Jim Thorpe has long been known as a nearby destination for bikers and rafters since the area’s first rafting companies opened up for business in the mid-seventies. Only 2 hours from NYC and 1.25 from Philadelphia, Jim Thorpe’s combination of open space, the Lehigh River, various kinds of terrain and the proximity to town of rafting, biking and hiking adventures are especially appealing to lovers of the outdoors throughout the northeast.
Planning your weekend’s activities in Jim Thorpe is easy. The outfitters listed in www.JimThorpe.org will be happy to help put together a weekend that’s right for you. Here are several Jim Thorpe-based companies that provide their own unique approaches to bringing you the definitive outdoor experience.
Since 1976 Pocono Whitewater has offered adventures on the Lehigh River through the Lehigh Gorge State Park to rafters of all experience levels and is nationally recognized as an industry leader in both outdoor recreation and paintball. Their professional guides, trained in all medical, emergency, physical and on-water aspects of rafting, provide the assurance of an exciting, well-run trip. Pocono Whitewater also offers moonlight rafting, rail-trail biking, sunset bike tours, accommodations packages, specialty trips, and Skirmish Paintball. They also operate the Lehigh Gorge Outpost in downtown Jim Thorpe for your biking and equipment needs, and can be reached at 1-800-WHITEWATER or at www. PoconoWhitewater.com.
In addition to providing rafting and bicycle trips, Jim Thorpe River Adventures is known throughout the northeast as one of the region’s premier kayak schools. Their instructors coach and provide you with the skills needed to be an expert kayaker, starting at Mauch Chunk Lake for the basics and then on to the Lehigh River for the fun stuff. However, if you’re looking for something you can enjoy just for the weekend you can try their inflatable kayak trips, in addition to raft and bike trips. Contact them at 800-424-7238 or www.jtraft.com.
Family-owned and operated for over 30 years, Whitewater Rafting Adventures provides river rafting, paintball, and bicycle riding courtesy of their expert staff, for the personal experience you’ll never forget. They will handle the details of planning your Lehigh River adventure, or you can pick from an array of exciting packages. Their slogan is “Fun Just Comes Naturally to Us” and it shows! Contact them at http://www.adventurerafting.com or (800) 876-0285.
Blue Mountain Sports has been a local institution since the early 80’s, offering bicycle trips and equipment for just about every adventure you might undertake out of Jim Thorpe. Their convenient shuttle service will take you to any number of starting areas for beginning your bike or raft trip back to Jim Thorpe. During the winter you can rent ski and snowshoeing equipment. The store, located on the corner of Race Street and Susquehanna (Route 209 from Lehighton) carries everything you need for Jim Thorpe fun and adventure. Contact them at http://www.bikejimthorpe.com or 800-599-4421.
If your interest tends more towards a relaxed tour or perhaps a customized hiking or biking tour, then check with the people at the Jim Thorpe eXperience (JTX). Their guided tour packages include adventure and historic interpretation, and let you hike, bike, snowshoe or kayak with local guides who relate the area’s unique history and cultural stories. It’s a great way to spend the day, see beautiful landscape, and learn about the history all in a low-key way. More information can be found at www.thejtx.com or by calling (484) 225-1209.
If you just want to ride in the mountains, here’s a taste.
There is something here for everyone, no matter your level of outdoor enthusiasm. When you’re done with your day’s activities, relax in one of our restaurants, take in a show at the downtown Opera House or nearby at Penn’s Peak.
For a complete list of outdoor outfitters, things to do, and places to stay visit www.JimThorpe.org.