Rolling hills stretching out as far as the eye can see, rivers winding across the landscape, rocky cliffs framing your view: gazing down on the world from a mountaintop can offer new perspectives in more ways than one! If you're searching for new horizons and inspiring panoramic views, the Pocono Mountains is a great place to find them.
Whether you're looking for a vista you can reach by car, or you're ready to hike the extra mile to reach a breathtaking bird's-eye view, keep reading to learn about eight places in the Poconos to take in the scenery from the summit.
Appalachian Trail: Mount Minsi
If you've always wanted to experience mountain views along the famous Appalachian Trail, the Poconos is the perfect place to do it! Roughly 45 of the trail's 2,000 miles run through our region along the Kittatinny Ridge, passing through the welcoming small town of Delaware Water Gap and climbing up to the heights of Mount Minsi. For trekkers just looking for a day hike, the loop to the top and back takes about five hours and is fairly challenging, but the beautiful vistas are worth it.
Big Pocono State Park
You'll feel like you can touch the sky on the summit of Camelback Mountain in Big Pocono State Park. Plenty of rocky trails in the park's 1,306 acres challenge intrepid hikers, leading to elevations over 2,000 feet; but visitors can also drive up to Rim Road to enjoy sweeping views reaching across three states from the 1.4-mile, ADA-accessible drive. Bring a picnic to enjoy at one of the tables, just remember to clean up before you go and leave no trace!
Blue Mountain Resort
Get a view of distant valleys and ridges framed by branches as you climb through the trees at Blue Mountain Resort - Summit Aerial Park. Located on the peak with its summit elevation of about 1,400 feet, this mountaintop adventure park is great for all skill levels and features ropes courses and zip lines. To enjoy the view at a more relaxed pace, try a scenic summer chairlift ride. You can even book a glamping stay and enjoy a panoramic sunset from your own campsite fireside.
Back in the nineteenth century, Washington Irving was so enthusiastic about dragging his friends up the wooded hills above Honesdale to get a view of the picturesque town below, they ended up naming the trail after him! Follow the winding path to the top of Irving Cliff, stand next to the star and take in the view the famed author was so excited about: church spires, quaint downtown streets and Victorian houses nestled in a hollow in the surrounding green hills are spread out before you.
Milford Knob Trail and Cliff Trail
While there are beautiful views to be found along the Appalachian Trail at the southern end of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, there are also stunning vistas to discover at the northern end. Head up the steep, 3.5-mile Milford Knob Trail for a view of charming Milford from above, and see the Upper Recreational Delaware River winding beneath you. The Cliff Park Trail connects eight miles of paths above the river, giving you plenty of options to explore. Another good place to pick up the Cliff Park Trail is across the road from the Raymondskill Falls trail.
Prompton State Park
As you wind through the back roads of Wayne County to reach Prompton State Park, you'll feel like you're truly off the grid. There are 26 miles of challenging trails to trek as well as opportunities for fishing, boating, mountain biking and wildlife spotting. Head to the picnic area at the southern end of the 260-acre lake and set off on the Hemlock Trail to find beautiful views across the water from the top of the dam.
Tank Hollow Trail
Adjacent to Lehigh Gorge State Park and the town of Jim Thorpe, the Tank Hollow Trail starts from State Game Lands 141 and winds up to reveal a breathtaking view of the curving Lehigh River. You might even spot some whitewater rafters navigating the rapids far below. Be sure to stay alert on the trail and watch for wildlife. For a complete Lehigh Gorge experience, make sure you also make time to navigate the D&L Trail that winds alongside the river.
Take to the Skies
Take your search for Pocono panoramas to new heights - literally. For the ultimate view, get up in the sky with some help from Pocono Helitours. Departing from Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport, these helicopter sightseeing tours will open up sweeping vistas of iconic Poconos landscapes that you could only see from the air.
Looking for scenery you can enjoy at a more leisurely pace? Many area restaurants like Blue Mountain's Slopeside Bar and Grill and Roadies Restaurant and Bar at Penn's Peak offer panoramic vistas as well as dining and entertainment.
There are waterfalls galore and colorful Poconos sunsets to witness as well. Book a room at welcoming local lodgings, and you might even find an inspiring view out your window. Take advantage of special offers on accommodations to give yourself time to take in the natural beauty of the Pocono Mountains from every elevation and angle.