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 and 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 many 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 of the rafting places offer ½-day or full-day rides; one place has under-the-stars rafting!
Bike rentals are also readily 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.
We were able to visit six National Park units on this trip. 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.
There are short films available to view (we did not do this). The Museum provides lovely views of the Upper Delaware River, which is one of the longest and cleanest free-flowing rivers in the eastern United States.
Roebling Delaware Aqueduct (aka Roebling Bridge), is the oldest existing wire suspension bridge in the US.
Being a civil engineer, bridges are always interesting, and this bridge was 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!
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.
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 that you might have.
Tips: Parking often is hard to find between 10 am-4 pm 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, to access the interior of the home, you will need to get a ticket.
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.
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.
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 both 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 by guided tour 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. The park honors the site where the Continental Army wintered over 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 that is located on the Resica Fall Scout Reservation. The falls are beautiful and easy to find and navigate.
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 that you can pay to participate in – mining for gemstones, mini-golf, fishing, paddleboat rental…
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 very 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!
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)
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.
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, which is 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. There is parking available at the visitor center and many other places in the area. There were a few videos to watch at the visitor center.
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.
You are welcome to take a stroll through the Upper Raceway Park, which is a National Engineering Landmark, to view the raceway system that was constructed to take advantage of the water power and some of the mills that were served by them.
The City of Paterson was the world’s first planned city of innovation. Alexander Hamilton founded the city; you probably mostly know the name 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, check out the Paterson Museum. The museum is free (so is the parking), and there are a lot of exhibits to check out.
The glowing rock display is really neat – a black light is used to charge the rocks, which causes them to glow once the light is turned off. If you need help, ask the museum staff!
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…