killed here than anywhere else in the state, and likely the contiguous 48 states. This is largely due to acidic pine barren creek valleys teeming with trout and berries. Toward the southern margin of the Poconos, the Blue Mountain ridge is the site of the Appalachian Trail and a major flyway for the autumn raptor migration, including the nationally renowned Hawk Mountain sanctuary.

The Poconos is also home to Summer Camps, such as Camp Pocono Ridge[7] and Goose Pond Scout Reservation near Lake Ariel, as well as Pocono Highland Camps, which closed in 2002. Another camp found in the Poconos is the incredible Camp Lindenmere, found on the border of Henryville and Tannersville.

The Poconos is and has been Pennsylvania's most popular tourist destination. It is also known for its brilliant color during the fall, in which the mountains are a mix of vibrant red, yellow, and orange. The region contains over 80% of the state's resorts. These resorts earn 1.5 billion dollars in gross revenues and employ 18,000 workers. The region is also a popular winter destination.[8] State parks offer snowmobile trails, snowshoeing, and eagle watching.[9]

Popular summer activities include whitewater rafting and canoeing down the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers, camping and hiking, water parks, and smaller attractions such as Claws N Paws Wild Animal Park [10], Kittatinny Rafting & Paintball [11], Houdini Museum [12] and others. Another popular recreation activity growing around the Poconos is disc golf. Currently there are several disc golf courses located around the Poconos. Other outdoor activities, particularly golf, are also popular options.

Another attraction is Pocono Raceway, a major automobile racetrack, which is home to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, the Pocono 500 in June, and the Pennsylvania 500 in August. It also serves as a racing school and motorcycle track.

The Poconos is a major resort destination with new additions such as Great Wolf Lodge for families, a resurrection of Mount Airy as a gaming (slots) and golf resort, the famous Caesars Pocono Resorts with heart-shaped and champagne whirlpool baths for two (couples only) and a retreat known as Woodloch Pines that has added a spa facility.



A highly controversial proposal to license a gambling casino with slot machines in Monroe County succeeded in 2007 and the casino at the Mount Airy Casino Resort is now open to the public.[13] Adding to the controversy is the reported connection between the casino's owner and organized crime which has placed Mount Airy under the supervision of a gaming commission appointee.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area is another site where slots and off-track betting are available, and the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem south of the region in the Allentown area has been open since May 22, 2009. There is also a Off-Track Betting (OTB) bar & grill in East Stroudsburg.

Skiing in the Poconos

Numerous ski resorts in and around the Poconos offer some of the closest and most accessible skiing to the major populated areas of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC areas.

  • Camelback Ski Area - The most ski runs in the Poconos and one of the more popular ski areas and peaks at 2,133+ feet
  • Blue Mountain Ski Area [14] - the largest vertical drop in Pennsylvania (1,082 feet) and closest to Philadelphia
  • Elk Mountain Ski Area - one of the larger areas with 30 trails, the highest ski peak at 2,600+ feet and a 1,000-foot vertical drop
  • Sno Mountain Ski Area - just outside of Scranton, features the steepest terrain in the Poconos and a 1,000-foot vertical drop
  • Shawnee Mountain Ski Area [15] - closest to New York City, just across the Delaware from New Jersey, suited for families & beginners
  • Jack Frost Mountain and Big Boulder [16] - Both resorts are owned by the same parent company. Jack Frost serves to cater to more traditional family skiing, while Big Boulder is largely focused towards terrain park skiing and snowboarding.
  • Ski Big Bear [17]
  • Tanglewood - closed for the 2007/2008 season due to economic reasons.
  • Alpine Mountain [18]
  • Eagle Rock Resort - the westernmost of the Pocono ski areas

Ski areas in the Poconos are not particularly large and do not have large vertical drops (Blue Mountain Ski Area has the largest at 1,082 feet), so runs tend to be on the shorter side. However, the Poconos do offer conveniently located skiing, and many areas also offer night skiing. Many Pocono ski resorts cater to both winter and transform themselves into water parks for summer visitors.

Downhill skiing is also offered at resort-hotel properties (such as Skytop Lodge and Fernwood) where guests can use the facilities as part of their stay.

Rail service

The Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad mainline runs over the Pocono Mountains.

Rail service is provided by the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Rail Authority. One of its primary objectives is to establish rail passenger service with New Jersey Transit between Scranton, Pennsylvania and Hoboken, New Jersey with connecting service at Secaucus Junction for Manhattan, New York. Designated operator of the line is NJ Transit. There is currently no passenger rail service from the Poconos to Hoboken, New Jersey.

On January 23, 2007, NJ Transit was given an initial environmental 'OK' to re-establish a Hoboken-to-Scranton connection, a restoration of the Lackawanna Cut-Off which will run through The Poconos

Rebuilding rails on the Lackawanna Cut-Off, and subsequent resumption of passenger service is slated to be completed in 2011 or 2012.[19]


See also

Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania - a borough in Monroe County


External links


Redirecting to The Poconos

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Poconos and Endless Mountains article)

From Wikitravel

North America : United States of America : Mid-Atlantic : Pennsylvania : Poconos and Endless Mountains

The Poconos is a mountain area in northeastern Pennsylvania. It is 2,400 square miles of wooded mountains and valleys full of beautiful lakes, rivers, forests and wildlife. It has long been popular with honeymooners, but today the Poconos are a popular destination for families, skiers, adventure seekers, NASCAR fans, and those from urban areas around New England, New York City, Philadelphia, and New Jersey, from where the region is quickly accessible by car. The Poconos are one of the most southern major ski areas in the United States.


The region lacks any major cities, although Scranton and Wilkes-Barre together form a moderate-sized conurbation. The region is dominated by many small towns. The area in recent years has become a commuter region for Philadelphia, New York and Northern New Jersey.

Several towns within the Pocono region include:

  • Stroudsburg - The seat of Monroe County and the gateway to the Poconos for many arriving from the New Jersey and New York areas.
  • East Stroudsburg
  • Shawnee-On-Delaware - Located to the north and east of Stroudsburg.
  • Jim Thorpe - The "Switzerland of Pennsylvania" is located at the southwestern edge of the region and is a popular destination.
  • Lehighton - Located 3 miles south of Jim Thorpe. This is the nearest town to Jim Thorpe with large franchise hotels.
  • Tannersville - A town west of Stroudsburg on I-80 that is home to The Crossings premium outlets and The Great Wolf Lodge, a resort with a large indoor waterpark.
  • Mount Pocono - A large town in the central Poconos located at the junction of PA 940 and PA 611.
  • Bangor - A place to go for spiritual retreats and meditative parks.
  • Bushkill Falls - The "Niagara of Pennsylvania", located in the Poconos Mountains.
  • Hawley - A small town located north of I-84. Nearby manmade Lake Wallenpaupack offers camping, boating and fishing. Woodloch Pines Resorts is a few miles from town.



The climate of the Pocono Mountains is not unlike many other areas of the Northeast. Each season has its own distinct weather characteristics that make the Poconos unique. People love the Northeast so they can experience the beauty each season offers throughout the year.


After the cold winter, the blossoming flowers and fresh warm air make it perfect for any outdoor activity. The temperatures are moderate and there is always the chance of rainfall. The spring offers numerous outdoor activities like canoeing, golf, whitewater rafting, mountain biking,fishing, horseback riding or anything you can think of! The tree lined mountains are full of Mountain Laurel blossoms and the surroundings are green and thriving.


The heat comes in during the summer months of June, July, and August. The temperatures can often reach into the 90's and rarely exceed 100. The humidity can be very high which makes it more compelling to engage in cool water activities like like visiting the crystal clear lakes. Lake Wallenpaupack, one of Pennsylvania's larges lakes, or any of Pocono mountain's 150 lakes is the perfect place to relax and take a dip, fish, water ski, or sail. The Pocono raceway had two races during the summer months (June and August) which is a perfect opportunity to see your first NASCAR race!


Autumn is a popular time to visit the Poconos, to see the fall foliage as the leaves begin to turn. There are three different zones of color you can see during the change. To help catch the perfect areas to witness these different beautiful changes you can call the Pocono Mountain fall foliage hot line at ( (570) 421-5565 ). The daytime temperatures are cool as nighttime can get colder. There are many delightful scenic driving routes through the Pocono Mountains and activities include horseback riding, bird watching, hiking, or a chairlift ride at the many ski resorts.


Winter gets cold! The region tends to have several large snowstorms per winter, with the greatest chance for snow being from late December to mid March. Winter in the Poconos is best known for it's skiing. The mountains and terrain offer the perfect opportunity to cross country or downhill ski, snowboard, ice skating, snowmobiling, snow tubing, and tobogganing. There are over 146 slopes and trails.


To people in the western half of the united states, the accent of this subregion is often confused for the New York accent whereas within the region, New Yorkers would consider the residents to speak with a backwater/rural inflection. Massive gentrification from New England makes the English spoken here indicative of a sort of "pan-Northeast"ern accent, a hodge podge of other NE accents prevails here.

Get in

By plane

The closest airport to fly into is the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport[1] in Avoca, PA. The main airline is US Airways. The airport is also served be Delta and United. There is direct service to Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Chicago, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. A bit farther away, Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), is larger and offers a wider range of destinations. The nearest major hubs are in Philadelphia and New York, each several hours away by car.

By car

The best way to get into the Poconos is by car. From the East or West, I-80 is best, but PA 940 and PA 611 provides parallel access to local attractions From the North, I-81 is best. From the South, I-476, I-81 or Route 33 is best.

Many tourists come from nearby major cities. Driving Distances: Allentown-45 Miles Binghamton-93 Miles Harrisburg-125 Miles Long Island-93 Miles Philadelphia-85 Miles Scranton-41 Miles Washington D.C.-203 Miles

By bus

When traveling by Bus one should use the Bus station : Martz Trailways at 1-800-233-8604. They have a few stations located throughout the Poconos mainly in Mount Pocono and the Pocono exit (95) off the turnpike.

By train

A train service from New York is being established soon. At present, railroad is not a viable transportation option anywhere in the region.

By Limousine

A Limousine Service Is available In The Area Called YOUR LIMO INC. At 1-866-322-5466 or 570-226-5333. Available 24-7. Website is [2]

Get around

The Poconos are a large area, with little public transportation. There are busses and taxis that one can take, but it would be a better idea to travel by car. Routes 115 & 940 are excellent ways to see "real" side of the Poconos. Interstates 80 & 380 are easy ways to get from point A to B as well. Be warned, a lot of wildlife like to get in the way, so keep a watchful eye when you venture out!

By car

Since public transportation is lacking, privately driving becomes the main source of an individual's mode of transportation.


Hickory Run State Park [3] is a very good place to go if you like hiking and being in nature. The Boulder Field is amazing; it's the remnants of a glacier that moved through the area. Camping is nice there, too. The Appalachian Trail cuts through the Poconos as well. There are countless parks, lakes, streams, so plan a few days up in the area, one day is not enough.


The Poconos offer a wide range of recreational activities and intriguing attractions.

There are several ski resorts, many natural and man-made lakes to include: Lake Wallenpaupack, Lake Naomi, Penn Lake and others. Hunting, fishing and golf. There is excellent trout Fishing in the Lehigh River and several other streams. Pocono Downs offers horse racing and Pocono Motor Speedway is on the NASCAR circuit.

Hiking is a popular activity for visitors. Lehigh Gorge State Park has access points at Glen Onoko (near Jim Thorpe) and Rockport (off PA 940 near White Haven). Hiking the various trails around the park offer spectacular views of the Lehigh River below. The northern parts of Poconos offer excellent hiking as well, in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Several waterfalls, including the well known Bushkill Falls, are short to medium distance hikes from main roads.

Situated on 5,500 gorgeous acres, the historic Main Lodge, the Inn at Skytop, and cottages offer luxurious accommodations and superb service. Whatever the season, Skytop offers a multitude of outdoor recreational activities, from award winning golf and tennis, boating, swimming, hiking, biking, fly-fishing, sporting clays and skeet shooting to down-hill or cross-country skiing, and ice skating. There's always something happening at Skytop. The resort combines rustic charm with an aura of unmistakable gentility. It’s a step back in time. Built in 1928, Skytop is the perfect place for family getaways or business meetings. There is a calendar of theme weekend events at their website [4].

The Fernwood Hotel & Resort, sits on 440-acres and provides a picturesque backdrop for vacation memories. Surrounded by the rolling hills of Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, this year-round resort offers a host of activities and amenities. Ranging from an 18-hole par 71 golf course, full service meeting facilities, a winter fun recreation where one can go snowtubing, themed restaurants, live entertainment, fitness facilities, indoor and outdoor pools, and a planned schedule of daily activities for guests of all ages; every interest is tailored to at the Fernwood Hotel. For more details on their various activities go to [5]

Save time for outlet shopping in Tannersville at The Crossings Premium Outlets.[6]

With its beautiful country club atmosphere, Pocono Palace combines an endless array of activities and sports with the ultimate accommodations - our unique and famous Roman Tower and Fantasy Apple suites (exclusive to Pocono Palace). View a list of specials at Pocono Palace. [7]

The Pocono Raceway is a great place to see the most popular watched sport in America, Nascar. The raceway has been around since 1968. After some problems in construction it was rebuilt in 1990 and ever since has been the host of 2 Nascar races a year.

Located off route 209 in Bushkill, PA. The Pocono Indian Museum is the only museum in Northeastern Pennsylvania dedicated to showing the history of the Delaware Indian. The Pocono Indian Museum traces the history of the Delawares through displays of ancient artifacts, weapons, and tools that form chronological commentary on life among the Indians for thousands of years.


The Pocono Region is home to two brand new casinos, Mohegan Sun in Wilkes-Barre, and Mount Airy in Mount Pocono. Another casino, Sands Casino Resort, is located south of the area in Bethlehem.


The Poconos are one of the most easily accessible ski areas in the Northeast. They are located close to both Philadelphia and New York. All of the Poconos skiing have night skiing which means they are open usually from about 8AM to 10PM. Despite having many good trails and facilities, the conditions in the Poconos are less than perfect and tend to be on the icy side. The Poconos have many major ski areas including:


There's a ton of good restaurants in the area.

  • Barley Creek near Camelback (a brewery as well as a great place to eat).
  • Blakeslee Inn on Route 940.
  • Woody's Country House, Route 115.
  • Nick's Lake House near Big Boulder ski area.
  • Edleweiss, Route 940.
  • The Jubilee, Route 940.
  • Sarah St. Grille, Sarah St. in Stroudsburg.
  • Murphy's Loft, Route 115.
  • Tokyo Tea House, Route 940. Excellent Japanese -- favorably reviewed by New York Magazine. The Owner is extremely friendly.
  • Willowtree Inn, exit 309 of I-80. Indoor,oudoor dining. Continental Cuisine.
  • Village Squire Restaurant and Charles Dickens Pub, (Route 115 in Blakeslee Pennsylvania, 1/4 mile north of I-80, 6 miles east of the PA Turnpike), (570) 646-3446.   edit
  • Robert Christian's on 940 offers good food, drink, and company. Favorite watering hole of Bob Kasper.


The Poconos has a wide range of places to stay while visiting. There are homes to rent, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, country inns, guests house, and resorts.

  • Bilmar Cottages on Lake Wallenpaupack. Situated on Lake Wallenpaupack, PA's largest lake. Nestled among the pines and rhododendron on the beautiful shores of the Lake are Quality Assured 2, 3, & 4, bedroom cottages with fully equipped kitchens, full baths, porch decks, cable TV, and more. Phone: 570-857-0811.
  • Chateau Resort & Conference Center. Located in the Heart of Pennsylvania's beautiful Pocono Mountains. The spectacular setting of the Chateau Resort and Conference Center is a year-round delight to be enjoyed by individuals,groups, and business. Toll-Free: 800-245-5900

Stay safe

If you choose to go hunting always wear a bright color to stand out from the surroundings as hunting accidents can occur. Pennsylvania State law mandates at least a total of 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the front and back of the body, or alternatively a hat that is completely fluorescent orange when hunting deer or bear. Always remember to use common sense when hunting!

Many attractions that draw people to the Pocono region can be dangerous. When participating in whitewater rafting, water skiing, or boating, a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket is a good idea. Helmets are recommended for skiing and snowboarding. Also, use care when hiking as some areas have steep drop offs.

When camping, never leave food outside for extended periods of time, as this can attract raccoons, opossum, and especially bears. Although Black Bears are much more docile that most other bear species, they can be dangerous. Never get between a bear and its young, and keep in mind that bears can often be scared off by loud noises.

Get out

This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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