When you book an RV in the eastern reaches of Pennsylvania, you’ll be able to easily explore Lehigh Gorge State Park, which is a large park that covers more than 6,000 acres. Lehigh Gorge State Park is approximately 100 miles from Philadelphia, PA, and 118 miles from New York City, NY, making it a possible destination while visiting either of these major east coast cities. During the summertime, the park is popular for whitewater rafting, biking, fishing, and hiking, while wintertime brings guests who enjoy cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.
Lehigh Gorge State Park has humble beginnings as a location for logging and mining, the remnants of which can still be found in various parts of the park. The land was used for industrial means for many years, and it wasn’t until 1980 that the land was turned over to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which helped it become the park that it is today. When you rent a motorhome and visit the park, be sure to keep an eye out from relics of the past like old bridges, dams, and industrial logging paths.
There is a lot to do while motorhome camping near Lehigh Gorge State Park, including biking, hiking, swimming, and more. While exploring the forests and rivers, you’ll be able to hike over 30 miles of trails and bike over 26 miles of trails, a lot of which is built on an abandoned railroad path. These paths will take you past many waterfalls, and you’ll have the chance to spot wildlife like lizards, snakes, birds, and more.
Many waterfalls can be found in Lehigh Gorge State Park, all of which can be accessed on foot. The Glen Onoko Waterfalls are some of the most popular in the park, and when you rent an RV camper near Lehigh Gorge State Park, be sure to bring your swimsuit to fully enjoy the water. The hike to Glen Onoko Waterfalls is just under four miles from the trailhead, and guests should be aware that the trail is rated as difficult and should prepare accordingly.
Given the amount of river available to explore, it should be no surprise that whitewater rafting is a popular sport in the park. There are family-friendly rapids, rated Class I and Class II, in addition to more challenging rapids that are rated Class II and Class III. The river is controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and white water rafting enthusiasts love to visit the park during a dam release day for extra rapids.
Camping at Lehigh Gorge State Park
Although there are no state park RV campgrounds at Lehigh Gorge State Park itself, many campgrounds can be found in the surrounding area. To the northeast of the park is Hickory Run State Park, which provides an opportunity for state park RV camping. This campground has sewer, electricity, and water hookups for RVs and many of the sites are pull-thru for added convenience. There is an on-site camp store that sells camping supplies, ice, firewood, and basic food.
To the north of the state park is Lehigh Gorge Campground, which isn’t associated with the state park but has plenty of space for campers. The majority of campsites at this campground are full service, which includes sewer, electricity in 30 and 50 amp, and water during the warmer seasons. All of the RV campsites have a stone base to park on, a picnic table, and a fire ring for campers to use.
Exploring the Area
One of the nearest towns to Lehigh Gorge State Park is Weatherly, and when you camp in an RV near Weatherly, you’ll be able to easily head into town for food, fuel, and local attractions. Weatherly is home to the Weatherly Area Museum, which is a history-focused museum that tells the story of how the town was founded. There are artifacts and historical memorabilia on display, so history buffs will have plenty of opportunities to learn new things about the area.
To the south of the park is the town of Jim Thorpe. This town is quaint and easily walkable, so don’t be afraid to park your rental RV and explore the town on foot. Many of the restaurants in town can be found on or near North Street or bunched along West Broadway near the river. There are plenty of local bars and cocktail lounges, pubs, and high-end destinations to keep young couples happy. In addition to that, you’ll also find pizza places, family restaurants, sub shops, burger joints, and more.
The town of Jim Thorpe is also home to a small collection of interesting museums that are worth checking out while in town. The Stabin Museum is a local art museum that has live performances and child-focused art installations, while the Old Jail Museum dates back to 1871 and is a two-story jailhouse that offers tours. Nearby is the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center, which explores the regional history and gives visitors a chance to explore the building it rests in, which is a classic Victorian church that has since been repurposed.
Lehigh Gorge State Park, PA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
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