Gen. Carlson waves the green flag at the start of the race during the Pocono NASCAR 500 race for their military appreciation day. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Marie Harmon, June 2008)
Tobyhanna Army Depot is in Monroe County, which is part of the Pocono Mountains. The Poconos cover 2,400 square miles and span four counties (Monroe, Carbon, Pike and Wayne). Monroe County is the most populated county of the four and is considered the eastern gateway to the Pocono Mountains. The Poconos offer four seasons of countless recreation opportunities via a national recreation area, state parks, the Appalachian Trail, waterfalls, lakes and rivers. The area offers a wide array of cultural and entertainment options as well, including theaters, museums, historical sites, local sports teams and NASCAR races.
For more information on the Poconos and Monroe County, check out the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau’s website at www.poconomountains.com or call 800-762-6667. The following is merely a sampling of the cultural and recreational opportunities in the area.
Camelback Mountain Adventures
Camelback Mountain Adventures in Tannersville is your day trip adventure destination. Race down the mountain on North American’s longest zip-flyer, climb through the forest canopy on the TreeTops Adventure Course, or ride the mountain coaster down the steep slopes of Camelback. Other adventures include a pipeline mountain slide, mountain Segway tours, a water park and more. Visit www.camelbackmountainadventures.com.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
The 70,000-acre Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is home to forested mountains, valleys, streams, waterfalls and more. Paddle down the river between low forested mountains, wade the trout streams, scan the valley from the ridge, or peer into the 1,000-foot-deep Water Gap. The park features more than 100 miles of hiking trails, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail, scenic roadways, bountiful wildlife, and historic villages, structures and landscapes from the valley’s colonial past. Visit www.nps.gov/dewa.
The Poconos are home to a number of historic locales. Visit the Tobyhanna Train Station, now a railroad artifact and model train museum. Learn about the history of Monroe County at the 1795 Stroud Mansion, which houses local artifacts, an authentic Colonial kitchen, an antique toy room, a library and more. Take a tour of the Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm and see period-costumed re-enactors demonstrate the life of the Pennsylvania German family who lived on the farm from the 1760s to 1913. For more information on local historical gems, visit www.poconomountains.com/things-to-do/cultural-historical.
Pocono Arts Council
The Pocono Arts Council is the region’s leading art service, education and advocacy organization. The council provides public gallery spaces, studio classes, arts festivals, exhibitions and special events. Visit http://poconoarts.org.
Pocono Indian Museum
Learn the history of the Delaware Indian. The Pocono Indian Museum highlights the North American history of humans in northeastern Pennsylvania from 10,500 B.C. to the contact period with European explorers and settlers prior to the American Revolution. The museum is housed in an 1840 mansion in East Stroudsburg. Visit www.poconoindianmuseumonline.com.
Pocono Raceway hosts NASCAR, IndyCar and other races at its “tricky triangle” raceway. The raceway also offers packages that let you experience the 2.5-mile speedway behind the wheel of a stock car. Visit www.poconoraceway.com.
Schisler Museum of Wildlife & Natural History and McMunn Planetarium
The Schisler Museum of Wildlife & Natural History, at East Stroudsburg University, features habitat recreations of more than 140 wildlife specimens from around the world. The planetarium’s digital projection system shows films and custom star shows. Visit http://quantum.esu.edu/museum.
From malls and major department stores to unique boutiques and antiques, there’s something for every taste and budget in the Poconos. Visit www.poconomountains.com/things-to-do/shopping.
Nearby ski areas include the mountains of Big Boulder and Jack Frost. These mountain resorts offer challenging skiing and snowboarding areas, tubing, rental equipment, instruction and more. Visit www.jfbb.com.
Skytop Lodge is a family resort and conference center that offers a 5,500-acre escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There are hundreds of outdoor activities for adults and children, including archery, biking, boating, camping, cross-country skiing, fishing, golf, hiking, ice fishing and skating, lawn games, paddle boarding, paintball, rock climbing, shooting, skiing, snowshoeing, swimming (at the beach or at the pools), tennis, tobogganing, ziplining and more. Visit www.skytop.com.
The local area is home to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs baseball teams, as well as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey team. The RailRiders are the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Home games are played at PNC Field in Moosic. Visit www.swbrailriders.com for stats, a schedule of upcoming games and ticket information. The IronPigs are the Triple-A affiliates of the Philadelphia Phillies. The IronPigs play at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. Visit www.ironpigsbaseball.com for more team information. The American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are affiliates of the Pittsburgh Penguins and play at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre. Visit www.wbspenguins.com for more information.
State Parks and Forests
Monroe County and its surrounding counties are home to several state parks and a state forest. Delaware State Forest’s nearly 84,000 acres have remote glacial lakes and bogs rich with plants, wildlife and scenic beauty. Recreational opportunities include ATV trails, biking, boating, camping, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting and trapping, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and more. Visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/stateforests/delaware.
The 15,990-acre Hickory Run State Park has more than 40 miles of hiking trails, three state park natural areas and miles of trout streams. Boulder Field, a striking boulder-strewn area, is a national natural landmark. Other recreational opportunities include camping, cross-country skiing, disc golf, fishing, geocaching, hiking, hunting, ice skating, picnicking, snowmobiling and swimming. Visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/hickoryrun.
The 2,800-acre Gouldsboro State Park with its 250-acre Gouldsboro Lake offers biking, boating, cross-country skiing, hiking, hunting, ice fishing and skating, picnicking and more. Visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/gouldsboro.
Lehigh Gorge State Park is known for its deep, steep-walled gorge carved by a river, thick vegetation, rock outcroppings and waterfalls. The park follows the Lehigh River from the outlet of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Francis E. Walter Dam to the town of Jim Thorpe. Whitewater boating and biking are popular activities. Other activities include cross-country skiing, fishing, hunting and snowmobiling. Visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/lehighgorge.
The 5,440-acre Tobyhanna State Park with its 170-acre Tobyhanna Lake offers biking, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, ice fishing and skating, hunting, picnicking, snowmobiling and swimming. Visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/tobyhanna.
For a full list of parks, visit www.poconomountains.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventure and select “National, State, and Local Parks” from the drop-down menu.