Healthy Living Magazine

Adventure Travel: Jim Thorpe, PA

By Lynnbraz @wandering_lotus

Adventure Travel: Jim Thorpe, PA
Historic Jim Thorpe, perched in the southwest corner of the Pocono Mountains, is perhaps the crown jewel of the Pocono Mountains region. Home to the Victorian Inn at Jim Thorpe, several fine dining restaurants, the Mauch Chunk Opera House, which features live rock, blues, folk and classical music in an acoustically ideal environment, Jim Thorpe also offers outdoors enthusiasts a wealth of activities.
In its survey of "America's Coolest Small Towns," Budget Travel magazine named Jim Thorpe a Top 10. Yahoo Travel ranked Jim Thorpe its Number One Fantastic Town for Fall. National Geographic Adventure magazine chose Jim Thorpe as one of the "50 Best Places to Live and Play" and "100 Best Adventure Towns" in the US. With spring in the air and Jim Thorpe a mere 75 minutes drive from Philadelphia, 30 minutes from Mt. Pocono and two hours from New York City, now is the time to plan your getaway to this classic American town.

Founded in 1818 as Mauch Chunk, Jim Thorpe took on the name of one of the greatest athletes of all time when his widow sought a place to memorialize him after his native Oklahoma failed to do so. Jim Thorpe now houses the remains of its namesake as well as two monuments in his honor. While Jim Thorpe's connection to the area is dubious—he began his athletic career in college in the nearby town of Carlisle—the area has done him justice. The town of Jim Thorpe is a sportsman's paradise.

Outdoor Recreation
Sporting 20 trailheads right in the center of town, cyclists and hikers alike are drawn to Gorge Trail, which loops 19 miles past waterfalls and steep canyon walls. Mauch Chunk Lake Park features water sports, including boating, swimming and fishing. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife. Campers can pitch their own tents or rent one of the park's cottages. The park's five trails meander through forests and wetlands and across mountainsides. White water rafting on the Lehigh River offers adventure lovers the thrill of the rapids. And for those who do it all: In July, Jim Thorpe hosts the Anthracite Triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon open to professional and amateur triathletes.
For Music Lovers
Jim Thorpe boasts two great venues for live music. A historic 1882 Vaudeville theater, Mauch Chunk Opera House features acoustics that rival those of Carnegie Hall. Penn's Peak presents national touring bands and offers luxury boxes and a restaurant.
Jim Thorpe's Harry Packer Mansion is now a bed and breakfast, and was used as the model for Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion in Orlando. Sitting atop a hill overlooking downtown Jim Thorpe, its next door neighbor, the Asa Packer Mansion, is now a museum. Asa Packer founded the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Lehigh University, and was Harry's father.
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