The Pocono Mountains are one the most pristine wilderness areas in the eastern United States. Waterfalls, lakes, rivers and scenic views around every turn. Once a region popular for honeymooners, the Poconos Mountains is now a region popular for family vacations and adventure getaways. There are hundreds of things to do in the region, but we are going to highlight a few of the ways you can experience the great outdoors.
1. Whitewater Rafting
Whitewater rafting takes you through areas of the Pocono Mountains that you wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise. Don’t expect cell service on a Premier Whitewater Rafting Trip on the Lehigh River you will be completely off the grid. Trust your experienced river guides to lead you on a fun filled trip through some of the most scenic areas of the Poconos.
2. Trail Biking
Take a leisurely ride on one of many biking trails in the Pocono Mountains. Our favorite, the Lehigh Gorge Trail follows the Lehigh River and offers views of historic sites and waterfalls along the way. Stop for a picnic lunch along the trail. Enjoy the sites of blooming mountain laurels in spring and the scenic fall foliage in fall. This is a great activity when it’s still just a little too cold to get on the river. Bike shuttles and rentals are available so you can take in all the sights, bike one way and take advantage of the shuttle back.
3. Inflatable Kayaking
Similar to rafting, inflatable kayaking trips are smaller format trips that allow individuals or pairs to enjoy a day out on the river. These smaller more maneuverable boats are fun way to take in the sights on the Lehigh River. Your river guides will be there to show you the way and give you a more personal outdoor experience. If you are experienced you can also kayak or canoe the Lehigh River on your own, but be sure to follow the safety guidelines of the Lehigh Gorge State Park.
4. Tent Camping
Enjoy a night under the stars in the Pocono Mountains. There is no better way to experience the great outdoors. Bring your own gear and set up in a wooded campsite at Whitewater Challenger’s rafting center just a few minutes from the Lehigh River. Tent rentals are also available if you are new to camping and don’t want to invest in your own gear. Try to rough it on your next family vacation…skip the hotel and make camping part of your outdoor adventure.
The Pocono Mountains are a vast region filled with hundreds of scenic trails. Trails along the Lehigh River provide views of the river and tributaries. Scenic waterfalls and historic sites are abundant along the trails. Packages including hiking are available. Whitewater Challengers offers a Full Day Adventure Trip that includes biking, rafting and hiking (available select Fridays). There are several State Parks located in the Pocono Mountains. Hickory Run State Park offer trails to Boulder Field, Hawk Falls and Hickory Run Lake and more. Again, don’t forget that picnic lunch so you can spend the day immersed in the great outdoors.
Regardless of what activities you choose in the Pocono Mountains make sure you skip the lines at the water parks for at least a few days out of your visit. Enjoy a fast paced adventure like whitewater rafting or inflatable kayaking if you are looking for a thrill. Or slow down and relax on one of many hiking or biking trails in the region. Outfitters and campgrounds like Whitewater Challengers can provide a customized experience of the Pocono Mountains. See it with your own eyes!
Company trips are a great way to boost team morale and company team building exercises encourage a more cooperative work environment. Whitewater rafting gives you BOTH in one trip. It is the perfect atmosphere to achieve both at once. Whether you visit the Lehigh River in the Pennsylvania or one of our rivers in upstate New York we can assure you that you are going to have a blast!
Rafting Encourages Team Work
Rafting isn’t like an amusement park ride, the natural environment creates obstacles that you have to navigate around with whitewater rushing around your rafting and splashing into your face. Your employees will learn to paddle as a team and take direction from a raft captain or river guide. At the Lehigh River you can even hire a team building coordinator to do activities prior to rafting, on the river, and when you return from the river.
At our New York locations team building is inherent in our whitewater rafting trips so no need to for a team building facilitator. Navigating class IV or V rapids puts your group into a real life situation where they need to work cooperatively to paddle through rapids and avoid obstacles in the river. During all of this they are going to have the time of their life and maybe even check an item off their bucket list. Give your employees a sense of adventure and accomplishment by choosing a company trip at the Hudson River or Black River.
Like other team building activities whitewater rafting empowers individuals to contribute to common goal of team work. When your team gets back to work they will be able to apply their new skills in a constructive way.
Fun Day (or Days) Out to Boost Morale
Day to day routines can be a drag after a while. Get everyone out of the office and give them something to talk about! Activity-based events are one of the best ways to boost employee morale. They give employees a chance to blow off steam and see their co-workers and managers in an environment other than the work place. Fresh air, scenic views and tons of thrills are the highlights of a day on the river.
Organize a one-day trip or an overnighter. At the Lehigh River you can camp overnight right at the rafting center! You can even rent tents (which we set up and take down) from us to take all the hard work out of camping. If your idea of camping is a soft mattress and air conditioning, don’t worry there are plenty of nearby hotels.
No matter the size of your business we can organize a trip that is right for you. We even offer group discounts! Depending on the size of your group and the activities that you want to include in your company trip we can customize a program for you. Whitewater Challengers group sales team will work with you one on one to organize your rafting trip.
To reserve a company outing call 800-443-8554 or visit our website for more details about each of our whitewater rivers.
Jim Thorpe in Northeast Pennsylvania is a small town rich in history and culture. Jim Thorpe is a must see tourist destination. Peaking the charts for one the best places to visit in Pennsylvania, Jim Thorpe is filled with shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, bars, and historic attractions.
Located on the outskirts of the Pocono Mountains, Jim Thorpe is just 35 minutes from the Lehigh Valley, 90 minutes from Philadelphia, and 2 hours from New York City.
Art and Culture
Jim Thorpe is home to a handful of art galleries and boutique stores offering everything from fine art to novelties. Take a walk along Broadway in downtown Jim Thorpe and you can view artwork at the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation, Hazard House Gallery, Black Diamond Gallery, Out of the Blue, and more. Artists from all backgrounds have settled down in the Jim Thorpe art studios creating paintings, lithograph prints, blacksmithing sculptures, stained glass, jewelry and photography.
On weekends you will often find musicians in the town square or playing live music in one of Jim Thorpe’s many restaurants or bars. The Mauch Chunk Opera house also offers a variety of performances throughout the year.
Jim Thorpe’s most notable festival is the Fall Foliage Festival which takes place on three consecutive weekends each year. Visiting the Pocono Mountains when the leaves are at their peak fall color is the perfect time to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown, rent a bike and take to the trails just outside of Jim Thorpe to take in the fresh air and scenic wonders of the region.
Other festivals and parades are held throughout the year including the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Jim Thorpe Birthday Celebration, and Winterfest.
Restaurants of Jim Thorpe
Fine dining, casual dining, or checking out the bar scene in Jim Thorpe is a great way to end your day in Jim Thorpe. Sit down the locals at Molly Maguire’s Pub or enjoy a meal the Broadway Grille and Pub in downtown Jim Thorpe. Take a break on a hot summer day to cool down with an ice cream cone from Wood’s ice cream near the Train Station.
History of Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe’s charm is not the only thing that draws visitors to the area. Tourists and locals alike are drawn to the mystery of the Jim Thorpe Jail and the stories of the Molly Maguire’s of the coal era. You can tour the grandeur Asa Packer and Harry Pack Mansions that grace the hillsides of Jim Thorpe.
Visit the Old Mauch Chuck Train Station that provides historic displays or take a ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railways. The railways take you through the Lehigh Gorge State Park where you can step out into nature.
Outdoor Recreation Near Jim Thorpe
Escape the busy streets and get into the wilderness. The Pocono Mountains provide some of the best hiking & biking trails, whitewater rafting, and wildlife observation in Pennsylvania.
The Lehigh Gorge State Park that stretches from the White Haven area to Jim Thorpe, PA is home to the best whitewater rafting in the area. The Lehigh River is a family friendly river that offers fun and exciting Class I, II and III rapids. Rafting trips are available from April through October.
You can book whitewater rafting trips with Whitewater Challengers which is located just 20 minutes outside of Jim Thorpe. They are conveniently located to the Upper Lehigh River Gorge which boasts some of the best rapids on a 9 mile section of the Lehigh River from White Haven to Rockport. It is a short 10-15 minute shuttle to and from the river from the Whitewater Challengers Rafting Center in Weatherly, PA.
Jim Thorpe rafting is also available in a more family-friendly format. Trip for ages 5+ are available every day of the week and on weekday include a free lunch when rafting with Whitewater Challengers. Family-style rafting begins in Jim Thorpe and takes you south on the Lehigh River through calmer Class I & II rapids.
The Lehigh Gorge State Park also features a rail/trail system for hiking and biking. Start at White Haven and end in Jim Thorpe for almost 25 miles of trail with a slight downhill grade. Whether you are on bike or foot the scenic trail passes waterfalls, wildlife and historic remains of lock and dams. Bike rentals and shuttles are available from Whitewater Challengers.
Combine your tour of Jim Thorpe with experiences in the mountains. Camp out with Whitewater Challengers for a few nights at the Lehigh River Rafting Center and campground while you enjoy a vacation full of art, history and outdoor adventure in and near Jim Thorpe, PA.
Need help planning your trip? Call the river experts at 800-443-8554.
For Whitewater Challengers customer service and guest satisfaction are our top priorities for all three of our premier whitewater rafting locations in PA & NY. Many of our guests return year after year for another great whitewater adventure. One of our loyal guests, Paul B. recently shared some images from his Lehigh River rafting trip in 2015. He is already planning his trip and organizing his group for this summer!
Vacation Away From NJ
Paul owns a vacation home near Shawnee Inn in the Poconos, PA which is located about an hour from Whitewater Challengers rafting center in Weatherly, PA. Every year for the past 8 years Paul has organized a trip for the guys on the Lehigh.
“I take up to 8 friends every year for a “guys” weekend beginning on a Friday night, spending all day on your river and then returning home to NJ on Sunday. Saturday [Whitewater Challengers] trips have been a great success for the newbies and veterans every year. We always do a dam release weekend in July. Every year is better than the last. We begin taunting each other in January about who’s gonna get wetter. ” -Paul B.
Paul’s group goes all out with water cannons, coordinating t-shirts and team bandannas. Recording the trip with a GoPro rigged to the raft and capturing memories with souvenir photos have become part of the tradition.
Why Whitewater Challengers?
In the beginning, Paul tried other outfitters, but always came back to Whitewater Challengers. Why?
- Whitewater Challengers is great!
- Making reservations is easy.
- River guides are friendly.
- The rafting center is organized.
- The river is conveniently located to the rafting center – which means a short shuttle back at the end of the day.
- Always a great time!
Every July when Paul and the guys return to the Lehigh River for their next adventure they always seem to luck out with the perfect sunny weather. Rain or shine on the Lehigh River, especially on our exciting dam release weekends you are sure to have a blast.
If you want to organize your own weekend getaway with friends call us now at 800-443-8554 to get spaces reserved. Or book online at whitewaterchallengers.com.
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If you’re interested in whitewater rafting in the Adirondacks, chances are you may be wondering about the best time of the year to go rafting on the Hudson River. The truth is, rafting is a blast anytime of the year, but the best time for you to go very much depends on what you’re looking to get out of your Adirondack whitewater rafting experience.
Hudson River Whitewater Rafting in the Spring and Summer
While many people think of whitewater rafting in Upstate NY as a summer activity on the agenda between June and August, rafting is also a popular activity in the spring. In fact, for thrill seekers who want to experience the Hudson River at its wildest, spring is prime time for whitewater rafting.
There are some significant differences between Hudson River whitewater rafting in the summer and in the spring. When deciding on the best time for you to go rafting, keep the following in mind.
The Adirondack Region gets 15-20 inches of snow each month from January through March. When melting begins in the spring, the snow cover throughout the Adirondack Region feeds the Hudson River and its tributaries, raising the water levels, creating deeper holes and more intense rapids. This makes for a more intense whitewater rafting experience perfect for adventure seekers
In general, spring rafting trips are faster and more challenging than summer rafting trips. Still, experienced and beginner rafters alike can enjoy a spring rafting trip on the Hudson River. Keep in mind that rafting in April and May is suitable for anyone age 14+.
If you’re planning a springtime rafting trip on the Hudson River, keep in mind that the Adirondack Mountain Region is quite chilly in spring. There may even be some snow
showers, but don’t let that stop you! We’ll provide wet suits for free to make sure you stay warm, and recommend you bring the following along as part of your whitewater rafting attire if you’re planning a spring rafting trip:
- Extra layers of wool blends or polypropylene
- Old sneakers
- Wool socks
- Warm hat
- A dry change of clothes
May through September brings a rise in temperatures and dam releases provide water for exciting summer rafting trips on the Hudson River. In general, summer rafting trips are a bit less intense than spring rafting trips but still offer exciting rapids and tons of fun. Summer river rapids are Class II, III, and III+, making summertime whitewater rafting trips on the Hudson River ideal for groups including families, corporate outings, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, youth camps, and more. Rafting in July and August is ideal for rafters ages 8+, while rafting trips in June, September and October are ideal for rafters 10 and older.
Summer whitewater rafting trips with Whitewater Challengers give you the opportunity to take in the scenic views of the Adirondack Mountain region as one of our experienced river guides navigates your raft down river.
Book Your Whitewater Rafting Trip Today!
Whether you are looking for a spring or summer rafting trip on the Hudson River , you have to experience the natural thrill of whitewater rafting in the Adirondacks for yourself. Hudson River rafting trips with Whitewater Challengers are available from the beginning of April through mid-October.
Check this New York river off your list and book an Adirondack whitewater rafting trip with Whitewater Challengers today! Contact us at (800) 443-8554 or visit our website for more information about whitewater rafting the Hudson River with us!
Are you looking forward to your summer adventure vacation? Whitewater Challengers river experts are in the office awaiting your phone call. When the word “blizzard” is all over the news we all have grins on our faces here at the river. Because when all our snow melts, it becomes the water that fuels our whitewater rafting dam releases all summer long!
More Snow = Better Whitewater
When planning for your summer vacation or family weekend getaway as the snow is falling just keep in mind the sunshine glimmering off the river, fish jumping in the air, and the fresh smell of the outdoors. What could be more relaxing than a day on the river and whitewater rafting with family and friends?
All Inclusive Summer Vacation in the Poconos
You can book your rafting trip in winter to reserve the best dates and times.
Looking for a complete adventure in the Pocono Mountain Region of PA? Whitewater Challengers has it all onsite. Adventure Vacation Packages can include:
- Guided white water rafting trips on the Lehigh River
- Trail bike rental and shuttle to the Lehigh Gorge Trail
- Paintball games in our wooded paintball field
- Overnight tent camping at the Lehigh River Adventure Center
- Casual family dining services at the campground near the Lehigh River
- Mix and match activities to design a customized package.
High Adventure Rafting in NY
If you want to step it up a notch, try a higher adventure at the Hudson River in the Adirondack Region of NY during your summer vacation. Just a hop, skip and jump from Lake George, NY the Hudson River Adventure Center offers:
For the most extreme whitewater experience in upstate NY, try rafting the Black River near Watertown, NY. A perfect fit for your Thousand Islands family vacation is a day through the scenic Black River Canyons. Make your family vacation a summer adventure you won’t soon forget.
Contact the Experts to Help Plan Your Adventure Vacation
Not sure where to go or what to do? All you have to do is contact Whitewater Challengers river experts by calling 800-443-8554 and we will help you plan a summer adventure vacation for this Spring, Summer, or Fall. Or visit our website to book online.