9/8/2010 2:28:29 AM
I've been on this trail in the spring and late summer, looking forward to seeing it in the fall, and during the rhododendron bloom.
The sights in June stole my breath away, candy pink mountain laurel were everywhere in the hills, the rapids were spraying mist in the air, and the cliffs were glistening with mountain spring water that poured down their sides. I felt I was in a fairyland; it was so unbelievably gorgeous, it was dumbfounding.
I toured the trail in early September too, when the forest was nearly all green. Instead of barreling through we stopped now and then to explore the area off the trail and take photos. It was rewarding to examine some of the natural beauty up close and stationary, and inspired some nice photos. A little nervous about the black bear warning posted at the head of the trail, but we didn't stray too far into the forest.
After the ride, the town of Jim Thorpe is always an engaging place. Check out the Asa Packer Mansion if you can. Asa Packer once owned the railroad. Stained glass by Tiffany, fabulous chandelier, grand piano; they say wealth breeds taste. On quaint, winding side streets, there are art and craft galleries, as well as antique shops to explore. Nice ambiance in the local restaurants is standard, with a selection of ethnic fare. I do miss the Sunrise Diner horribly. I understand it was sent to Ohio, waah.
If you want to stay overnight there is lodging in town, but I prefer to camp at the nearby Maugh Chunk or Hickory Run parks. My advice - don't hesitate to try this trail, you will be back.