Park brochure for Lehigh Gorge State Park in Pennsylvania. Published by Pennsylvania State Parks.
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Lehigh Gorge Lehigh Gorge State Park A Pennsylvania Recreational Guide for WELCOME Top 10 Activities to do at Lehigh Gorge Pennsylvania State Parks Mission The primary purpose of Pennsylvania state parks is to provide opportunities for enjoying healthful outdoor recreation and serve as outdoor classrooms for environmental education. In meeting these purposes, the conservation of the natural, scenic, aesthetic, and historical values of parks should be given first consideration. Stewardship responsibilities should be carried out in a way that protects the natural outdoor experience for the enjoyment of current and future generations. visitPAparks 1. Take a group of friends for a bicycle ride (or a hike) along the river on the Lehigh Gorge Trail. 6. Eat a picnic lunch to the beautiful sounds and sights of Buttermilk Falls. 2. Challenge yourself with a whitewater rafting trip. 8. Photograph beautiful rhododendron along the Lehigh George Trail in July. 3. Experience the wonder of the Upper Grand Section of the Lehigh Canal by standing inside Lock 22 at Mud Run. 9. Find your own secret fishing hole in the nearly 30 miles of river or its numerous tributaries. 4. Enjoy the view from the top of the Inclined Planes at Penn Haven. 10. Visit a neighbor – Hickory Run State Park! 7. Explore the Audubon’s Lehigh Autotour. 5. Snowmobile the 15-mile trail from Penn Haven to White Haven. 2020 Marty Straub RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES LEHIGH GORGE STATE PARK ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND INTERPRETATION Spend the Day FISHING: Fishing in the river and streams is permitted during seasons established by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The northern section of the Lehigh River is stocked with trout and is most popular with anglers. Approved trout waters stretch from the Francis E. Walter Dam to Sandy Run. Whitewater boating north of White Haven is discouraged to promote this section for fishing activities. photo by Michael P. Gadomski A deep, steep-walled gorge carved by a river, thick vegetation, rock outcroppings, and waterfalls characterizes Lehigh Gorge State Park. In Luzerne and Carbon counties in eastern Pennsylvania, the park follows the Lehigh River from the outlet of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Francis E. Walter Dam at the northern end, to the town of Jim Thorpe at the southern end of the park. Whitewater boating and biking are popular activities. HUNTING AND FIREARMS: Most of the park is open to hunting, trapping, and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, turkey, bear, and small game. The park also provides access to state game lands 40, 141, and 149, which adjoin the park. Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information. Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s car or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park. HIKING: 33 miles of trails The 26 miles of the Lehigh Gorge Trail offer easy hiking along the scenic Lehigh River. Highlights are several waterfalls, historic remnants of the Upper Grand Section of the Lehigh Canal, and many opportunities to see wildlife. Potable water is available seasonally at the Rockport Access Area. The Bald Mountain tract near Rockport is open to hunting and hiking only. The seven miles of hiking trails are not marked or signed, pending the completion of the environmental review and longterm planning. Only experienced hikers should hike this area and should carry a topographic map and a compass or GPS unit, and know how to use them. The gorge is a natural area that possesses natural hazards like steep and treacherous terrain and fast-moving water. You are responsible for your safety and that of your family. Wear proper hiking shoes and use caution when hiking in the gorge. BICYCLING: 26 miles of trail The Lehigh Gorge Trail is open for biking. Wide tires are recommended. Bicycle rentals and shuttle service are available throughout the area. WILDLIFE WATCHING River corridors are natural transportation routes and so the gorge has a great diversity of plants and animals. Great blue heron, merganser, kingfisher, and beaver are common river residents. In summer, the Lehigh Gorge Trail is a great place to see snakes, fence lizard, and warblers, especially black-and-white and magnolia warblers. PROPOSED RECREATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Future recreational development in Lehigh Gorge State Park will improve opportunities for public access to the Gorge and Lehigh River while protecting the natural resources and maintaining a high quality recreational experience. Trailhead facilities such as parking and comfort stations will be upgraded in the vicinity of White Haven, providing support for the park’s recreational activities. Tell us about your hike at: Beaver The 6,107 acres of park land follow the Lehigh River from Francis E. Walter Dam in the north to Jim Thorpe in the south. The Lehigh Gorge Trail follows over 20 miles of abandoned railroad grade along the river, providing opportunities for hiking, bicycling, sightseeing, and photography. The trail is closed to motor vehicles. Parking areas are provided in White Haven, Rockport, and Glen Onoko. Very limited parking is available at Lehigh Tannery but boat launching is prohibited. A wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs are offered year round. Through hands-on activities and guided walks participants gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources. NEARBY ATTRACTIONS Information on nearby attractions is available from: Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau 570-421-5791, www.poconomountains.com Luzerne County Visitors Bureau 888-905-2872, www.tournepa.com HISTORY EXPLORING AUDUBON’S LEHIGH AUTO TOUR Lehigh Gorge State Park and nearby Hickory Run State Park are featured in a unique auto tour entitled Exploring Audubon’s Lehigh. The tour focuses on famed naturalist John James Audubon’s 1829 visit to the Rockport area of the Lehigh River Valley and looks at the valley’s natural and historical landscapes. Brochures and CDs are available at several locations along the 53-mile route. Signs mark the route and identify tour stops. The tour begins in either Jim Thorpe at the Old Mauch Chunk Landing, or in White Haven at the Lehigh Canal Depot. www.audubonslehigh.org DELAWARE AND LEHIGH NATIONAL HERITAGE CORRIDOR Lehigh Gorge State Park is in the Audubon’s Lehigh Reach of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. The corridor stretches more than 150 miles from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol, in eastern Pennsylvania, and follows the historic routes of the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad, the Lehigh Navigation, and the Delaware Canal. The corridor showcases the extraordinary natural, cultural, and recreational resources and works in partnership to conserve the heritage and enhance the quality of life for its many residents. Corridor landings (visitor centers) are available throughout the region to direct visitors to many opportunities that tell the stories that make the region so nationally significant. www.nps.gov/dele FOR YOUR INFORMATION Protect and Preserve our Parks Access for People with Disabilities This symbol indicates facilities and activities that are ADA accessible. This publication text is available in alternative formats. If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit. In an Emergency White Haven dam pooled up the water for the slack-water canal and supplied water for the lock, which is the stone wall in the foreground. Between 1835 and 1838, a series of dams, locks, and canals was constructed by Josiah White and the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. White constructed 20 dams and 29 locks over the 26 miles between Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) and White Haven. Five and one-half miles of canal were also built. It was called the Upper Grand Section of the Lehigh Canal because the locks and dams were larger and far more impressive than the locks of other canals. When severe flooding in 1862 destroyed the canal system, it was replaced with the new technology of railroads. Remains of locks, dams, and towpath are still evident in the Lehigh River Gorge. NEAREST HOSPITALS Rockport and White Haven Access Areas Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazelton 700 East Broad Street Hazleton, PA 18201 570-501-4000 Loggers continued to clearcut the huge white pine and hemlock trees for lumber and for the bark, which was used to tan hides. In the 1860s, the second largest tannery in the United States sat on the banks of the Lehigh River at the small town of Lehigh Tannery. A terrible forest fire swept through the Lehigh Gorge area in 1875, burning the remaining standing timber, many sawmills, and stockpiles of lumber. The sawmills closed and the loggers departed. At the turn of the 20th century, railroads popularized the southern end of the park at a resort called Glen Onoko. Hotel Wahnetah boasted 47 rooms, a dance pavilion, tennis courts, fresh air, and hikes to the scenic Glen Onoko Falls. A fire in 1911 closed the hotel and a fire in 1917 ended the resort era. In the 1970s, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania began purchasing park lands and in 1980 the land was turned over to the Bureau of State Parks. i photo by Michael P. Gadomski Settlement was sparse during the 19th century until loggers arrived and began felling trees and building sawmills. The discovery of anthracite coal at Summit Hill in 1791 caused intensive development and settlement of the upper Lehigh Valley. In the early 1800s, the need to transport increasingly large quantities of coal to markets down river led to the intensive development of canals. Famed naturalist and painter John James Audubon visited the area in 1829 and spent six weeks painting birds. He was distressed at how quickly trees were cut and shipped down river. The industrial revolution was just beginning in the area. Call 911 and contact a park employee. Directions to the nearest hospital are posted on bulletin boards. For More Information Contact Lehigh Gorge State Park c/o Hickory Run State Park 3 Family Camp Road White Haven, PA 18661-9712 570-443-0400 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org An Equal Opportunity Employer www.visitPAparks.com • Be prepared and bring the proper equipment. Natural areas may possess hazards. Your personal safety and that of your family are your responsibility. • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. • Because uncontrolled pets may chase wildlife or frighten visitors, pets must be physically controlled and attended at all times and on a leash, caged, or crated. Electronic fences and leashes are prohibited. • Do your part to keep wildlife wild! Enjoy wildlife from a safe distance and do not feed or approach wild animals. • Please park only in designated areas and obey all traffic regulations. Information and Reservations Buttermilk Falls, just north of Rockport Information and Reservations Make online reservations at www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday to Saturday, for state park information and reservations. • Please recycle. Place trash accumulated during your stay in proper receptacles or take it home with you. • Soliciting and posting signs are prohibited without approval from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Blacklegged deer tick Enjoy the Winter The Lehigh Gorge Trail from White Haven to Glen Onoko is open to cross-country skiing. The 15-mile section from White Haven to Penn Haven is also open to snowmobiles. Parking for snowmobiling is at the White Haven access area under the I-80 bridge. Glen Onoko Access Area Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital 211 North 12th Street Lehighton, PA 18235 610-377-1300 Please make your visit safe and enjoyable. Obey all posted rules and regulations and respect fellow visitors and the resources of the park. https://www.cdc.gov/ticks Actual size Red-spotted purple swallowtail RIVE R n nsio 0 Wrigh ts 00 Faw 120 0 n n Ru Mill Creek 00 Turnpik e 00 17 80 nty ad Ro 127 534 Sk yli ne Tr. 1100 00 Tr. Lehigh ad 00 1700 Run lie R 1200 d oa 121 0 Lau ryt 00 10 1100 Gorge 118 119 Leh igh 00 16 Creek 0 130 0 140 Po we r 117 1600 1500 1500 1200 y Ston 115 0 0 14 Lin e LEHIGH GORGE STATE PARK See Enlargement Driving Directions from Rockport to Glen Onoko Leave access area on Rockport Road 0.8 mi. At stop sign, turn left onto Lehigh Gorge Drive 3.6 mi. In Weatherly, cross open grate bridge, then turn left at T-intersection 2.5 mi. At stop sign, turn left onto PA 93 S 5.9 mi. At stop sign, turn left onto US 209 N 3.0 mi. At stop light, turn left onto PA 903 N 0.1 mi. At the end of bridge, make the first left onto Main Street. 0.3 mi. Turn left at entrance to Lehigh Gorge State Park 1.6 mi. Enter parking area for Glen Onoko Access Drakes 1300 Run 1300 00 15 l e rg 1100 1200 T POR 14 Indian 00 13 ai Tr oa d Coach R 0 120 SR 40 e Driv 14 AME G E STAT S 141 D LAN K ROC Rockport is the central access area and can be reached from the south by following US 209 south from Jim Thorpe to PA 93 north. After six miles, turn right onto Brenckman Drive to the town of Weatherly. Continue through Weatherly then turn right onto Lehigh Gorge Drive. Turn right onto Rockport Road. Rockport is accessible from the north from Exit 273 off I-80. Follow PA 940 west for one mile then turn left onto Lehigh Gorge Drive. At the village of Rockport, turn left onto Rockport Road. 1600 00 0 110 120 own 120 Cr. 0 122 Road Go Cre ek 116 114 h Le 1200 800 1100 PENN HAVEN 1100 1000 0 1300 120 1400 900 1400 113 1000 To Weatherly, 1 Mi. & PA 93 1000 1100 1200 1300 900 pring Penn S s g hi ple Hollow Ma 1500 Creek Pocono Whitewater Adventures Tank Hollow Creek 00 16 0 150 141 S D AN L E GAM E T STA 1600 To Albrightsville and PA 534 k Blac 112 15 R 16 00 13 16 00 Public Phone 111 00 r 900 0 0 1700 1300 State Park No Hunting e ob R 903 Pow er 900 00 1 0 00 15 90 0 10 00 11 0 12 0 0 13 0 00 14 00 1 0 2 KILOMETERS . Rd Ru n 70 Glen Onoko is the southern access area and may be reached by taking Exit 74 of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Follow US 209 south to Jim Thorpe. Then take PA 903 north across the river. At the stop sign, continue straight_leaving PA 903 which bears to the right. Turn left at the entrance to the park. Rd. 600 800 900 1/2 0 1 MILE 600 1 g Rev. 7/13/17 n Lo To Weissport, 2.1 Mi. d i an Rd. In Hil l 1500 e 15 . Cr See Enlargement Lin 0 80 JIM Jim Thorpe River Adventures THORPE 1000 ry 0 90 1100 on rts 1200 au 107 0 CONTOURS ARE ON 100 FT. INTERVALS M GLEN ONOKO 160 n Ru 1000 00 State Park Hunting 00 H LEHIG 1200 1300 80 0 s an Je Glen Onoko Run 108 11 1100 0 1200 130 1400 Unpaved Road 0 160 0 150 0 Ru n 209 Parking Paved Wayside Exhibit 140 1400 0 Camping Parking Unpaved Organized Group Cabin Camp 80 109 80 1400 110 1500 1600 700 Overlook 16 70 1500 Whitewater Rafting Adventures Nesquehoning 00 Bea 00 12 Organized Group Tenting STATE GAME LANDS 141 1300 1200 1100 1000 10 13 1200 1100 1000 900 800 Active R.R. Tracks Rustic Restrooms 1100 Joint-Use Unpaved Road: Automobile & Snowmobiling 93 Beach Non-motorized Boat Launch Only Waterfalls 0 160 Blue Symbols Mean Accessible Lehigh Gorge Trail: (Multi-use: Hiking, Biking, Cross-country Skiing 1600 GLEN ONOKO ACCESS AREA 00 15 First Aid 16 00 Multi-use Trail: Hiking, Snowmobiling 00 14 Park Office 00 Snowmobiling 110 RIV E 1400 Cre 00 Hiking Trail ek 00 15 17 TRAIL INFORMATION Driving Directions from Glen Onoko to Rockport Leave Glen Onoko Access 1.6 mi. Turn right at stop sign 0.4 mi. At stop sign, turn right onto PA 903 S 0.1 mi. At stop light, turn right. onto US 209 S 2.9 mi. Turn right onto PA 93 N 6 mi. In Hudsondale, turn right onto Brenckman Drive heading towards Weatherly 2.4 mi. At stop sign, turn right, cross bridge 0.1 mi. After crossing railroad tracks, turn right. 0.1 mi. At stop sign, go straight 0.3 mi. At T-intersection, turn left, then turn right at stop sign 3.2 mi. Turn right onto Rockport Road 0.8 mi. Follow Rockport Road to parking area 903 Bear Creek Lake Butcher Hollow 00 To Weatherly & Hazleton Type I Mud 110 1300 s Le 1300 tain oun n Ru Ro 123 14 00 Whitewater Challengers Inc. ge S ta Whitewater Regulations and Safety To protect the natural resources and the unspoiled natural beauty of the river and its environment, the Bureau of State Parks has developed maximum commercial boating capacities on the Lehigh River and controls the number of boaters. Controls have been placed on the outfitters which provide commercial guided river trips. These controls are designed to cover the safety equipment, type of flotation devices used, and skill level of guides. Persons in canoes and kayaks should wear helmets and are required to add sufficient flotation to their watercraft for the displacement of water. Wetsuits or drysuits are recommended in the spring and the fall. REQUIRED VESTS Run 11 ie Lesl in Mounta 0 170 130 1200 M 1500 0 1400 1700 TY UN CO To Eckley E TY N UN Miners UZER CO L N Village RBO CA 1300 1500 124 1200 0 150 1400 1200 1700 1300 1600 Buck 1 FLOW RATES: At flows below 250 cubic feet per second (cfs), the river is very low and many parts are not deep enough for boating. From 250 to 1,000 cfs, the river becomes better for boating. Above 1,000 cfs, the level of difficulty becomes progressively greater and higher levels of skill and better equipment are necessary. At levels above 5,000 cfs, only expert boaters, in kayaks, closed canoes, or very large rafts should attempt the river. All boaters are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. Type I, III, or V vests designed for whitewater use are required. To PA 903 300 A major attraction of the park is whitewater boating. This section of the Lehigh River is Class III whitewater and is popular for rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. All boaters must enter and leave the Lehigh River at designated sites. River flow is controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Francis E. Walter Dam and by streams flowing into the river throughout the park. Flow rates from the dam and scheduled water release dates are available at the U.S. Geologic Survey website: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis or by calling the Hickory Run State Park office. 570-443-0400 1600 Sandy STATE GAME LANDS 149 00 y 00 12 00 kor 11 Hic y Hill kor Hic Pine Run ROCKPORT ACCESS AREA To Allentown, 37.4 Mi. 18 Tr. 13 0 120 To Hazleton 12.6 Mi. 1500 nd Sa Sand Spring Lake 00 00 line 13 Gorge 125 e Fir e Run Stony Point Fire Tower Tr. Run Goulds tch Tr b ack un . R G o u ld i Sw Lin ing Spr Tr. Dr VER STATE GAME LANDS 149 476 1600 Youth Forestry Camp White Haven is the northern access area and can be reached off Exit 273 of I-80. Follow PA 940 east, being sure to take a right turn at the stop sign in White Haven. Just after crossing the railroad tracks turn right on Main Street and after a sharp, descending curve bear right to the state park access area. 18 Lehigh Gorge 126 . RI Tr Pow er Daddy Allen Run 00 ek To Hazleton 12 mi. 00 17 13 Cre y nd Hickory Run ive ery Run Shehaqua Hickory Run Lake 1100 n Tan Rd. own Irisht Black 00 13 Valley 534 LEHIGH TANNERY th Four STATE GAME LANDS 40 Cr. H HIG LE d Roa 1400 B 0 0 12 See Enlargement 940 Run 1400 To Boulder Field HICKORY RUN STATE PARK 1500 k lac Sha 128 1600 130 0 Run 0 130 1200 0 170 ony’s Anth Cr ee k 0 Exit 274 120 WHITE HAVEN Exit 273 Buck N 940 Road 80 1400 Exit 95 EAST SIDE 1600 Sa The White Haven to Glen Onoko trip by raft may take from 10 to 12 hours at lower water levels. Be sure to allow enough time to complete your trip before dark. Exit 277 Linesville Creek Pon d Creek 1400 Valley To Hazleton 12.5 mi. • White Haven to Glen Onoko: 20.9 miles. 1600 1500 129 To I-81 1300 • Rockport to Glen Onoko: 12.2 miles 17 H 476 Moss Road Peat Oley • White Haven to Rockport: 8.7 miles 80 ck Bla MIDDLEBURG 1300 River trips may be of three lengths: To New Jersey LE HI G 13 Trip Lengths 940 PA Middleburg 00 437 0 1800 STATE GAME LANDS 40 PORT JENKINS 130 Rd . e Ext 130 Line Dam 13 st To Wilkes-Barre and Nescopeck State Park F. E. Wa lte r ea E RN N ZE U O L RB CA 0 140 Rd . e Pip rth 1300 0 1600 e Pin 0 140 00 Ro ad 13 0 130 No Trail Reilly 00 D&L Road k ee Cr Sunrise Lake k ee Cr WHITEWATER BOATING 170 m Da l 1600 WHITE HAVEN ACCESS AREA F. E. Walter 15 Cr. LEHIGH GORGE STATE PARK Penn Lake ne CO UNTY CO UNT Y Tu n Francis E. Walter Dam 00 14 00 1500 To Bear Creek 17 To Scranton & Wilkes-Barre To Black Diamond Trail Parking This PFD is designed for extended survival in rough, open water. It usually will turn an unconscious person face up and has over 22 pounds of buoyancy. This is the best PFD to keep you afloat in remote regions where rescue may be slow in coming. Type III These life jackets are generally considered the most comfortable, with styles for different boating activities and sports. They are for use in calm water where there is good chance of fast rescue since they will generally not turn an unconscious person face-up. Flotation aids come in many sizes and styles. Type V Special use PFDs include work vests, deck suits, and hybrids for restricted use. Only type V PFDs that are designed for whitewater are permitted for use in the park. • Inflatable devices (rafts, canoes, and kayaks) must be designed for whitewater use and be constructed of durable materials with strong fabric backing. Crafts made from vinyl or PVC are prohibited. • At flow rates less than 250 cubic feet per second (cfs), whitewater regulations do not apply. • At flow rates between 250 - 1000 cfs, inflatable rafts must be at least eight feet in length, have three separate air chambers and have an outside tube diameter of at least 13 inches. • At flow rates between 1,000 cfs and 5,000 cfs, inflatable rafts must be at least 11 feet long, contain three separate air chambers, and have an outside tube diameter of at least 15 inches. • At flow rates above 5,000 cfs, inflatable rafts must be at least 12.5 feet long, contain at least three separate air chambers, and have an outside tube diameter of at least 17 inches. Licensed Commercial Outfitters Inexperienced boaters should not attempt the Lehigh River without qualified guides. Outfitted trips are available from concessionaires that provide rafts, guides, all necessary safety equipment, and transportation to and from the river. The following is a list of licensed, commercial outfitters currently operating on the Lehigh River. Jim Thorpe River Adventures 123 Lehigh Drive Lehighton, PA 18235 800-424-7238 www.jtraft.com Pocono Whitewater 1519 State Route 903 Jim Thorpe, PA 18229 800-WHITEWATER www.whitewaterrafting.com Whitewater Challengers Inc. 288 North Stagecoach Road Weatherly, PA 18255 800-443-8554 www.whitewaterchallengers.com Whitewater Rafting Adventures Inc. 1 Hunter Street Nesquehoning, PA 18240 800-876-0285 www.adventurerafting.com