Pocono Region – Long Weekend Guide

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Is the Pocono Region a honeymooner’s paradise or a destination for adventure?

Both! The Pocono Region has beautiful scenery and lots of strolling options for those looking for a low-key destination, as well as white water rafting, mountain biking, and challenging hikes for those in search of a thrill.

If you are a National Park (NP) fan, Stroudsburg is a great base point for a trip.  Stroudsburg is located near the southerly end of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and within a two-hour drive of other NP sites.

NP sites in this region are generally open starting Memorial Day weekend, close in the fall season and are not open every day. Check the park websites to find out what activities/destinations will be available before scheduling your trip!

White water rafting (Class I-III) season typically stretches from May through mid-October (keep an eye on the dam release dates for more rapids)! Most rafting places offer ½-day or full-day rides; one place has under-the-stars rafting!

Bike rentals are also available for reasonable rates, and a shuttle service is available!

Tip: Be sure to check to see what days locations are open! Often, the NP sites close one or two days per week, and other activities are typically only open on weekends until early summer.

On this trip, we visited six National Park units. Here are some highlights and a schedule.

Day 1: Saturday

12:30 pm –1:30 pm: Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River

Zane Grey is notably known as a Western adventure novelist. The Zane Grey Museum took us about 20 minutes to explore.

Short films are available to view (we did not do this). The Museum provides lovely views of the Upper Delaware River, one of the longest and cleanest free-flowing rivers in the eastern United States.

Zane Grey Musuem at the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River, exterior home image. The home is a dark blue/green color and is three stories.

Roebling Delaware Aqueduct (aka Roebling Bridge), is the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in the US. 

Being a civil engineer, I find bridges always interesting, and this bridge is no exception—it is a National Civil Engineering Landmark! The bridge was opened in 1849 and has been converted, so you can walk and drive over it today!

Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River. The river with two people in a kayak headed upstream.

Roebling Bridge Toll House is located on the New Jersey side of the bridge. It is a little building with some historic information inside of it.

Tips: Everything is free at the above-mentioned locations! Cell service is spotty in this area.

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Millbrook Village is open seasonally, with buildings only open on the weekends. The peak population of Millbrook Village was about 75 inhabitants in 1875.  The park relies largely on volunteers.

We spent roughly 2 hours exploring the buildings and talking to the volunteers.

Millbrook Village, Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River. A wooden wheel is being made in the woodworkers building.

Tip: Road 739 was very rough, and there is a $1 toll to cross the bridge at Dingmans Ferry. Millbrook Days takes place in September.

5:00pm-6:00pm: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Kittatinny Point Visitor Center is home to the covenant NSP passport stamp for the area. There are some displays and numerous rangers on hand to answer any questions you might have.

Tips: Parking is often hard to find between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends—plan accordingly. There is a shuttle service available.

Day 2: Sunday

9 am-11 am: Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

Sagamore Hill was the home of Theodore Roosevelt. The grounds and Old Orchard Museum are free to visit; however, you will need a ticket to access the interior of the home.

Tip: A limited number of tickets are available and tend to sell out before noon ($10/ticket for age 15 and over, free for youth).  Arrive early to get tickets or reserve in advance. No interior building photography is allowed. Check out the virtual tour.

The park is currently open Wednesday through Sunday. House tours last 45 minutes to one hour. A ¾ mile round trip nature trail that takes you down to the beach is available. Allow up to an hour to visit the Old Orchard Museum.

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site a view from the yard facing the front of the blue sided and brick three story home.

Note: Cell phone coverage is limited at this location.

1 pm-2:30 pm:  Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is open Thursday through Sunday. The main laboratory is a large complex consisting of 3 floors of exhibits.

Exhibits include artifacts from the collection, phonograph gallery, precision machine shop areas, heavy machine shop areas, music rooms, and libraries.

Each building on site has information posted and placed on a sign. If staffing allows, additional buildings are open to the public.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park equipment shown inside of one of the on-site buildings.

The Glenmont home is available for tours; however, tickets sell out quickly and cannot be reserved in advance.

Tip: Arrive early to get tickets to tour the Glenmont House.

3 pm-4:30 pm: Morristown National Historical Park

Morristown has a few places to visit. The same 15-minute video plays at the Washington Headquarters Museum and the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center. There are three exhibit galleries in Washington’s Headquarters Museum. 

Hiking is available at the Jockey Hollow portion of the site. You can also visit the John Wick home in the Jockey Hollow area.

The Ford Mansion – Washington’s Headquarters, is open for guided tours only. Tickets for the tour are available at the Washington Headquarters Museum.  The Mansion is one of the oldest house museums in the United States.

The park was more interesting than I had expected. It honors the site where the Continental Army wintered from December 1779 to June 1780, the coldest winter on record.

Tip: Ford Mansion tickets sell out quickly; plan to arrive early to get tickets.

Day 3: Monday

8 am-8:30 am: Resica Falls

Resica is a free waterfall located on the Resica Fall Scout Reservation. It is beautiful and easy to find and navigate.

Resica Falls is in the Pocono Region. The falls are pictured with a bridge in the background.

9 am-12 pm: Bushkill Falls

Bushkill Falls, or as it claims, “The Niagara of Pennsylvania,” is a privately owned area that comprises many waterfalls. Admission to the falls rates varies depending on what day of the week you visit and your age.

There are also many other activities you can pay to participate in – mining for gemstones, mini-golf, fishing, paddleboat rental…

Bushkill Falls, hiking adventure, waterfall

Four hiking options exist once you enter the park. The shortest hike is 15 minutes long, and the longest is 2.5 hours long.

The area closest to where you entered was the most packed, but the trails were enjoyable once you got out of the crowds.

Tip: Despite large parking lots, you will have the best odds of finding parking before noon.

1 pm-6 pm: Delaware Water Gap Hiking Trails

We spent the afternoon trying out a few hikes in the area.  Again, many trails closed because of storm damage, but we tried to make the best of it!

Hiking views near Slatesford, PA. River with trees on either side from an elevated viewpoint.

We hiked the following trails in the Slatesford, PA area:

Arrow Island Trail (0.9 miles, one way)

Slateford Trail (composed of a few loop trails)

Appalachian Trail: Lake Lenape (there is a 10.6-mile loop)

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Day 4: Tuesday

We headed into New York City to catch some National Park Services Sites.

9 am-10 am: St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site

St. Paul's Church tours are available at certain times of the day, or you could get lucky as we did and be able to hop into a school group tour; regardless, you should be able to walk around the interior of the church and the church grounds.

Tip: Parking is very limited; plan accordingly. Consider public transportation.

St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, NYC. The church photographed with the cemetery in the foreground.

The church served as a hospital during the Revolutionary War, and the church Cemetery is one of the oldest in the nation – dating back to at least 1704.

Unfortunately, the timing did not work out for us to check out the church tower walk. The tower walk allows you to climb up the staircase to the 250-year-old metal bell, one of the oldest in the United States (1758).

The bell was hidden during the Revolutionary War despite being ordered to remove all church bells so they could be melted down and cast into cannons.

During the war, the wooden church was torn down for firewood. The church was rebuilt, and the bell returned from safekeeping.

12 pm-2 pm: Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park / Paterson Museum

Paterson Great Falls is a relatively new National Park Service unit. Parking is available at the visitor center and many other places in the area. The visitor center also had a few videos to watch.

A self-guided walking tour takes you around the area of the falls. The Great Falls of the Passaic River is a National Natural Landmark. Excellent views are provided from Overlook Park and Mary Ellen Kramer Park.

Patterson Great Falls Park - bridge with waterfall behind it.

You are welcome to take a stroll through Upper Raceway Park, a National Engineering Landmark, to view the raceway system that was constructed to take advantage of water power and some of the mills that were served by it.

The City of Paterson was the world’s first planned city of innovation. Alexander Hamilton founded it; you probably know the name mostly because he’s the guy on a ten-dollar bill.

His life story is rather interesting; you may want to visit the national park site that was created in his honor – Hamilton Grange National Memorial, which is located in New York City.

Nearby, visit the Paterson Museum. The museum is free (as is parking), and there are many exhibits to see.

The glowing rock display is really neat. A black-light charges the rocks, which causes them to glow once the light is turned off. If you need help, ask the museum staff!

Patterson Museum Glow Rocks

Tip: Download the walking tour app before leaving the Paterson Great Falls visitor center for your private tour.

Final Thoughts – Pocono Region Activities

As you can see, there are a plethora of things to do and see in the Pocono Region! Where will your adventure take you? Action-packed adventures, relaxation, or historical sites…

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Road Trip Safety Tips: Expert Guide to Road Trip Travel

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Ultimate Guide on How to Make a Travel Bucket List

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