The Improbable Bulk
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
My favorite ride is a little north of there.
The Lehigh Gorge trail that goes between Jim Thorpe and White Haven.
Crushed gravel 23+ miles end to end, the only cars you see between the two ends are ranger trucks and cars at the central trail head at Rockport, and the one road that crosses the trail a few miles from White Haven.
The trail runs along the Lehigh River, and if they are running on the specific day the sounds of and sights of the white water rafters are fun. Small waterfalls beside the rail trail (especially around the mid point) are also quite nice.
Depending on how long a ride you want, the best scenery is at the middle, from 5 miles south of the Rockport trailhead to 5 miles above...
Runs VERY slightly up hill form Jim Thorpe to White Haven...
This time of year is my third favorite. Favorites being Late June to early July for the wild Rhododendrons and in the autumn for fall foliage.
Wildlife is pretty abundant at times, including rabbits, squirrels deer, birds and insects including butterflies. About 4 miles from the Jim Thorpe side is a sign to look out for black bears. I have looked, but not seen any. I have also read other reports that mention snakes.
If you are into history, there are a few historical markers along the trail as well... talking about people and industry in the area, including mention of John Audobon's trip through the area.
There is a store at the White Haven side, and the one time I rode the full trail I stopped and got some chocolate covered peanuts and fruit juice to energize myself for he return trip.
There is even the option if you want to see the whole trail and not ride 45-50 miles to do it... You can start at White Haven, ride the easy direction and get a shuttle to bring you back to white haven... I have never done that, but there are at least a couple of companies I have seen offer that service... although as I recall it is a little bit pricey.
If you want to do around 10 miles plus or minus, I would suggest starting at the Rockport trailhead.
The only facilities on the trail are toilets (high tech outhouse type) at the Rockport and Jim Thorpe entry points. There is a pepsi machine and drinking water at the Rockport site.
If you want to walk around a nice quaint town with some nice eclectic eateries, Jim Thorpe is wonderful for that as well!
EDIT: If the shuttle sounds good, you ned to arrange it in advance.
EDIT 2: If you ride slow (10 mph or so) and want company, let me know when you'll be there, and I'll see if I can make it too.
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson