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Your guide to Pocono Mountains
All About the Pocono Mountains
The Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania are covered in dense hardwood forests that sweep the landscape with varying shades of green in the summer and autumn hues in the fall. The Delaware River to the east and Susquehanna River to the north cut through the region — along with their endless tributaries, creeks, and mountain lakes — providing plenty of opportunities for canoeing and kayaking, swimming, and lounging among the meandering wooded banks.
For decades, the small towns nestled in the Poconos’ low-lying valleys have been popular destinations for honeymooners and outdoor recreationists due to the variety of activities and small-town amenities available throughout the region. Brewpubs, golf courses, museums, performing arts centers, cabins with hot tubs overlooking sprawling valleys, and adventures in nature can all be found in this East Coast vacation destination.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Pocono Mountains
The Pocono Mountains are accessible year-round, and there are countless recreational opportunities in every season — though each season does come with drastic changes in climate and distinct weather patterns. Conditions in the summer tend to be pleasantly warm with only slightly above average rain levels that make for excellent hiking and swimming. The summer months are also when many of the area's renowned festivals occur, like a two-week music event in Bethlehem, where it is estimated that more than one million people show up in August. The winter brings below-freezing temperatures and plenty of snow, making the Poconos one of the East Coast’s premier destinations for skiing and snowboarding. The shoulder seasons are some of the most beautiful times to visit the area, with a sea of purple and pink blossoms in spring and the dramatic multi-colored foliage of autumn.
Top things to do in Pocono Mountains
Frances Slocum State Park
Dense hardwood forests run side-by-side with wet marshlands and a tranquil horseshoe-shaped lake in this 1,000-acre state park located just outside the Wyoming borough, an hour away drive by car from the Pocono Mountains. The area provides several miles of trail systems for hiking and biking opportunities through its stunning wooded landscapes, and watersports like kayaking and canoeing in the summertime. In winter, when the landscape freezes over, ice-fishing and skating take over as the area's primary form of recreation, ensuring the park has activities to enjoy year-round. During your visit keep an eye open for the various wildlife that call this park home, such as the salmandors wading through the grass and waters, or the dragonflies buzzing around.
Asa Packer Mansion
Constructed in 1861, this Italian villa-inspired home-turned-museum is registered with the U.S. Park Service as a National Historic Landmark for the original owner’s contributions to the founding of Lehigh University. The home has been intentionally unrestored over the years, meaning the original 19th-century Victorian furnishings and adornments remain as they were when the house was inhabited. The museum is open to the public and includes three stories, 18 rooms, and over 18,000 feet of living space.
Despite the Pocono’s reputation as a honeymoon getaway, the area has been attracting adventurous travelers in droves for decades. Today most outfitters are centered on a stretch of the Lehigh River in between Scranton and Allentown, with rapids ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced levels. Trips can run from short tours down the river to full-day excursions through designated wilderness areas with wild and untamed forests, waterfalls, and cliffs lining the water.