Every year I organize a bike trip to Jim Thorpe, PA. This year we had 15 people join the fun! We catch a shuttle from Jim Thorpe and ride it to White Haven where we jump on our bikes and have a pleasant 25 mile ride on the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail back to our cars in Jim Thorpe. This year the leaves were just starting to turn and there was a slight chill in the air – it was beautiful and PERFECT weather for a bike ride.
The trail is fairly flat – actually a slight downhill although you don’t notice it – with a crushed gravel surface. There are multiple waterfalls along the trail which were flowing well due to the rain from Friday
I LOVE this trail because there are so many places to stop and get off your bike to explore. There are numerous hiking trails that lead down to the water – some are quite steep, but the views from the bottom are worth the effort! There are remnants of the old railroad and locks that used to go through the area – some of which are marked, some aren’t which makes it fun to explore when you get off your bike to stretch your legs!
There were quite a few people on the trail today and as I was riding I noticed a group of people who were bikepacking (which is like backpacking, instead you carry everything you need for camping on your bike). This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, just never got a chance to yet. I said to my group that I was pretty sure they were the group that has a bunch of videos on YouTube about various bikepacking trips. A bit later down the trail, we ran into them again and started talking. They told me the route they were taking and where they were camping. They told me they were a group called Bikepacking.us and said I was welcome to join one of their trips. I asked them if they had a YouTube channel and they said yes so I said “I though so! I have seen some of your videos!” So maybe I will try a trip with them in the future!
When you get to Glen Onoko, which is where a lot of people go hiking to see the big waterfalls you can’t see from the trail, there is a very large parking lot. There is also a big cave that you can explore where the trains used to go through – we decided to take the short hike up to this and I am so glad we did – it was awesome inside! The other times I was up there I noticed people standing, looking out over the water from the edge of the cave, but I never knew how they got up there – I wish I would have had someone standing on the trail to take our picture from the edge, maybe next time!
From the parking lot in Glen Onoko, you want to make a right onto a bridge that goes over the water – if you miss this bridge you will not end up back in Jim Thorpe. From here it is about 2 miles back into town to your car. The trail goes right through the parking lot.
I recommend this trail to anyone who wants to try to up their mileage while bike riding – there is even a shuttle that drops you off a little closer so you would only have a 15 mile ride into town in case 25 is too much for you. Of course there is also a shuttle that drops you off FURTHER down the trail so you have approximately 35 miles to ride back into Jim Thorpe too! 🙂
Here’s the recipe for my mom’s famous Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
COMBINE flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl with electric mixer on medium until well blended. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined. Stir in flour mixture. Batter will be soft. Fold in morsels. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
BAKE for 15-20 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container.