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Fly into Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP), located about 40 miles from Pocono Township. Once on the ground, opt for a rental car to explore all this rural area, with its quaint towns and scenic backroads, has to offer.
The Poconos can boast four distinct seasons, so deciding when to visit has a lot to do with what you’re here for. Sunny summer days are perfect for taking a canoe out on the lake, while crisp fall is the time for world-class leaf peeping. The local tourism board even publishes an annual fall foliage report to assist you in your quest for autumnal scenery. Winter draws skiers, snowboarders, and other cold-weather-sports enthusiasts to the resorts and hushed forests. Spring kicks off whitewater rafting season, which extends into fall. July brings thunderstorms, but September is the wettest month, and umbrellas and closed-toed shoes are a must.
This park, which extends more than 1,300 acres and encompasses Camelback Mountain, has earned its name. You’ll encounter alpine and lowland terrain here, and forests dense with birch, aspen, and pine. Sweet fern and mountain laurel grow beneath the trees, and rhododendrons bloom on the forest floor in late July. Criss-crossed with hiking trails, Big Pocono State Park also offers downhill skiing, horseback riding, and mountain biking areas.
Hop aboard a vintage train car — the oldest built in 1917 — pulled by a diesel engine for a scenic ride through the Pocono countryside. The 16-mile trip carries passengers along a forested route parallel to the LeHigh River, over bridges, past cliffs and mountains, and into beautiful LeHigh Gorge State Park. An audio narration highlights local history, and the railroad offers Autumn Leaf Excursions every year. Since this trip starts and ends in Jim Thorpe, you can easily combine your ride with a walk around with the cute mountain outpost.
Skiers and snowboarders love the slopes at the local ski lodge for its 800-foot vertical rise, 166 acres of slopes, and 39 ski trails. Others will love its 42 tubing lanes and ski-in, ski-out restaurants. You don’t have to get off the slopes when the sun goes down — the park lights up for night skiing. In the summer the ski lodge gives itself over to summer activities, with grounds that include a waterpark, a small rollercoaster, and ziplining.