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Jim Thorpe Area Trails

Pocono Mountain Region, Pennsylvania

Family/Historic/Romantic/Wildlife
Directions & Trail Descriptions

Location: Carbon County, PA. 1.5 hours from Philadelphia, and 2 hours from New York City.

Length/Configuration: 100+ miles of trails in and around Jim Thorpe.

Terrain/Surface: Varied. From flat, easy trails that trace old railroad beds and canal towpaths to steep rocky, technical singletrack.

Technical Difficulty: Varied terrain and difficulty. Easy to advanced. If you can ride a mountain bike, there is something for you.

Elevation Change: Varied. From flat to rolling terrain with steep climbs and descents.

Caution: Multi-use trails are shared with hikers and equestrians. Some trail routes traverse areas opened to hunting. Some trails traverse private property and some trails have been closed permanently or temporarily to bikers. Check for current info with Parks Department or local bike shops.

 

 

 

Local Resources: Bike shops, bike clubs, adventure travel, bike tours, bike events, trail maps, bike safety, camping, historical places, where to stay and other related sources visit our Resource Hub.

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Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.

 

Directions:

Located in Carbon County, PA. Take the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to exit 34, Mahoning Valley. Head west on Rt. 209. Pass through the first traffic light at east end of concrete bridge, cross bridge, turn right onto Rt. 209S (will run north for several miles). Drive through Lehighton to Jim Thorpe.

 

General Description:

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, nestled in the beautiful western Pocono Mountains, is a National Historic Register town and outdoor recreation hub. It is famed for it's involvement in the Industrial Revolution. Jim Thorpe, (then known as Mauch Chunk) was a major transporation hub as canal and railroad systems were built to bring anthracite coal from the nearby mines to market in Philadelphia and New York.

Architecture became a status symbol of wealth as coal barons and industrialists flocked to Jim Thorpe and built gorgeous mountainside mansions, prestigious churches and other historic buildings. The most prominent of them all is the three story Asa Packer Mansion, a designated National Landmark, situated high on a hill overlooking the Old Mauch Chunk Historical District. Today, the town is a charming Victorian Era gem surrounded by steep hillsides. Antique shops, boutiques, restaurants, art galleries and historical buildings line the narrow streets.

Over 100 miles of historic railroad routes and canal towpaths, converted for bicycling, hiking, cross country skiing and other outdoor recreation, radiate out from the town in all directions. The class I - III whitewater on the Lehigh River, one of Pennsylvania best water trails, draws rafters, kayakers, canoers like a magnet making Jim Thorpe a great outdoor adventure destination.

 

Jim Thorpe Area Trails:

Some of the better known and most popular trails for mountain biking in Jim Thorpe, PA and surrounding areas are:

  • The Lehigh Gorge State Park, sliced by the Lehigh River is located practically at the town's doorstep and provides some of the most scenic off-road cycling in Pennsylvania on the Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail along the converted railbed of the Delaware & Lehigh Railroad.
  • The historic Switchback Trail is a bike ride back in time on what was the world's first Gravity Railroad.
  • The Broad Mountain Loop Trail features stream crossings and beautiful Gorge overlooks on a combination of wooded singletrack and wide fire roads. There is nothing too technical other than two stream crossings and some rocky, rolling terrain to make things interesting. Expect to break a sweat on some of the steep grades. To get there: State Game Lands 141. Sr 209 to SR 93.
  • Let's not forget the Mauch Chunk County Park Trails, the expert singletrack terrain of Mauch Chunk Ridge and The Mt. Pisgah Trails. If you can ride a mountain bike, there is a bike ride for you.

Note: There are many more advanced trails ideal for mountain biking in and around Jim Thorpe. Many are are not marked and may be difficult to find. Seek advice from a local bike shop or sign up with a local touring company for a guided experience of the best this area has to offer.

The Carbon County Parks and Recreation Department office located at the entrance to Mauch Chunk Lake Park or the Visitors Center at Hickory Run State Park will also have more information on current trail access.

 

Where to stay:

For a change of pace and scenery or a romantic get-away weekend, top off a mountain bike ride on any of the Jim Thorpe area trails with a stay in a lovely Bed and Breakfast or Inn in town, many of which are restored Victorian homes and mansions. A variety of restaurants in and around town offer everything from fine dining to casual eateries. Whatever your preference, there's a menu to suit every taste.

If you prefer a night or more out under the stars, both Mauch Chunk Lake County Park (see Switchback Trail) and Hickory Run State Park offer modern camping and easy access to the trails.

 

 

For more information:

Mauch Chunk Lake Park
625 Lentz Trail
Jim Thorpe, Pa. 18229

Phone: (570) 325-3669
Website: Mauch Chunk Lake Park

 

Hickory Run State Park
RR 1 Box 81
White Haven, PA 18661

Phone: (570) 443-0400
Website: Hickory Run State Park

 

Lehigh Gorge State Park
RR 1 Box 81
White Haven, PA 18661

Phone: (570) 443-0400
Website: Lehigh Gorge State Park

 

Switchback Gravity Railroad Foundation, Inc.
Website: www.switchbackgravityrr.org/

 

 

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