Holidaying ‘at home’ has become much more commonplace over the past few years as people have battled against travel restrictions, tried to live more sustainably, and also tried to save a bit of money. Whilst it used to be seen as perhaps less exciting than jetting off abroad, one thing that staying closer to home has taught us is just how much fun can be had on our own doorsteps. If you’re lucky enough to live in Pennsylvania, then you might already be familiar with the stunning natural beauty of the Poconos Mountains. However, you might not be aware of just how much potential for adventure there is in this spectacular landscape. If you consider yourself an outdoorsy type, then this might be the holiday of your dreams.
Stay at the Mohegan Sun
One of the make or breaks of a holiday is where you plan to stay, so it makes sense to stay centrally and luxuriously. The Mohegan Sun is a gorgeous resort set right in the middle of the Poconos. The rooms are well appointed and spacious, but the grounds are the most special thing. There’s a harness racing track, as well as spectacular views for miles on all sides. In terms of bases for an adventure holiday, they don’t come better located than this. As well as being the base for your trip and home to a huge brick and mortar casino, The Mohegan Sun is also run by a legal gambling site in Pennsylvania. So, if you find a game that you particularly enjoy during your stay, then you might be able to play the online version when you get home.
Hike Through The Promised Land
First up on the list is familiarising yourself with the landscape in the simplest way possible: experiencing one of the best hikes Poconos you’ll never forget. There’s something lovely about appreciating the views at a slower pace and the Poconos is the perfect place to do so. The Promised Land is a 3000 acre park with miles and miles of hiking trails that are suitable for a variety of abilities. One of the most beautiful is the route to Bruce Lake, which is a little more challenging, but nothing that a person of average fitness couldn’t manage. The lake is a stunning natural glacial body of water, and the views are genuinely breathtaking. At such a height, you’re treated to stunning vistas everywhere, so take your camera, especially if you’re going during the summer months. Around this time the mountains come alive with vibrant flowers that not only look beautiful but smell heavenly too. Pack a picnic to fuel your adventure as, once you’ve started a hike, you might want to walk further than you’d planned.
Whitewater Rafting in the Lehigh Gorge State Park
Another great thing about the Poconos is the network of water that runs through them. Pocono White Water makes the best use of this by arranging trips for groups of all ages and levels of fitness. The Dam Buster trip is the one to go for if you want the no-holds-barred white water experience. You’ll travel around 12 miles and get to spend 4 hours paddling through the crashing torrents. Of course, the river slows down at some points, so you’ll have a little time to take in the scenery. 17 rapids later you’ll make it back to base where you can crash out and treat yourself to a bite to eat whilst the sun goes down. It’s an action-packed way to spend the day and surprisingly affordable too.
Horseback Riding in the Mountains
If you’d rather let a four legged friend do the walking for you then you’re in luck. Mountain Creek Riding Stables is conveniently located in the Poconos. Rides are available for absolutely all abilities, even those who’ve never sat on a horse before. Group rides are the most affordable and allow you to spend an hour riding through mountainous terrain at a walk and a trot. The guides will keep everyone absolutely safe and teach you how to ride at the same time. Group rides get to explore the wooded trail system that crisscross the mountain. You’ll get to paddle in a stream and hopefully spot some wildlife along the way.