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.
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:
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.
Mauch Chunk Lake Park
Phone: (570) 325-3669
Hickory Run State Park
Phone: (570) 443-0400
Lehigh Gorge State Park
Phone: (570) 443-0400
Switchback Gravity Railroad Foundation, Inc.