Pocono Mountains Counties
Learn more about the counties that make up the Poconos!
With 2,400 square miles encompassing Pennsylvania’s Wayne, Pike, Monroe, and Carbon counties, the Pocono Mountains region is home to rolling mountain terrain, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, thriving woodlands, and 170 miles of winding rivers.
Honesdale, the county seat of Wayne County, is the location of the birth of the American railroad. The first steam locomotive, the Stourbridge Lion, built in Stourbridge, England, was brought across the sea and set up on the tracks of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company in Honesdale in 1829. An exact replica can now be seen at the Wayne County Historical Society & Museum on Main Street. The original train is in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Hike up to Irving Cliff for a scenic view of Honesdale.
The restored Victorian town of Hawley along the Lackawaxen River offers special events throughout the year, theatre productions and shopping. Antiquing is a favorite activity in Wayne County with more than 45 dealers to visit. The Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary and Glass Museum offers hiking trails, summer outdoor concert series, art shows and a collection of over 600 pieces of Dorflinger glass which graced the tables of Presidents Lincoln to Wilson.
Reconnect with nature in Wayne County at pristine Prompton State Park or along the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River along the Pennsylvania-New York border. Wayne County has more lakes than any other county in Pennsylvania. So bring your fishing rod - the trout, bass, walleyes, pickerel, muskies and salmon are biting.
Outdoor recreation is a natural fit for Wayne County: go canoeing and rafting down the Delaware River and explore beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails. Visit the Van Scott Nature Reserve of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy to discover 144 acres of protected landscape. Hawk and eagle watching along the Delaware River is also very popular. In fact, the Upper Delaware and Lackawaxen Rivers are the largest wintering areas for bald and golden eagles east of the Mississippi.
The historical lore of Pike County goes back to the days of the Minisink, Lenape and Paupack Indians. The countryside is full of historic buildings and original settlements. A drive through it offers a wealth of historical markers telling of events past, as well as a world of outdoor wonders, including 'The Niagara of Pennsylvania,' Bushkill Falls.
The town of Milford was named one of Pennsylvania's "Prettiest Painted Places" by the Paint Quality Institute. It was also home to Gifford Pinchot, the first director of the US Forestry Service under Theodore Roosevelt. The Pinchot Estate at Grey Towers National Historic Landmark is now administered by the Forestry Service as the Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies and is considered their most precious resource.
Stately Columns Museum in Milford is home to the Pike County Historical Society.
The Zane Grey Museum, former home of the famous western fiction writer and author of Riders of the Purple Sage overlooks the Roebling Aqueduct, the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in the country, built by the same engineer who designed the Brooklyn Bridge. The Roebling Bridge has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Landmark
Lake Wallenpaupack, which lies in both Pike and Wayne Counties, is the third largest man-made lake in Pennsylvania. It was built in 1926 by Pennsylvania Power & Light Company. Fifteen miles in length, Lake Wallenpaupack provides 52 miles of shoreline for outdoor recreation. Visitors will find a wide variety of water sport equipment rentals from canoes to water skis, sailboats and ice fishing equipment, readily available.
Monroe County's popularity as a vacation destination dates back over two centuries. By 1900, the high altitudes were attracting thousands of visitors from Philadelphia and New York City. Today, tourism is the largest single industry in Monroe County. Considered the eastern 'gateway to the Poconos' through the Delaware Water Gap, Monroe County is the most populated of the four Pocono Mountains counties. Similar to the other three, there is a wide variety of year-round activities to choose from.
Visitors to Monroe County often search out "Sullivan's Trail," the portion of the route of General John Sullivan's famous march of 1778 from Easton to New York that reaches from Tannersville to Pocono Pines. This trail leads visitors to the road that scales Big Pocono Mountain, one of the highest points in the Pocono Mountains that offers magnificent vistas.
Monroe County is also home to Pocono Raceway, a popular attraction near Blakeslee in the western Pocono Mountains. It hosts two NASCAR Cup Series races in the summer. Those interested in driving on the famous tri-oval can book the stock car racing experience to take on the 2 1/2 mile track.
The Pennsylvania portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area lies in Monroe and Pike Counties, straddling the Delaware River. Hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and equestrian trails, fishing, interpretive programs, and 25 miles of the famous Appalachian Trail are found in or around the recreation area. In the winter, skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing are available in Monroe County at Camelback Mountain in Tannersville and Shawnee Mountain Ski Area in East Stroudsburg.
Stroudsburg's charming streets are packed with one-of-a-kind boutiques and restaurants.
A visit to Monroe County isn't complete without a stop in Stroudsburg, the county seat. An old- fashioned Main Street community, Stroudsburg's quaint streets are lined with art galleries, restaurants, churches and shops, inviting visitors to sit a while and feel right at home. There are great events and festivals throughout the year as well. Be sure to visit the Stroud Mansion, home of the Monroe County Historical Association Museum. East Stroudsburg, adjacent to Stroudsburg is home to many great spots for shopping and dining. East Stroudsburg University, a member of Pennsylvania's state system of higher education, is located in the heart of town.
Situated in a region filled with clear lakes, wide-open countryside and rugged mountains, Carbon County offers year-round, outdoor activity. With three ski resorts to choose from -- Blue Mountain Resort in Palmerton, Big Boulder Ski Area in Lake Harmony and Jack Frost Mountain in White Haven -- winter visitors can find plenty of fun on the slopes.
Carbon County is home to three state parks and two recreation areas - Mauch Chunk Lake Park in Jim Thorpe, Francis E. Walter Dam and Recreation Area between White Haven and Bear Creek, Beltzville State Park, Lehigh Gorge State Park which spans both Carbon and Luzerne Counties and Hickory Run State Park - which provide prime fall foliage viewing. During spring and summer, visitors enjoy whitewater rafting, hiking, picnicking, sailing, swimming, fishing and mountain biking.
Carbon County's county seat is Jim Thorpe (formerly Mauch Chunk) a town rich with history. This beautiful Victorian town was originally founded by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company as they sought to mine the nearby hills for anthracite coal. One of Jim Thorpe's premier attractions is the Asa Packer Mansion, home of the most famous and most wealthy of the area's industrial tycoons and the founder of Lehigh University.
The Harry Packer Mansion Inn is one of many Victorian mansions in Jim Thorpe.
Visitors may want to plan their time in the Pocono Mountains around one of Carbon County's annual festivals. October's Fall Foliage Festival offers arts and crafts, food and entertainment right in the center of Jim Thorpe. The Olde Time Christmas Celebration provides festive, old-fashioned fun for all ages.
Learn about the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor which runs through Carbon County.