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When coal was discovered in Summit Hill in the late 1700s, a rush of development ensued in the Lehigh Valley. Josiah White and the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company constructed a series of dams and canals in the early 1800s to move coal to the markets down south. The canal system was wiped out by flooding in the mid-1800s, and the railroads took their place serving a booming logging industry. Fire ripped through the area and wiped out the logging industry in the late 1800s. The area became a tourist attraction until fire again swept through the region in the early 1900s, after which the gorge was abandoned. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania began reclaiming the land in the 1970s.
Today, thanks to the state's efforts, you will find one of the finest rail-trails for a wilderness getaway. This 26-mile trail cuts through 4,500 acres of dramatic river gorge parkland along the Lehigh River on a former rail and canal route. Grab your bike and board a shuttle in Jim Thorpe to cycle from the northern point in White Haven to the southern point in Jim Thorpe, a gorgeous tree-line ride with excellent river views. Or, if you are looking for a shorter, 15-mile experience, pick up the trail in Rockport; however, you will only get 5 miles of gorgeous trail before the last 10 miles of more open trail.
The entire route features river views on one side and about 15 miles' worth of scattered waterfalls on the steep rock face on the other side. Although there is a slight grade going South, cyclists do have to pedal the entire way. Although there is plenty of wildlife within the park, it isn't usually evident on the trail because the steep rock face makes the trail difficult to reach from inland. However, herons and beavers are commonly spotted on the river side, and you also might encounter an occasional snake or lizard. This 26-mile trail is certainly the highlight, but Lehigh Gorge State Park also offers opportunities to whitewater raft, fish, hunt and cross-country ski. The first 15 miles of the northern section is open to snowmobiling in winter months. Check the website for seasonal restrictions.
For nearly seven miles, the Reading and Northern Railroad parallels the trail. The rail line carries freight and seasonal tourist trains run by the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.
Although there is no obvious grade, cyclists do have to pedal to keep moving. During the last 5 miles of the trip, the trail runs next to an active railroad line that is elevated about 3 feet above the trail by a stone wall. Just 1.5 miles north of Jim Thorpe, the trail comes to a parking lot, then continues on, following the main road out to the recently renovated iron railroad bridge that crosses the Lehigh River. The bridge supports bicycle and pedestrian users, as well as an active railroad. An awesome reminder of the trail's origins, the bridge was completed in 2009 after years of planning and provides an extra mile of trail leading into downtown Jim Thorpe.
The community of Jim Thorpe is a treat. Chockfull of charming shops, restaurants and inns, it has several outfitters that rent bikes and offer shuttles to the surrounding trails. Two other rail-trails to visit in the area are the D&L Trail: Lehigh Canal North and the Switchback Railroad Trail. The shuttle is about $16 per person.
To reach the northern trailhead in White Haven, take I-80 to Exit 273 into White Haven Borough. Follow State Route 940 east to the White Haven Shopping Center. Go through the shopping center parking lot and bear left to the state park access area.
To reach the southern trailhead in Jim Thorpe from I-476, take Exit 74 to 209/Lehigh Avenue into Jim Thorpe. The parking is across from Packer Hill Road near the Carbon County Courthouse.
To reach the Rockport Trailhead (15 miles north of Jim Thorpe) from Jim Thorpe, take 209 South to State Route 93 north. Continue to Lehigh Gorge Drive into the village of Rockport. Turn on State Route 4014 to access the parking lot for this trailhead.
This is another favorite of ours. The scenery is amazing and having the chance to see trains is another benefit. Really enjoy riding through the Lehigh Gorge State Park. So much to see. Just watch for the rattle snakes (seen) and black bear (didn't see). I recommend bringing a camera, there is a lot to see.
I recently rode from White Haven to Jim Thorpe and back. The trail is in immaculate condition with no ruts or major debris. It is a very tightly packed gravel which makes it really easy to ride on. I rode on a Friday and the trail wasn't very busy and the people on the trail were very nice and courteous.
The only suggestions I would have for any perspective riders would be to plan ahead for food, water and bathrooms. There are no places besides White Haven and Jim Thorpe to get water or food. There are two bathrooms on the trail one ten miles away from White Haven and one three miles away from Jim Thorpe. Both White Haven and Jim Thorpe are quaint towns to spend time in.
We parked at the Rockland Access and walked less than a mile to Buttermilk Falls. Trail surface was very good packed down. There is another waterfall in the other direction of Buttermilk Falls. Great flat trail and the scenery is beautiful. We stopped here while in the area.
There is bike rental (seasonal) in White Haven and open daily in Jim Thorpe. They also offer shuttle service.
The trail runs through White Haven and there are several eateries there.
This trail is located near Hickory Run State Park as well.
perfect day for a bike ride! took the shuttle from Jim Thorpe to white Haven then rode back. certainly the way to go. 25 miles back to Jim Thorpe. nice ride. has a slight downgrade back to town; but not so much that you don't have to pedal. Loved it. would do again but next time we hope to take the train. reserve early!!
I stopped to ride this one on a trip east to NYC. I started at White haven,
which I did not care for (White haven feels like a town trapped in 1945 with 2017 traffic superimposed. I did not enjoy the town and couldn't find anywhere but the grocery that wasn't cash only). The trail, however, is delightful.
The top part of the trail was simply gorgeous. This was my second trail in two days that felt like I was going downhill. Turns out (according to my phone) there's only a total of ~500ft between the highest and lowest point. I get about the same on the Katy trail, which is pretty flat).
The lower part of the trail is more like what I'm used too (again comparing to the Katy trail in Mo.). It follows a train track down to some touristy town. There's a steam engine train that will apparently take you up to some point on the trail, so you can ride back to the town. I would have given the trail 5 stars if it weren't for all the folks on that part that have no idea how one shares a trial (I was there on 7/3/2017). Also the bottom part is pretty sunny in mid afternoon.
The top part of the trail has all the waterfalls and is also shaded nearly the whole way mid afternoon. The mileage on the map seems a bit off, as well. My phone registered 49.05 round trip.
Wanted to let Traillink riders know that the Bike Train shuttles are available again one weekend a month April threw Nov. with exception of Oct. You get on train in Jim Thorpe ride threw the gorge to White Haven unload and pedal the 25 miles back to Jim Thorpe. Exact dates, times and reservations can be found on PoconoBiking.com enjoy your ride. Paul
My girlfriend and I rode from Glen Summit to Jim Thorpe, about 36 miles.While it is downhill, there is not much coasting to do, pedaling is required. The scenery is wonderful and the trail is in extremely good condition. It can get a little crowded, especially at scenic views but there is plenty of room. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't know trail etiquette. Jim Thorpe is a treat, a lovely historic little town. The only real cons were a couple of bathrooms along the way. The first smelled bad, the second, words cannot describe. Whoever is responsible: the State, the County, the Park Service, should be ashamed. There is no excuse for that anywhere.
You really can't ask for more in a trail than this one. It's well-maintained with plenty of picnic tables to stop at for lunch (at least one per mile). There's a regular shuttle service most of the year that will take you to the north end of the trail. It has mountains and rivers and forests and there are points of interest along the way, such as canal locks and waterfalls and even the occasional excursion train. Park Rangers patrol every half-hour or so. There is a restroom break roughly 15 miles north of Jim Thorpe. The surface is crushed gravel, so even with the downhill grade you will have to pedal most of the way. If you're not a fit and frequent biker I would recommend only doing the 15 mile ride.
I would recommend bringing a lunch and plenty of water and plan a pit stop along the way because it's pretty much all wilderness. When you add in the shuttle ride to Whitehaven, I would plan for at least 4 hours, depending on how many stops you make.
I biked south the whole trail and took my hybrid. I tried the road bike at first, but it's way too rocky in parts. The gravel is heavy in a few spots and the rest of the trail is not really conducive to a road bike, but it is a terrific ride.
Mostly private, not too many bikers until you get around Jim Thorpe. The section that runs below the rail line is fun and if you're not afraid of heights, riding above the Lehigh River is really pretty (I stayed on the far edge away from the river and enjoyed watching the people rafting.)
It's slightly downhill most of the way south, so not too strenuous, but a good workout for the distance and well worth the trip!
We rode this trail on a hot (95F) and humid August friday morning after a major thunderstorm overnight. Surprisingly, the trail was very dry even though the river was extremely muddy and high. Just a few small puddles on the trail and the surface (crushed ciders) was fine for 28mm and 35mm tires. We rode north from Jim Thorpe where there was ample parking (Cost $5), at least for a weekday. The trail was an easy uphill grade and we turned around at the 10 mile mark. It was about 50/50 as far as sun and shade.
I'd do it again. It was worth 3 hour drive and an overnight stay. Maybe next time, I'll take the bike train (only runs on select weekends) or one of the outfitter shuttles so it's not an out and back ride.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn (Lehighton), which was about 10 minutes from the Jim Thorpe trailhead.
It was nice and clean with exceptional service.
D & L Black Diamond Trail, Glen Summit to White Haven, 10 miles – The new trail surface with forest landscapes and amazing views, a lake, awesome picnicking spots where everyone is offered a great first Poconos Biking experience. You can ride from White Haven or take the 10am Glen Summit shuttle to the trailhead. Rent a bike and/or book a shuttle at: www.PoconoBikeRental.com.
The epic part of this experience is what this trail leads to. Ask a local to take you or book a private tour guide from the local bike shop and take this trail to an epic 2000' peak ride like no other.
Ride almost a 2 hour Hammer Climb, White Haven to Glen Summit Ridge 22 miles round trip which is 4-5 hours (Experienced riders only, serious climbs over an hour with bomber single track downhill adrenaline rush back down!)
The Lehigh Gorge Trail is a world famous day trip Poconos mountain biking experience. It follows the beautiful Lehigh River Gorge on a stone gravel, 2-4% downhill average grade made from an old railroad bed. This scenic, well maintained, traffic free riding experience (midweek) is a once in a lifetime adventure of historical knowledge and adventure.
During Fall Foliage (Sept.-Nov.) it is one of the best places in the world to witness the fall colors with over 127 varieties of tree species. The Poconos mountain biking is best seen from inside the beautiful Lehigh Gorge State Park with return/drop-off shuttles to and from the start point in White Haven, the Rockport access, Glen Onoko and Jim Thorpe, the endpoint of the Lehigh Gorge Trail.
The cool thing is that you will get to experience learning along the way about the old coal mining, forestry and railroad days along with great; river’s edge “swim” spots (swimming is technically not allowed in the Lehigh Gorge State Park), beaver ponds, scenic overlooks, high railroad trestles and unique wildlife to witness. The Lehigh Gorge is one of the “50 Best Rides in the Country” as voted by the readers and editors of one of the leading "Outside Magazine(s)" and I completely agree!
Call one of the local bike rental shops for shuttle times or the Lehigh Gorge State Park office for more information.
We did the trail on June 29th, southbound from White Haven to Jim Thorpe.It is nice easy going scenic ride, with a 2% grade going downhill for most of the ride. The trail is wide with hard packed gravel and it was predominately smooth for the entire duration.
The river follows the entire length of the trail and the trail will take 3 to 4 hours to complete depending on the number of stops and photos etc. There is wildlife in the area and we saw a bear cub on the trail, just north of Jim Thorpe.
It is a nice easy trail to ride and worth the visit to Jim Thorpe.
By far one of the best rail trails in the country. The trail heads are located in towns that fully support the biking, hiking, & white water rafting enthusiast. At the end of the Gorge is the town of Jim Thorpe, a picturesque old coal mining town.
I rode this trail several times in the past its always a nice ride. The best scenery is from Rockport to Whitehaven, saw several deer. The trail from Tannery to Whitehaven is in need of some tlc, surface is rough with some larger rocks. Large groups of cycle renters heading south do not show trail etiquette. Your best bet is to pull off the trail and let them pass.
I wanted to give the Lehigh Gorge State Park riders an update. The bike train shuttles are back again this year, running about one weekend a month through November. There are two trains each day at 9am and 12 noon. It is a 25 mile train ride/shuttle from Jim Thorpe up to White Haven and then you bike back to your car in Jim Thorpe. PoconoBiking.com has the full schedule listed on their website.
I know the dates fill up quickly so reservations are a good idea, especially for warm weather rides. Enjoy the ride and thank state parks for keeping the trail in such great shape for all of us.
We drove 2 hours from NJ to visit Jim Thorpe and bike a portion of this trail (as much as my 7 and 8 year-old-kids could handle, which was about 6 miles up and 6 miles back). Though we didn't know it before we left, the town happened to be having a Fall Fest, which was a bonus. The trail is awesome. Beautiful Fall scenery. Easy ride for all levels. I will definitely return to complete the entire length. One side note, if you're thinking about doing the 45-minute Scenic Railway tour, just know that it goes along the bike path for about 6-7 miles, then goes in reverse for the return trip. We took this tour and saw the same scenery (though slightly more elevated) we saw on our bikes about an hour prior.
Not a good day! We called in advance to get reservations at Pocono Bike for the 10 o'clock bus and were told it wasn't necessary there would be plenty of seats. Guess what there weren't and had to wait from 9:15 to 11:00 for the next bus. While waiting spoke to two other couples who were told the same thing. Best advice make a reservation even when they tell you you won't need it.
Hit the trail which is well maintained and a nice ride only to have a near collision with a teenager who didn't know the rules of trail riding; oh well let it go and enjoy the rest of your ride. Ha! Same teenager with two friends decide to block the path in front of us about 4 miles further in. Ask nicely for them to clear the path and they barely moved enough for us to squeeze through. Again just let it go and enjoy your ride. Wrong, one of them follows us and tries to run me off the path. Had a few words with him and moved on only for another one to come upon us later and do the same thing. Called Pocono Bike and the offered to come pick us up but we declined and after the ride went to talk to them about it. They were very nice and sorry we had difficulty but there really wasn't anything they could do about it. The unfortunate part is I will never go back there and that's a shame.
Lovely scenery and nice path between jim thorpe and tannery (almost all the way to white haven). Between tannery and white haven and white haven north, the trail is incredibly rocky and not at all fun to ride on. This made for a wasted trip one day....very disappointing.
We started in White Haven and rode to Jim Thorpe. The trail is well kept, except for a sandy spot in the middle of the trail. Saw a beautiful rattlesnake along the edge of the trail.
My wife & I rode our Trek T900 tandem, starting from downtown Jim Thorpe (there's a $6 parking fee at the downtown lot). We rode to White Haven for lunch which is primarily an uphill (but barely noticeable) ride. The first 10 miles runs adjacent to the railroad line and the river. the remaining 14 miles to White Haven run adjacent to the river. It was a bit quiet in the morning. On the return ride, we encountered numerous rafting groups on the river. Going south (towards Jim Thorpe) is primarily downhill (and downstream). Our return speed was about 2-4 mph faster. Total trip was just under 50 miles.
Despite the uphill/downhill issue, it is a very gentle grade (it is not visually noticeable).
I highly recommend off-road tires (smooth tread is OK) as there are some sandy spots as well as gravel of varying sizes.
There is a restroom building at the Rockport boat launch area. It does NOT use flush toilets.
There is a water fountain outside, though.
Rhodos blooming, waterfalls, people cheering, laughing down in the gorge while kayaking, rafting, mountain, railway views. Saw wildlife. ate awesome lunch in White Haven Antonios, I think the name was. Next time I like to take train up to White Haven & ride all the way down in one shot. also, it was 10 degrees cooler than DC area... perfect getaway. WEISSPORT was a definite great find!! GO THERE as well.. it is about an 8 mile round trip.
Trail well maintained/kept.
Ride was awesome. The only part that was hard was some parts were like riding on sand. 3 days after and my legs still hurt :-)
I did the bike train from Jim Thorpe to White Haven this past weekend with my wife and friends and loved this trail. I've biked lots of rails to trails and this is right up there with the best. Beautiful scenery, at its best at the first half. Very easy ride and goes by quickly. While biking it was great I couldn't help but think what a fantastic marathon course this would make, thinking many others would too. Great trail for biking, running or walking, loved it.
The Lehigh Gorge section of the D & L trail is a delight to walk or ride. If the issue could be settled at the Jim Thorpe sewage treatment plant so that you could bike through that area, it could allow hook up to the rest of the D & L and would be a wonderful long distance trail.
We like to park at the Glen Onoko access area in Jim Thorpe, ride to White Haven, have a fabulous hamburger (the biggest we've ever seen) at the White Haven diner and then bike back to Jim Thorpe.
The scenery is beautiful and sometimes you get the added enjoyment of watching rafters "float" down the river. The surface of the trail is excellent and the trip back down from White Haven is great, downhill fun.
Especially beautiful in fall but even in the hottest part of summer it is shaded and comfortable.
Highly recommend it.
I wanted to let Traillink users know that the Lehigh Gorge Railroads train shuttle is being repeated this year 1 weekend a month 2 trains a day April-Sept and Nov the Biketrain will be operating. Put your bike on the train in Jim Thorpe ride up the gorge to White Haven and pedal the 25 miles back. Dates and reservations are available by calling the Lehigh Gorge Railroad 570-325-8485 or Pocono Biking 570-325-3655.
I also want to thank RTC for Traillink my wife and I have used it to bike in over a dozen states, its a great resource.
Great trail in all seasons; however, winter use would be much better if snowmobile users would follow the rules and be considerate of other users. While snowmobiles are permitted from White Haven to Penn Haven Junction; they are prohibited from Penn Haven to Glen Onoko. However, don't expect peace and quiet or lack of exhaust in this stretch of beautiful scenery. DCNR doesn't enforce that prohibition and snowmobilers clearly know it. We had a horrible encounter with an impatient rider; rider didn't slow down, our rescue dog got spooked by the loud engine, slipped it's collar/leash, and, get this, was chased by snowmobiler who thought he could out run the dog. Well, after 1/2 mile or so, the rider finally thought to just stop the snowmobile. Fortunately we caught up with the poor, scared dog. The other snowmobilers we encountered (in this section where they were prohibited) were at least considerate enough to slow down/yield. The DCNR Ranger I spoke with was rather dismissive about the whole issue and laughed it off because they have no means to enforce it (plus they get a little revenue from selling snowmobile permits). Perhaps DCNR should post more signs, make a presence at the snowmobile loading lots to remind riders of the rules, and most importantly, erect physical barriers at Penn Haven Junction (that we see at many trailheads) to prevent this blatant disregard of the rules. Many of us specifically seek out trails that don't allow nuisance motors and while we're there, we contribute to the local economy. By allowing motor vehicles on trails that prohibit such, the authorities, like DCNR, are saying 'go elsewhere with your money'.
On 11/1/14 I did the Train from Jim Thorpe to White Heaven and road the trail back. It was not the best weather and I am sure that keep the crowd down but I had a great ride on a great trail. Lots of Picnic tables along the way and Rest Room at each trail head. Mile Markers each and ever mile. At each trail head and it told you how many miles to the next one and how many miles to Jim Thorpe. The surface is Stone dust and is in great shape. You can see the river almost the whole way and the fall colors were great. The elevation in White Heaven is 1450 ft and in Jim Thorpe it is 515 so you lose little over 900 ft in 25 mils. this was my second trip on this trail but not my last.
My first time on this trail Thurs. 10/9/14, riding from White Haven to Jim Thorpe and back. I clocked 48mi. round trip. Beautiful colors this time of yr. and very little bike traffic. I would imagine the weekends during this peak season of color would be much more crowded. Definitely more of an upgrade going back up to White Haven but very gradual. Very scenic and easy riding trail! I had lunch in Jim Thorpe. Great old town with many small shops. Wonderful experience overall!
I did this ride with my 14 y.o. son. We took a shuttle from Jim Thorpe then rode back from White Haven to Jim Thorpe, it took less than 2 1/2 hours. For cyclists, I have 700C x 32 tires and they were fine on the crushed stone path, but true road bike tires would be a stretch. It was a beautiful ride with the sounds and sights of the river right by the trail, and there are scenic stopping points along the way. I also enjoyed exploring Jim Thorpe after the ride, it is a picturesque little town nestled amongst high Pocono hills.
I completed this trip mid-summer. If you are looking for quiet with no other people around, this is NOT your trail. I saw another trail user or people on the river about every 1-2 minutes. If you did not see them, you could hear them. I was able to get cell service (Verizon) during almost the entire trip. There are no towns or places to buy something until you reach one of the trails end. Bring enough food/water for your journey.
I started my ride at the southern Jim Thorpe end. I parked in the lot at Glen Onoko. The parking lot is large enough to guarantee a parking spot during the busiest of summer days. There is a rustic bathroom if needed (non flush type).
The first few miles of trail are next to a working railroad on one side and the river on the other. There is not much tree cover and the river is close to the trail. The trail is VERY well maintained. The signage is VERY well placed and clear. I have ridden many rail to trail paths and this one has been the best groomed yet. No potholes. The first few miles of trail had a few patches of deeper rocks. You just need to pay attention and all will be smooth sailing. I rode on my mountain bike with 2.5” wide tires and towing a BOB trailer. You have to pedal since it is technically uphill, but it won’t take a lot of effort.
About the half-way point you reach Rockport. It’s not a town. It is a parking lot with river access and rustic bathrooms. Since it was summertime, there were a few hundred people with rafts entering the water. It was quite busy. As you leave Rockport, the tree coverage becomes thick and it’s nicely shaded. The trail gets slightly less smooth (still great shape). You also pass several waterfalls.
The trail dead ends in a parking lot when you reach White Haven. If you bike to the end of the lot, you run into “main street” with stores and such. You can eat and refuel.
I made the extra 1.1 mile side trek to Lehigh Gorge Campground. It’s a place that shows age. My tent site was not level and I found small trash lying about. Traffic from the nearby interstate was loud and it went on all night. It is important to note the the bathrooms and shower were nice and clean (big bonus).
Loved this trail. We parked at the Rockport Trailhead (GPS: 40°57'59.8"N 75°45'17.9"W /
40.966598, -75.754957) and biked up to the White Haven trailhead. There, we turned around and went back down to Rockport. It was a really easy ride; you'd never know you were going uphill. All in all, it was a smooth 18.21 miles (according to MapMyRide app on my phone). The substrate on the trail got a bit rough between Tannery Rd and White Haven, so beware. I love that there were back boards on the trail, in case of emergencies. A great trail for cyclists of all skill levels, including children.
We rode this trail from Jim Thorpe to White Haven and back--stopping for lunch in White Haven. The trail was well maintained and the scenery was outstanding. There was quite a bit of bike and pedestrian traffic on the trail after lunch, but the ride was still very pleasant.
We took the train ride up the Gorge and rode back. It was fantanstic day. I am not an experienced rider and this trail was perfect for me to get started. We recommend to anyone!! and The Pocono Biking Shop is very helpful and friendly. The town is an extra bonus very cute!
Rode our favorite trail again on Easter, nice day, great trail, fun time. What caught our attention was something new which I think Traillink readers would like. Apparently the shuttle service we use out of Jim Thorpe Pocono Biking has partnered with the Lehigh Gorge scenic train ride and is offering train bike shuttles the first weekend in June 2014 for $20.
You can put your bike on the train ride up to White Haven and then peddle the 25 miles back to Jim Thorpe. They called it the Bike Train and said there has been a lot of interest and you need to make reservations.
What a great trail! We love rails-to-trails and this is an amazing ride. We rented bikes in Jim Thorpe (very cute town) and rode half of the trail and came back. I would love to go back and do the entire trail as it is very level and an easy ride.
Such a gorgeous trail along the river. Pocono Whitewater/Biking shuttled us up to White Haven and they were delightful to deal with. The staff couldn't be more helpful and had loads of fun information to share about the trail, the program and the Jim Thorpe area. Rails-to-trails is such a great organization-keep up the fabulous job you are doing!
We used the Pocono Biking shuttle service to take us up to White Haven for our 25 mile or so ride down river to Jim Thorpe. Pocono Biking was professional, prompt and precise with the shuttle service.. The ride down the gorge was a delight to say the least. Pocono informed me that an additional 9 or so miles is now open above White Haven. I look forward to a return trip to do it all. Nice day of fun and exercise.
Started in White Haven and slight downhill grade all the way to Jim Thorpe. The section leading into Jim Thorpe after Glen Onoko has now been completed so it's a beautiful ride all the way into the parking lot. Great scenery with plenty of picnic tables along the way to stop at. While most of the trail is shaded by trees, the section leading into and out of Glen Onoko is not for the most part. Wear sun protection. Worst of the surface is at White Haven but ends quickly so don't be put off by that.
When parking at White Haven don't be dismayed if the lot across from the bike shop is full, continue down the path with your car and lots more parking opens up on the left. There's never a need to park on the street or in the shopping mall.
Rode this trail on Sept 28th. We used the Blue Mtn Sport shuttle service, they were wonderful. Shuttled from Jim Thorpe to White Haven. Ride back to Jim Thorpe was terrific, beautiful scenery and picnic tables to eat the packed lunch we brought and take pictures. And the slight downhill grade made it even more enjoyable. We took our time, got back to Jim Thorpe by 2:30. Explored the quaint town of Jim Thorpe, ate an early dinner and headed home. Most enjoyable fall day on our bikes!
I parked in Jim Thorpe and rode a shuttle from Pocono Biking up to White Haven. The next time I will ride it both ways as there really is no grade to speak of.
Take enough food and water with you , there is nothing available once you leave White Haven.
I really can't think of any thing that could be done to improve this trail.
the new black diamond trail from white haven to rt 437 near glen summit.is nice and flat.they wanna take it all the way up to wilkes barre and bear creek area.cant wait to see it.any word on to when it will be done?
I have been riding this trail for the last few years and I must say every time gets better for me. My son came with me for his first time on the trail and he really enjoyed it. We rode to rockport from Glen Onoko falls. The trip was 27.25miles which was plenty for an afternoon. The scenery is amazing and the trail is a very easy ride. This is a great beginner trail! Can't wait to ride on it again in the fall.
This past weekend a group of us rode the 25 miles from White Haven to Jim Thorpe. We caught a shuttle through Pocono Biking. They dropped us off at the White Haven trail head (about a 30 min drive from Jim Thorpe). We decided to grab a quick bite before heading off since there are no stops along the trail for food or drink. We rode our bike up the street to Renee's Cold Cut Hut and grabbed some very good subs. There are no tables there so we rode back to where we got dropped off and ate at the picnic tables there. We then headed off on our 25 mile adventure. Overall it was a very good enjoyable ride. I think the first 10 miles were the best scenic wise but really the change of scenery throughout the ride kept it interesting. Like other reviews indicate from White Haven it's pretty much flat or downhill. However the last couple miles were a little tougher. The wind picked up and the gravel was thicker so it was harder to ride through but overall not bad at all. Definitely recommend to any biker out there. It was a beautiful trail and a great little town. Took us about 2.5-3 hours to do with several stops for pictures along the way.
After reading the reviews, we headed to White Haven and did the upper 1/2 round-trip from trail head to Rockport and back. Ride was great -well maintained surface, easy riding and fun views of the river (with more rafters and kayakers on the river than there were bikers!). We'll definitively do the lower half. Trailink has never let us down - keep up the good work !
We've done this trail before, to Jim Thorpe and back in one day. That's a long 50 miles, so this time we left the car at White Haven and overnighted in Jim Thorpe. Directions to the trail heads both north and south are easy to find, plus there are other parking areas along the way if you're not uo for the long ride. The ride south is a bit easier than the one north. Although the trail is flat, there is a slight uphill grade that you can feel after 10 miles or so. That said, it is still an easy ride. There are plenty of places to stop along the way with waterfalls and nice river views. There are also a few places where you can walk down to the rivers edge, stick your feet in and relax for a while.
The town of Jim Thorpe is quaint and relaxing. We enjoyed our stay at The Inn where they have bike storage.
I would definitely do this again, but spend 2 days in town and explore some of the other trails in the area.
Rode new part of our favorite trail this weekend.A new 10 mile section of the Lehigh Gorge D & L trail is now ready to ride. They were still working on parking lots but the trail itself was done and with a gorgeous surface. Very enjoyable ride wooded on both sides with a lake and beaver ponds (yes we did see beavers) for scenic breaks. Its called the Black Diamond referencing coal is 10 miles long and starts at the north end of White Haven or a new trailhead off Rt. 437 just before Glen Summit. I would suggest using the trailhead as its then downhill the whole way.
With this new section you can now ride the rail trail 35 miles into Jim Thorpe with just one short 1/4 mile break in White Haven. The trail is in great shape the whole way. For those of you who have never ridden it its really scenic with the river, gorge, bald eagles, waterfalls, side hikes just a great ride and both Jim Thorpe and White Haven have biking shuttle companies so you can ride one way. A local we meant on the trail told us the parking areas should be done by June 1st. I am sure if you called the Pocono Biking shuttle people they could give you an exact update. So enjoy the new extension and if you have never ridden the Lehigh Gorge your missing out.
My mom and I have done this trail twice. Once biking from White Haven to Jim Thorpe and once walking from Rockport to Jim Thorpe. Fair warning the mileage marking is a little funky towards the end, and those last few miles are killer!
We live in Jim Thorpe and have never been on the Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail. I know, what is wrong with us? We were looking for something to do outdoors with our two boys this past weekend and since we drive by Pocono Biking everyday, we decided to go check them out. I called to see if we needed reservations and the lady said we can just head over to the shop. She told us the price, shuttle times, and what to wear and bring. It was so nice to talk to someone so pleasant and informative. We packed a bag with sandwiches, snacks, drinks - and NO toys or cell phones! Imagine that with a 1 and 3 year old! We were going to take the shuttle up to Rockport and bike the 15 miles. The staff was so sweet and helpful with us. I have not been on a bike since I was a kid so the one girl took her time making sure I felt comfortable riding around the site before she helped my husband get his bike. Our three year old was so excited he would not stand still. She took him over to the helmet bin and got him to put on a helmet - something he would not let Mommy or Daddy do, and had him and his brother "test drive" the Caboose. This thing was so cool! It connected to the back of my husband's bike so he could pull the two boys. We loaded the van with the other guests and off we went. On our drive up, the driver talked about the history of the town, the State Park, Glen Onoko Falls and the Lehigh River. I loved hearing about everything I had taken for granted in this town. As we drove into Rockport I could not believe I was so close to home! How did I not know how beautiful this place was? We hopped out of the van to see cascading waterfalls and the rushing river. We loaded the kids and lunch in the caboose and hit the trail. As we crusied by a set of waterfalls our boys went nuts! We had to turn around so they could get a better look. They loved getting pulled along the trail by their dad. They kept yelling "Go faster! Race Mommy!" When we stopped at one of the many picnic tables along the way for lunch, it was like we were in a movie. Rafters paddling down the river, bikers passing us on the trail, the wind making the trees dance (as my 3 year old used to say) and the birds chirping. We just sat there and enjoyed each other and nature. When we got back on the bikes we rode for a little with another family that was on the shuttle with us. They have been coming here for five years from New York City to ride this trail and go rafting with Pocono Whitewater - after talking to them that may be our next adventure. The boys fell asleep with only a few miles to go but were woken up to a huge surprise - a train blowing it's whistle to us! They were beyond excited. As we pulled back into the bike shop and got off the bikes the staff was right there to help us. Our three year old could not stop telling the one worker about his day. And he stood there and listened to every word and asked him questions. It was so sweet to see someone take the time to make my little guy feel grown up and special. The girls working told us and some other people who just pulled in about places to go grab some food and what to do in town. The staff was so great and you could see their passion and love for their job. Our day to day lives are so busy that it was the perfect day to reconnect with each other and our boys. Biking the trial with Pocono Biking is our new favorite family activity. Hope to see you on the trail!
What a great ride. Me and my wife started at Jim Thorpe and traveled toward rockport. The ride was very easy and flat. The people on the trail traveling were all friendly. Riding along the river rapids was just so relaxing. I would say if you travel this trail take a camera for some great pictures. Me and my wife will be going back in October to see the fall colors. Great day!!!!
We thoroughly enjoyed the Lehigh Gorge State Park trail on our ride July 22, 2012. The trail was in excellent shape and the views of the river and surrounding areas were fantastic. Our hope is to make this ride a seasonal event to enjoy nature at its finest.
I went from jim thorpe to rock port and back, around thirty miles, just spectactular. I'm one of these days going to do the whole trail from jt to white haven and back when i have the time. Next i'm going from withe haven to rockport and back. Loved the scenes, saw a large watersnake, snakes don't bother me regardless of type, and just missed seeing a bear. awesome trail
This is the second time I rode on this trail, this time round trip. May 13th (yes, mother's day) turned out to be a glorious weather day! We started at 9:00 am from Glen Onoko with 6 riders. Two from our group had commitments in the pm so could not do the whole ride. I really can't add much to what the previous poster wrote, but I fully concur with the assessment. This is a marvelous trail for beginners and has plenty of length for more experienced riders. I was surprised by how busy it got towards the afternoon, especially because it was a holiday, but when we got back parking was at a premium.
This is such a picturesque trail that it is inevitable that you will do multiple stops along the way just to enjoy the scenery. We did the trip in 6 hours because we stopped often. But it is well worth taking the time.I'm looking forward ALREADY to going again.Hope to see you there!
What a great trail, I did it from end to end round trip on a partly cloudy day in med April. This trail has it all, Park benches, Picnic tables, Mile markers, Historic marker, Signs that tell you how many miles to the next two Trail heads and a great surface, just a little lose in some spots. You have a view of the Lehigh river from end to end and it is just a beautiful view. I did this on a Mt Bike with a town and country tire but I did run into a Biker form IL. that was on a road bike with a Touring tire on the front and he told me it worked well. This is a very family friendly trail and even though it was mid week I saw a number of family's. The southern end dose not have much of a canopy my be the first six or seven miles so make sure you have a supply of Sunscreen. If I was going to do just one way I would do North to south as the prevailing wind is out of the north west and it is all down hill grade from White Heaven, my trip up was 2hours 5 min and my trip back was 1hr 40 min. There is ample parking at Glen Onoko which is about three miles up the trail from Jim Thorpe, and ample parking at the white Heavens trail head. There are just a few parking spots at the Rockport trail head and on weekend the Park Rangers do not even let cars down to the trail head. Once again I just do not give out five stars but if I did this trail would get one.
No matter when I get a chance to ride this trail from any point it's always a great day. Seems like it is tough to find GPS #'s for the different parking areas, so I grabbed a few while I was out today.
White Haven Latitude: 41.055905º N Longitude: 75.771378º W
Tannery Latitude: 41.038322º N Longitude: -75.761635º W
Rockport Latitude: 40.966678º N Longitude: -75.754956º W
Glen Onoko Latitude: 40.8834229 N Longitude: -75.7613028 W
Any Starting point is excellent. So get out and enjoy !!!
My wife and I rode the entire 25-mile trail on 30 July 2011, starting in White Haven and ending in Jim Thorpe (so there was a slight downhill grade the entire trip). The trail is in very good to excellent condition, and we had a fantastic time. Highly recommended. (Those who have said the first 15 miles of this trip are the most scenic are correct, but the last 10 are far from terrible.)
We discovered the trail by accident on Father's Day, 2011. We originally went to Jim Thorpe to ride the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railroad and discovered this trail paralleling the railroad while riding the train. And because of this, the trail is flat, perfect for my young daughter, who only earlier this year, had the training wheels removed from her bike. So a week later we went back with the bikes. The scenic upper Lehigh River is on one side and the railroad is on the other, which departs the Jim Thorpe station at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00 on weekends. The town of Jim Thorpe is a wonderful collection of boutique shops and restaurants. Overlooking the town, the Asa Packer mansion is open for tours. Packer was the local railroad barron and founder of Lehigh University. He capitalized on the area's need to get coal from the region down to Philadelphia. We're looking forward to returning around the fall during the peak foliage, perhaps starting at the White Haven trail head. Bring the camera as black bears have been seen roaming along the trail.
My wife and I rode the trail July 2, her second my third trip. As always, it was a wonderful experience - the surface of the trail is excellent - fine crushed stone, the views of the river priceless, and the sight of sunlight filtering through the overhead trees provides a wonderful mosaic on the trail and surroundings.
We took the Blue Mountain Sports 10AM shuttle to White Haven, and having gotten a rave review from the owner, stocked up on lunch at Renee's Cold Cut Hut on Berwick, then rode the 25 miles south. It was so beautiful it almost hurts the eyes. A nice place to eat lunch is at the waterfall just north of the Rockport junction, so we grabbed the end of the picnic table there and watched the waterfall while eating.
This trip there were not rafters! Surprised, I asked a park ranger who told me the rafters need a release of water at a dam upstream, and none was scheduled this weekend. I guess the moral of this story is, if you want peace and tranquility, do the ride on a week with no release. If you prefer the loud raucous noise of hundreds of people having a great ride on the river, then choose a release date (both have merit in MHO).
PLEASE: if at all possible, do the whole ride, not the 15 mile Rockport ride. The first 15 miles of the trail south of White Have are tree covered and offer the best views. The last 10 miles of the trail are open, further from the river, and follow a real working rail road. When you take the Rockport trailhead, you only get 5 miles of the prettiest scenery. Remember that the trail has a 2% grade (down) from White Haven, and the surface is the best gravel surface I've ever ridden on.
Note: Traillink has yet to indicate that the trail goes all the way into town, which is surely does.
Glen Onoko falls (hiking)
While there are lots of information on the falls itself, there is scant information on how to reach the falls. My wife and I hiked the "primary" trail which goes under the two bridges, the follows the gorge up. This trail is dangerous and steep - over loose stones and quite steep. I would estimate that it takes at least 45 minutes, perhaps an hour, to reach the falls this way. We got half way up and turned around.
A local told us on the way back that there is a second trail that is much easier to use, and loops around on the east side of the stream. We did see it on the way down. To reach it, from the parking lot make the right turn at the big warning sign, go under the two bridges, and bear right following the orange tape/blazes. Around 100 yards up the trail (and while still on the dirt portion) you will see off to the right what looks like a trail.
At this time there is a huge fallen tree across this trail, which makes one think its closed - or that the tree was put there intentionally. Looking closer, you can actually see a blaze mark on a big tree to the right of this side trail - which leads one to believe this was a sanctioned means to reach the top. [We will try this next trip, but it won't be for months.]
Asa Packer house.
I discovered this by reading an earlier review on this site. The house was quite interesting - its essentially a 1800s house preserved not restored. The tour was well worth it, and the story of Asa Packer perhaps even more interesting. Now I want to learn more about this remarkable man.
Every time I make this trip, I just keep telling myself - it doesn't get any better!
This trail is great! Scenery is awesome...especially if you are a whitewater paddler and want to "read" the rapids as you ride by! If you have extra time in Jim Thorpe, I highly recommed the Glen Onoko Falls hike also.
Rode this trail for the first time May 21st, 2011 and I was very impressed. The views are excellent and the trail very well marked and maintained. This is a great trail for a hybrid bike! Ride from Jim Thorpe to Winter Haven first as that is slightly 'up hill' and then the return trip is a gentle down hill return. Only negative was on a beautiful day there were many people on rented bikes that seemed to have a little difficulty looking out for riders coming the opposite direction. This trail must be spectacular in the fall!
My wife and i rode this trail on September 10, 2010. The weather was a little cloudy and cool, but ended up being very nice at the end of the day. We started in White Haven after a ride up from one of the many shuttle services in Jim Thorpe. It took about 45 mins up there and thats after stoping in Lehige Gorge State Park to drop off some riders that wanted to do only half the trip.
The trail is flat and level the entire 26 miles. It was by far the easiest 26 miles i have ever done. The surface is made of crushed cinders and my high brid bike did fine. You should pack a lunch and water because there are no places to stop and get food on the trail. Many picnic tables along the way and each one has a nice view of the river and gorge. This trail was beautiful from the start to the finish! Many sites to see and a feeling of nature all around you. Listening to the river run while your on the bike is very relaxing and soothing. All through out the ride there are old locks from the canal era, that is well worth a stop and look. You can do the trail in 2 hrs, but take the time to enjoy the scenery and the history of the canals in this part of the state.We spent the day and did the trail in about 5 hrs. After the ride take some time to enjoy the town of Jim Thorpe. Many shops and places to eat, in a town that seems like it has never changed since its inception. If only the rest of America stayed like this!
Take the time to enjoy this trail and area. We also rode a trail in Easton Pa on Saturday that was very nice too.
Ride a Trail, Write a Review!
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.
The trail from White Haven to Jim Thorpe is in excellent condition - well packed and very find gravel - wide and level. You should be able to ride this with even skinny road tires. Then, the views - again, it doesn't get much better - the river, occasional water falls, forest, and the gorge.
Absolutely no technical challenge - just a nice ride with great views. I took a shuttle to White Haven, and Steve our driver said that in the fall the color is unbelievable. I'll be back then!
The northern section starts of bad, and just gets worse. While pretty, the trail itself beings with enough loose ballast that you cannot do more than 7-8 MPH. Once past Moosehead Lake (about 5 miles), the trail has been covered with loose ballast I assume to prevent erosion. Its nearly impossible to ride on, and my speed was around 5 MPH at best.
Byt the time I got to Glen Summit (the end of the trail) I was exhausted, and chose to ride back on RTE 437 (quite hilly - in hind sight taking Tunnel Rd would probably have been a better bet).
On Saturday June 5 they opened 3 new miles of the trail that now allows you to bike right into and out of downtown Jim Thorpe instead of having to drive up 3 miles to Glen Onoko. We stayed a few steps from the new trail section right in Jim Thorpe at the Inn which has a room for storing bicycles. My wife shuttled me up to Rockport and I biked the 15 miles right back to the Inn. The Mountain Laurel were in spectacular bloom and it is a wonderful trail and Jim Thorpe is a most interesting town. Youker
I have ridden this trail many times and always find it very enjoyable ride. Recently rode the southern end of the trail from Jim Thorpe to Rockport and back, which I consider most scenic. I actually got to see a bald eagle up very close during the ride. Try to ride this trail during the week and you will have this trail practially to yourself. If riding on a weekend, try to start at White Haven or Rockport, the traffic for the train ride at Jim Thorpe gets pretty bad.
The week before we rode from Rockport to White haven and back, a 19 mile ride, the following week we rode fro Jim Thorpe to Rockport and back, a 26.7 mile ride, both rides are very scenic you have the River on one side, and numerous waterfalls on the other, the "uphill" grade is very minor, you can hardly notice it, though the trip back is easier!
This trail is greatly used, there are plenty of places to stop and take pictures, or rest at the picnic tables placed all along the trail.
This is by far my favorite trail so far out of the ones I have rode.
Check out my videos of the trail on Utube, search under Dirtrider6.
We last rode this trail 15 years ago and decided to go again. This time we decided not to use the shuttle, so we started by Jim Thorpe and rode north for 20 of the 25 miles. Then we turned around and headed back "downhill". Trail in great shape for our hybrid bikes, little grade, and picnic tables with views of the river every few miles. Enjoyed the fall leaves and the rafters/kayakers going down the Lehigh river.
It's a truism that whenever someone says it's all downhill from here that they're lying, but not on the Lehigh Gorge Trail. Two outfitters in Jim Thorpe will shuttle you (for a fee) to the White Haven trailhead and from there while you do have to pedal it is pretty much all downhill. Once you leave town there's no drinking water so make sure your bottles are full.
You really can't get lost, if the river is to your left you are heading South towards Jim Thorpe. While there are leaves on the trees you generally can't see the river from the trail, but there a picnic tables placed where you can stop for a view. There are new signposts on the North end of the trail at least with directions and distances.
The first mile or so, where the path widens to double as parking lot for cyclists and whitewater rafters, is gravel. But once you get past that, except for short stretches at Rockport and Penn Haven, the surface is hard packed crushed limestone. We were able to easily ride this trail on road bikes. Even the last few miles of rail-with-trail where we saw an old passenger train hauled by a steam locomotive.
If you look at the interactive map on this site you might think that the trail extends all the way to Jim Thorpe, but it doesn't, at least not yet. As the notes say it ends in a parking lot near Glen Onoko. There's a bridge over the active rail line but the trail ends with a fence on the other side. Apparently at this point a fence is needed to separate the trail from the railroad. That's supposed to be done by the Spring and then you should be able to ride all the way to Jim Thorpe. For now, another mile or so down the road the outfitters will pick you up for a shuttle back into town.
I went on this trail yesterday. After reading reviews and knowing what I know about the park, I thought it would be a nice ride. It was, the scenery was beautiful, the sounds of the river were great and I will definitely go on it again (despite seeing 2 rattlers just chillin by the road (one was on the road)) It was actually very neat to see the rattler, as I've never seen one before. Very cool. But I digress... The trail surface was crushed stone, and was easy to ride on. There was a part of two, for a stretch of about 50 yards total that was rocky, though not horrible. Anyone would definitely have to slow down and navigate thru. The trail is wide and didn't have any grade that I noticed.
The bad...I thought this trail was very poorly marked (regarding mileage and directions). Maybe I'm used to the Trail Markers from most of the other trails I've been on...and was expecting too much. I accessed it at the Rockport Trailhead and rode (I think) towards White Haven. My intent was to ride to Jim Thorpe, but I was disoriented as to which was Jim Thorpe was...and I didn't see any signs saying "Jim Thorpe 13 miles" or White Havem "13 miles" or anything like that. I only figured out I was riding towards White Haven because I didn't see any whitewater rafters. Along the path there were a few signs to point out various creeks, and told of another creek that was 2.5 miles away or whatever. This was nice, but again...I had no idea how many miles I rode, where I was going, or how far it was to get there.
This is a nice trail and I would recommend it...just become a bit familiar with where you want to ride before you go. Next time I'll be sure to go to Jim Thorpe and have the extra fun of hearing the screams of the rafters.
We found a ladies Anne Klein watch on the trail somewhere between White Haven & Rockport on approximately the weekend of July 10th, 2009. I've found the exact model on Amazon.com within minutes.
If you believe the watch is yours, please contact me and let me know the model number of the watch and we'll return it to you.
One of my questions when considering trips on a non-asphalt trail is whether a thin tire road bike is suitable for the ride. The answer for the D & L Trail in Lehigh Gorge State Park is yes & no. Most of the trail is excellent for a road bike - it's a crushed stone surface that gives a smooth ride. But the section from Glen Onocko to the Penn Haven junction (5.8 miles at the southern end of the trail) is currently an unimproved surface with a large number of potholes and ruts. It's not impossible to ride on a road bike, but I wouldn't do it without carrying at least one extra tube, because the odds of a blowout are pretty high.
Two other notes - one, the scenery is spectacular and riding in the spring when you can hear the laughter and cries from the whitewater rafters in the Lehigh River adds to the experience. Second, although the trail appears flat, there is a subtle elevation gain going from south to north, especially in the first five miles going north from Rockport.
Upon cleaning out our car from our past trip, I found a brochure for that company on the top of the trail. They are called Pocono Whitewater and their number is 1-800-WHITEWATER.
My boyfriend and I biked the Lehigh Gorge Trail last weekend. We were going to start in White Haven, bike to Rockport, turn around and return to White Haven. We've rode this section many times but never had the time or the motivation to make it the whole 25 miles to the Glen and back. It has been years since we made it back there and to our surprise there was a new bike rental outfitter at the top of the trail renting bikes and providing shuttles. For $18 each my boyfriend and I reserved a shuttle back from Glen Onoko.
After years of turning around, it was wonderful to complete the whole 25 mile section for once! We were never aware of the beauty from Rockport to the Glen. I can't believe we have been missing out on this all these years! It only took us about 4 hours with plenty of stops to watch the kayakers and rafters. For the first time ever we saw a deer with her two fawns drinking water on the side of the river. This was a day we'll never forget! We can't remember the name of the company, but you'll see a green building on the left side at the top of the trail. They also have snacks, drinks and bathrooms.
I had the wonderful opportunity to ride on the trail on such a cool and beautiful day. I started at Glenn onoko and biked all the way to white haven and back. Along the way I came accross a timber rattlesnake, got a good picture , heard it rattle and got the heck out of there. The scenery, wildlife and smells of the out doors is still with me. Can't wait to go back.
The trail is beautiful through the Gorge, but be warned that if you start in Jim Thorpe at the parking lot by the train station, you CANNOT start on the trail at the "end" of the parking lot as shown on the "interactive" map. The railroad owns the land and has a gate across the end of the lot. If you bypass the gate, you risk a fine, and when you get to the bridge over the Lehigh River, you will find a 6ft. high chain link fence blocking your way. To get to the trail, you must go from the lot onto 209 "south" (it is 209 south, though at that point it is actually going north), and turn right across the bridge on route 903, and follow the signs to "Glen Onoko State Park", and pick up the trail from there. Once in the Gorge, it is a beautiful ride on a broad flat path. of course I rode on an absolutely beautiful day (temps in the upper 70's, blue skies, a very slight breeze).
It's a pretty neat experience to hike/run/bike in Lehigh Gorge. You have a major river to your side, high rockface to your other side, and no civilization in sight except for the railroad on the other side of the river. The temperature differences inside the gorge are pretty neat too. You come upon cold and warm pieces, so dress warmly (or in layers). My most recent trip, there was snow covering the trail, with a nice thick layer of ice underneath. Since you are in a gorge, logically you have water running down onto the trail a lot. be careful, I didn't see the ice until had already fallen each time.
The White Haven trailhead starts near Blue Mountain Sports, at the back of the parking lot of the shopping center in White Haven. The grocery store is the White Haven Market; it is no longer a Thriftway as stated in the description. There is a Rite Aid that is easily seen as you enter the shopping center. Parking is available on the street next to it, and the parking meters were physically disabled when I was there, I am not sure if that was because it is winter.
"We made another trip to the Lehigh Gorge in 2006, this time on a beautiful
summer day; even in summer the trail is cool from the tree canopy
that shades the path; on more than one occasion we were bathed
with refreshing waves of cool air that would linger around the many
waterfalls and rock faces as we passed.
This trip we discovered lock 24, somehow on our first trip we managed
to pedal past this site. The lock is worth the effort to dismount and
explore closer in, a word of caution however, particularly with children,
the lock is deep, and a fall into it would surely cause serious injury,
if not death. There are no fences or walkways, and the footing is
marginal, I'd defintly keep the single digit age kids away,
and apply strong parental control on the older ones. Further
south on the trail at Mud Run there is another lock that isn't
so deep with a safer trail that leads down into the old canal bed.
This trip we used Blue Mountain sports to shuttle us to the Whitehaven
trailhead, it's difficult to compare Blue Moutain with Pocono Whitewater,
the other trail shuttle service, because they are so different.
Blue Mountain is small and leaves right from Jim Thorpe, while Pocono is
a huge organization and operates from a base quite a distance out of
town (maybe 20 mins?). When using Blue moutain you can bike from the
end of the gorge trail, across the bridge, and back into town (and
your car), albeit on a narrow shoulder road, with two killer hills,
this gives you a full 25 mile ride, whereas Pocono Whitewater picks
you up at trail's end (about 22 miles), and buses you all the way
back to thier base. Note that the Blue Mountain guy
said they would pick you up at the trails end as well if you give
them a call, something to consider with kids.
If you consider overnighting the Inn at Jim Thorpe is the place, they have a dedicated locked bike room with racks, and hanging hooks."
Beautiful lunchtime ride from Onoko to Penn Haven. River surge from recent rains was a reminder that biking was better than kayaking for now !
"This past weekend I made my way to Jim Thorpe for the second time in two weeks. This time my objective was to ride from Glen Oken to White Haven. The trail starts out in the Glen Oken State park where parking was plentiful. Once on the trail I found it nice a smooth, very well taken care of. the trail follows the River that once was the site of coal minning, the remains of locks in the canal. There are makers along the trail to tell you where you are and there is a Parking Lot and restrooms at Rockport which is about the halfway mark. The leaves where beautiful and the people on the trail where friendly. Once I got to Whilt Haven I found this small Pizza shop where I had a Slice of Pizza and a coke for $3.18 which I felt was a good deal. After finishing my pizza I headed back to Glen Oken, the trip back was a slite downgrade so I was able to keep it moving preaty good. in all it took me about 3:10 hours of ride time to cover 44 miles. Good trail for the kids and many sites you will want to take pictures of.
Have fun. "
"Rode the trail Sept 20, 2005 with a SAG from Pocono Whitewater Bike Tours, Linda dropping ou off. Found the trail to be very nice and smooth with good views of the gorge. We bet it is beautiful this fall. Enjoy!!!"
"I have seen the full trail, the first from the Jim Thorpe side to just north of RockPort and the second from RockPort to White Haven. The best views are in the middle, with a couple of nice waterfalls near Rock Port (one just north, and one, Luke's Falls, just south).
I saw the round stone structure that someone put in the pics section, and I asked via email what it was. I was told that it may have been a water tank. (but, it has a door???)
I was directed to what sounds like an interesting publication that I plan to order:
I was told that document OF 98-03 ""Rocks and Ruins of the 'Upper Grand'"" has a lot of good historical information and it gives you
mileage marks for places of interest along the Gorge Trail.
The slope is pretty continual, but so minor that you must pedal in the downhill direction in most places to keep moving, although it is definitely an easier ride if taken from White Haven to Glen Onoko.
I plan to ride the trail regularly, even though I am 45 minutes away.
Also, do stop and read the historical signs, as the history of the area is very interesting.
"Monday, Nov. 1, was my first time on this trail. I biked from Glen Onoko to Rockport. This is a great trail with lots of history and some easy pedaling. Next time, I plan to start at Rockport and go to Whitehaven.
I took some nice pictures. The waterfalls were nice. I would like to have seen the Glen Onoko falls, but I didn't have time due to darkness."
"I rode the trail on Sunday, Oct. 3 2004. It was an awesome ride. It's about 15 miles round trip. I'm planning on returning to ride here some more but next time I will come with a bike that has front suspension."
"We rode from Rockport to White Haven and back today. A great 20 mile round trip. We counted over 50 bikes meeting us as we rode toward White Haven, but the trail didn't seem crowded at all. There were plenty of boaters on the water, probably a result of the excellent flows from all the recent rain. The train was in very good shape in spite of the recent rains. The leaves were just beginning to change. It should be great in another week or two. We're excited about our next trip to ride the other piece. My 4 year old on a third wheel (trail-a-bike) loved every mile and loved racing my wife as she rode along beside. Highly recommended."
"This was to be the last ride on our three week 2004 summer vacation. Other stops included the C&O Canal trail in West Virginia (from Harper`s Ferry), the Cape Henry trail (Virginia Beach) and Virginia Creeper (Abingdon) trail in Virginia.
We rode from White Haven to Penn Haven and back (approximately 32 miles). We wish all trails were in such great condition. Although there is a good drop to the trail (600 feet) between the trail heads, White Haven and Jim Thorpe, the slope is always gentle and the ride can be done with no trouble either way.
I encourage everyone to take the time to seek out the remnants of the Lehigh Canal. They are an impressive sight, and a ghost of an impressive infrastructure. In places there is still water in the old canal bed. I wish the park authorities would post trail markers showing where each of the canal locks and dams had been.
This is a ride that is definitely worth a detour."
"A fantastic ride through wonderfully scenic and remote terrain. But close-to-home for most people. We have a new guesthouse in Jim Thorpe, which we created for adventurous visitors to our area. Mary's Guesthouse offers affordable lodging for groups, families, couples, and singles. Rates from $22 per person, and everyone gets full use of house - it is a deal that can't be beat. Check out our website at www.marysjimthorpe.com and we'll hope to see you soon!"
This is a great place for a day trip with kids. The trail makes for an easy ride. Glen Onoko has awesome tunnels you can see. The Glen Onoko access can be a really busy place. Parking can be limited on weekends so drive your car slow and watch for kids and rafters walking in the lot.
"Today was my first try of the leigh Gorge trail, and it was great! The foliage is a bit behind, but that doesn't take away from the peaceful ride. I highly recommend it.
I'd love to hear about other interesting trails in the area.
"The Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail is my favorite. I drive 110 miles from Bergen County, New Jersey, to White Haven for this trail and it's worth the long drive.
You will be in awe of the views afforded from the trail. The Lehigh Gorge itself is worth visiting even if it weren’t for the trail. You won’t want to miss this trail in the fall when colors are at their peak.
You ride along the Lehigh river for the entire length. You will often see rafters in the river, as it is a very popular white-water venue. The Lehigh Gorge itself is an incredible sight.
You might forget that you're in Pennsylvania, and think you've been transported to the Swiss Alps!
The surface is mainly hard packed with cinder and some areas of larger stones, best suited for wide-tired bikes. The trail dries out nicely even after heavy rain, with only a couple of places where water may stand. Even these are very short and easy to get around.
There are several food options at either end of the trail. At the White Haven end, there is a small shopping center where you can buy a sandwich or shop at the supermarket. At the southern end, you will want to stop in Jim Thorpe to get a sandwich before driving the 2 miles from there to the trail access in Glen Onoko.
I don’t believe there are any food facilities near the Rockport access, but I rarely begin my ride from there.
The trail gains 500 feet in elevation going north from Glen Onoko to White Haven. You most likely won’t feel the gradual climb, as it takes the entire 25 miles to achieve it.
An active railroad line parallels the river and the trail for its entire length. The trail crosses the rail line at Penn Haven.
There aren’t many trains, but if you’re a railfan like me, there are great photo ops at Penn Haven, Glen Onoko, and Jim Thorpe (there might be some good shots at White Haven as well).
If you’re into a sort of “biathlon” you can ride the river south from White Haven or Rockport (river conditions permitting), and return north on your bike.
Improvements have been made along the trail since I first started riding it about 10 years ago. At Glen Onoko and Rockport, new restroom facilities has been built. While the toilets still don’t flush (it’s an eco-system) it’s a far cry better than the port-O-Johnnys that used to be there. At White Haven the new facility has not yet been built, but it is apparently planned for the future.
This is one rail-trail you must check out. Once you do, I guarantee you will return again and again. My only complaint is that the bridge from Glen Onoko into Jim Thorpe (across the river) has not been re-decked for riding. The bridge is presently off limits to all, but will someday (I hope) be opened to provide easy access into the center of Jim Thorpe. Now you must ride out of the park and along local roads to get into Jim Thorpe.
This trail is a must do. The parking is very easy -- get off at White Haven exit on I-80 and park under the I-80 bridge (parking never runs out). I traveled 100 miles to get to this trail and it was well worth it. It's a very scenic and slight downhill ride from White Haven. The Lehigh River is always right beside you. I went for a swim on a hot day with my son and our two friends. We also did a small hike right off the bike trail. It's a GREAT TRAIL!
"This is a very easy trail to ride; it's excellent for beginers and experts. I recomend starting at Rock Port and taking the trail half at a time so you don't get burned out. Even though it is flat, at the end we always get kinda tired and glad we don't have to go the whole way back."
"This trail is one of the most beautiful rides in PA. The path can be a little sandy in the early spring, but once it dries, it's a blast. It's an easy ride with enough scenery to keep anyone happy; if you can catch the fall foliage it's an even better treat. I recommend doing the whole trail -- every mile has it's wonderful moments."
This trail is best done during the Spring or Fall because of the scenic surroundings. Easy 1% grade makes for a nice not too strenuous ride. I would suggest it to anyone in the area.
I did a quick ride late in the afternoon. It was beautiful and peaceful. I took many digital pix. I saw a fat rattler and a water snake. I'll be back. It was worth the trip. Very flat and easy to ride.
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