Looking for high-thrilling adventure this summer? Look no further than Pocono Whitewater Adventures! Whether hiking, biking or whitewater rafting (or all three), there’s a trip for you.
Located in Jim Thorpe, Pocono Whitewater specializes in, you guessed it, whitewater rafting activities and events throughout the Lehigh Gorge State Park. From calmer river trips to wild rapid runs, they have escapades for all. Their sister companies, Pocono Biking and Skirmish Paintball, offer adventures in participation with each other to make the most of your experience.
We visited Pocono Whitewater to experience one of their crown jewels: the Big Day Out. Get an inside look at our encounter below and see what other fun can be had with Pocono Whitewater. View our Big Day Out video below for sneak peak at the adventure!
Not for the faint of heart, the Big Day Out packs the best parts of adventure into one day. Running select dates April through October, the Big Day Out features a combination of biking, hiking and whitewater rafting 35 miles through the Lehigh Gorge State Park. Arriving at 9am, you’ll receive a hearty breakfast and packed lunch while signing waivers and changing clothes before boarding the shuttle. All equipment is included in the ticket price, so all you need to bring is plenty of water, bug spray and sunscreen (it's recommended to bring a bathing suit and water shoes for the rafting portion.)
After arriving at the White Haven access point in the Lehigh Gorge State Park, it’s bike time on the D&L Trail. Ride on a packed gravel trail for 23 miles, and see old ruins, live railroad tracks and beautiful scenery along the way. Be sure to stop for photo ops at waterfalls and overlooks, too. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife; we saw four different snakes on the trail! There’s a restroom about halfway on the trail at the Rockport access point. You’ll know you’ve completed the biking portion once you arrive at the paved parking lot. This is the Glen Onoko access point in the park where you break for lunch and can use the restroom facility.
Once you’ve energized, the next leg of the journey is one-to-two mile hike. Here, you’ll climb to the top of an overlook of the Lehigh River and walk through an abandoned railroad tunnel. The hike to the overlook is vertical and on somewhat rocky ground, so be careful when ascending. The view is certainly worth the walk. On your way back down, you’ll walk through the old tunnel for another overlook of the river. Watch your step while walking through; this tunnel has old railroad ties and limited light that your eyes will adjust to.
For the last leg of your expedition, it’s time to use those arms on a six-to-ten mile paddle. Take your last bathroom break before heading down to the river here. Only take with you what can get wet, and leave everything else in van. You’ll be briefed on river safety, so pay attention even if its not your first time.
Once launching, listen to your guide as you navigate the waters. There will be spots of rapids you’ll want to be alert on while paddling. Once in a calm section, you’ll be able to get out of the raft and swim in the river. Once back on land, you’ll feel accomplished after conquering the Big Day Out. But that’s not it! Upon your return, you’ll be treated to a bonfire and dinner at headquarters.
Interested in trying the nighttime version? Conquer the Big Night Out, where you’ll raft and bike a combined 16 miles. Of course, a bonfire and food will be provided as well. Pocono Whitewater also hosts other guided excursions like dam releases, group and family rafting trips, and combination adventure trips where you can experience more than one activity like the Big Day Out.
If biking is more your style, check out Pocono Biking. They have options for varying skill levels. You can go the distance and bike 35 miles or simply rent a bike to ride around town. Rentals differ activity, so you can bike all day or just one hour. Pocono Biking also offers events like The Bike Train, Waterfall Photo Bike Tour and Four-Day Inn to Inn Bike Ride.
Want to kick things up a notch? Experience paintballing at the largest paintball facility in the world with Skirmish Paintball. Paintball is sure to get your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping with over 50 maps on 750 acres of territory. And yes, special offers and events are customary. Invasion of Normandy, Half Price Paint and Ladies’ Day are annual classics at Skirmish.