Take your furry friend on a scenic train ride on the majestic Lehigh River in the heart of Mount Pocono in Pennsylvania!
A walk along the scenic Lehigh Gorge Railway, which follows the Lehigh River, is a great way to enjoy the scenery of Mount Pocono.
After visiting our dogs, Buster and Ty, years ago, we were happy to be back with our puppy, Miles.
History of the Lehigh Gorge
The Lehigh River, known for its confusing rapids, has cut the Lehigh Gorge for millennia as it crossed Mount Pocono in Pennsylvania. For most of history, only the dense forests of white pine and hemlock have tracked its progress.
But when European settlers arrived in America, they quickly burned this readily available building material and fuel. By the 1790s, deforestation in the East was almost complete, and our emerging country needed another source of fuel.
In 1791, anthracite coal was discovered in central Pennsylvania. Canals and railroads were quickly built to move the new fuel along the Lehich River to Philadelphia, Trenton and Wilmington.
Fast forward 110 years to 1972 and the railway line through the Lehigh Gorge lies abandoned. The British community of Pennsylvania took the opportunity to buy the property and created Lehigh Gorge State Park. They turned the former railroad bed into a 26-mile reusable pathway.
The picturesque Lehigh Gorge Railway was born
In 2005, after the completion of a railway bridge over the Lehigh River in Jim Thorpe, the picturesque Lehigh Gorge Scenic was born. They offer storytelling, pet trips to the State Park on retro buses. Trains depart from the old train station in the historic center of Jim Thorpe, and the train schedule is on their website.
Powered by diesel engines, the 16-kilometer route follows the river through the gorge and lasts about 75 minutes.
READ MORE ⇒ More pets on scenic trails in the US
Dogs on the scenic Lehigh Gorge Railroad
Well-behaved dogs on a leash are welcome to ride the scenic Lehigh Gorge Railroad – for free! The ticket agent and all the conductors seemed genuinely pleased to have a dog for the walk.
Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway Pet Rules ~ Pets on a leash are welcome on both standard buses and outdoor cars.
~ Please clean up after your pet
Choosing your place
Passengers traveling with pets have the opportunity to ride in the standard bus, built in 1932 by Bethlehem Steel, with padded seats and operating windows …
… or the car outdoors with benches and a nice breeze. This was not a difficult decision for us. Being the dog he is, Miles chose the car outdoors because of its improved snoring capabilities.
Relax and enjoy the walk
Wherever you choose to sit, the views will not disappoint!
The movement of the train was so relaxing that Miles soon took a nap.
Halfway, the engine disconnects from the front of the train, travels along the track to the carriages, attaches to the other end and takes you back to the station. So, if you missed the exit photos – you will have another chance to return!
Take a walk around Jim Thorpe
When you get back to Jim Thorpe, there is a nice park in front of the station. This is a nice place for a picnic!
From there, step into the pedestrian map of Jim Thorpe’s historic center. Along the route there are 75 shops, restaurants, businesses and historic buildings.
If you’re looking for a place to eat, check out the pet-friendly patio at Marion Hose Bar (Old Fire Station). We stopped for a drink and Miles was one of the SEVEN well-behaved little ones who enjoyed their hospitality.
Explore the trails
Of course, if you are not filled with the gorge, you can reach the Lehigh Gorge trail. It runs from the station 26 miles north to White Haven and pet leashes are welcome!
Or check out one of the other trails in the area! The 165-mile D&L trail follows the route of three historic transportation systems that transported coal and iron from the mine to the market: the Lee Canal, the Delaware Canal, and the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
Just 80 miles from Philadelphia and 123 miles from New York, Jim Thorpe is a wonderful destination for pets. And this is the perfect place to make memories with your best friend!
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