Lehigh Gorge Trail Guide
by Gary Gentile
Publisher: Bellerophon Bookworks
Edition: - 2014
Trails that are more or less traveled. In view of the fact that the borough of Jim Thorpe was named after an Olympic champion, it is fitting that the area is renowned for such physical outdoor activities as hiking, biking, and jogging in the surrounding hinterland (plus snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter months). Hundreds of miles of trails provide access to remote forested mountaintops, yet the casual visitor may be unaware of all but a few. The Lehigh Gorge Trail and the Switchback Trail are well-known and popular destinations. Visitors flock to these trackless tracks because they are well publicized. But these commonly accessed tourist attractions pass by or intersect with scores of other trails that are largely ignored or unknown. These "other" trails are traveled mostly by a sparse community of outdoor folk - generally local inhabitants - who have discovered or been shown the wild routes that lie off the beaten track. Although the present volume describes in detail the sights and landmarks that dot the two trails that are named above, it goes far beyond them. Most of the content extols the virtues of hiking, biking, and jogging in areas where people seldom go: into the outback where nature prevails and solitude is a virtue. There you will find babbling brooks, neglected waterfalls, scenic overlooks, rock outcrops, pristine forests, abandoned structures, isolated reservoirs, and more - much more. The backbone of the book is the Lehigh Gorge Trail. The adjacent mountains are like transverse processes on descending vertebrae. The mountains are arranged in hopscotch fashion from north to south, jumping back and forth across the Lehigh River between White Haven in the north to the Lehigh Gap in the south. The chapters are arranged accordingly: not in alphabetical order but from upstream to downstream as they first make their appearance along the river: Chestnut Ridge (Hickory Run State Park), Green Mountain, Buck Mountain, Summer Mountain, Millstone Mountain, Weiser Penn Forest Tract, Penn Haven and Bald Mountains, Scrub Mountain, Broad Mountain, Pocono Mountain, Glen Onoko, Pisgah Mountain, Switchback Trail, Mauch Chunk Ridge, Bear Mountain, Beltzville State Park, and Blue Mountain. By using this book as a guide, readers can locate secluded pathways, forgotten trails, and old wagon roads that are too often bypassed. Whether you wish for nothing more than a simple stroll in the woods, or want to ride your mountain bike across strenuous terrain, this book is the gateway to lands beyond the pale.