Jim Thorpe 2021 Fall Foliage Update

Looking down on Jim Thorpe, PA from Mount Pisgah.

I spent a beautiful day in Jim Thorpe, PA on October 20th, 2021, surrounded by fall foliage and the sights and sounds of a bustling tourist town in one of its busiest seasons.

The Jim Thorpe Visitor Center on October 20th.
The Jim Thorpe Visitor Center on October 20th.

Being a railfan, I’d always wanted to take the fall foliage excursion on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, and I was certainly not disappointed afterwards!

The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA.
The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA.

We departed at 11:00 am from Jim Thorpe on an absolutely stellar fall day in PA.

View from onboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway fall foliage train.
View from onboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway fall foliage train.

We rode up the Lehigh Gorge parallel to the rail trail, crossing over the Lehigh River.

Passing over the Lehigh River on the fall foliage train out of Jim Thorpe.
Passing over the Lehigh River on the fall foliage train out of Jim Thorpe.

The entire out and back trip lasted approximately 45 minutes, after which I explored some of the sights in Jim Thorpe.

The Carbon County Courthouse in Jim Thorpe.
The Carbon County Courthouse in Jim Thorpe.

The Asa Packer Mansion is right up the hill from the train station, and even though it was not open for tours on this day, the views of the exterior were impressive.

The Asa Packer Mansion in Jim Thorpe, PA.
The Asa Packer Mansion in Jim Thorpe, PA.

The mansion sits high on a hill with a commanding view of Jim Thorpe.

View from the Asa Packer Mansion on October 20th.
View from the Asa Packer Mansion on October 20th.

I next hiked to the top of Mount Pisgah, to catch a view of the 1:00 pm fall foliage train from high above.

The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway fall folaige excursion passing through the Lehigh Gorge on October 20, 2021.
The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway fall folaige excursion passing through the Lehigh Gorge on October 20, 2021.

The views of the Lehigh Gorge from the top of Mount Pisgah made the rather steep hike worth the effort.

Looking out over the Lehigh Gorge from Mount Pisgah, above Jim Thorpe, PA.
Looking out over the Lehigh Gorge from Mount Pisgah, above Jim Thorpe, PA.

I finished my afternoon in Jim Thorpe by driving out to the Glen Onoko access to Lehigh Gorge State Park, and caught the 3:00 pm fall foliage train passing through, my third encounter with the train in one day, from three very different vantage points.

The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway fall foliage train passing through Glen Onoko on October 20th, 2021.
The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway fall foliage train passing through Glen Onoko on October 20th, 2021.

So to summarize, if you’re headed to Jim Thorpe this weekend to catch the fall foliage festivities, you are probably going to catch it at or near its peak, based on what I saw in and around downtown and from the train ride.

Fall foliage around the train station in Jim Thorpe, PA.
Fall foliage around the train station in Jim Thorpe, PA.

If you’d like to know more about my train excursion, be sure to check out Riding the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway for more details.

Looking towards the engines on the fall foliage excursion aboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.
Looking towards the engines on the fall foliage excursion aboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.

Did you enjoy this fall foliage update?

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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