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Things to Do , Local, State & National Parks , Sports & Outdoors

Things to See & Do at Lehigh Gorge State Park

Enjoy Miles of Scenic Trails and a Little NEPA History Along the Lehigh River

Take in NEPA nature at its finest at Lehigh Gorge State Park in Weatherly. The popular park, at over 6,000 acres, spans Carbon and Luzerne Counties. It follows the path of the Lehigh River from White Haven to Jim Thorpe. The park features over 30 miles of scenic trails with river views, waterfalls and the occasional bit of history.

There are three main access points to Lehigh Gorge State Park. The northern section begins at the outlet of the Francis E. Walter Dam in White Haven. From there, the park follows the Lehigh River south to the Rockport Access Area in Weatherly and the Glen Onoko Access Area in Jim Thorpe. All of the main access points include parking, restrooms and trailhead access.

Lehigh Gorge State Park is open all year from sunrise to sunset. Get outside. Grab a park map. And discover everything this NEPA favorite has to offer. Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights.


Hiking and Biking the Lehigh Gorge Trail



The popular, Lehigh Gorge Trail is the centerpiece of the park. This 26-mile, gravel-surface trail stretches from White Haven to Jim Thorpe. The relatively flat-grade trail is part of the 165-mile D&L Trail and follows alongside the Lehigh River. Along the way, it passes waterfalls and remains of the historic Lehigh Canal.

From late spring through fall, the Lehigh Gorge Trail is a popular destination for cyclists. Pocono Biking in Jim Thorpe and Pocono Bike Rental in White haven offer bike rentals, shuttle service, guided trips and more. You can even book an excursion on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe for the Bike Train. Passengers ride the train along the scenic Lehigh River Gorge to White Haven where they then unload their bikes and ride the 26-mile trail back into town. The Lehigh Gorge Trail also allows for cross-country skiing and opens certain sections to snowmobiling during the winter.

Lehigh Gorge State Park also connects to several miles of trails at Hickory Run State Park just south of the White Haven Access Area.


Exploring the Lehigh River



Aside from miles of peaceful trails, the mighty Lehigh River is another equally important attraction. The fast-moving rapids welcome eager whitewater rafters throughout summer and fall. Several nearby outfitters provide exciting river excursions during the rafting season. And the cool waters are also a favorite among NEPA anglers. The PA Fish and Boat Commission regularly stocks the Lehigh with trout in the spring and fall. Throughout the warmer months, the river is also a popular stop for bass, pickerel, panfish and the occasional muskie.

Vantage points all along the Lehigh Gorge Trail offer plenty of opportunities for snapping stunning photographs. Abundant wildlife throughout the park and near the river make the occasional rest stop worthwhile. The surrounding forests are home to black bear, white-tailed deer, beaver, timber rattle snakes and bald eagles to name just a few. And don’t forget the binoculars. Lehigh Gorge State Park remains one of NEPA’s premier birdwatching locations.


Plan a Trip



Lehigh Gorge State Park is easily accessible from Interstate 80 and the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike. The park’s three main access areas are within an easy drive from most points in NEPA. It’s also close to towns like Jim Thorpe, White Haven and Lehighton. And major cities like Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton are within an easy drive.

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