Scenic USA - Pennsylvania

Lehigh Gorge Railway

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Lehigh Gorge Railway - Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Photos by Marty Straub
Marty's Jim Thorpe & Hickory Run Collection

   Creating the border between Luzerne and Carbon counties, the Lehigh River flows in a southern direction and it weaves through the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Nearly touching every compass point in its wandering flow, the river has carved one of the most dramatic gorges in this section of the country. If the name Carbon County caught your attention, you probably guessed that this was coal country. While first efforts used a canal system to move coal out of the mountains, railroads later proved more efficient.
   Today, the Lehigh Gorge State Park covers 6000 acres of this area between the town of Jim Thorpe and the Francis E. Walter Dam to the north. The park is best known for its hiking trails along the river, several waterfalls and the remnants of the Lehigh Canal. Lehigh Gorge Railroad
   Some of the country's first railroads were established during the second half of the 19th century in Carbon County, competing for business in the coal industry. Today's Lehigh Valley Excursion Train is an offshoot of a merger between the 1850s Lehigh Valley Railroad and the 1870s Central Railroad. A 16 mile narrated train trip follows the winding Lehigh River. Departing from the depot at Jim Thorpe, passengers will enjoy the view from 1920s era open-air coaches. First class seating allows for a more comfortable ride which includes a dining room, a convenient set-up for a group excursion. The one hour roundtrip includes a variety of scenic wonders throughout the valley and the thrills of 20th century train travel.

    Area Map

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