The annual Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival takes place the first four weekends of October in 2023, with October 7th being the first day and October 29th being the last day this year.
October is one of the most fantastic times of the year to visit Jim Thorpe, known as the “Switzerland of America” because of the town’s historic architecture and idyllic mountain views.
What follows is a list of some of the must-see spots when attending the Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival – click on the blue text links to read more in-depth information about each destination.
1. The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
If you’re a railfan, take advantage of the fall foliage excursions on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway during the Fall Foliage Festival – you won’t be disappointed!
You’ll depart from Jim Thorpe and ride up the Lehigh Gorge parallel to the Lehigh River.
The entire out and back trip lasts approximately 45 minutes, which leaves plenty of time for exploring the sights in downtown Jim Thorpe.
2. The Asa Packer Mansion
The Asa Packer Mansion is another can’t miss sight during fall foliage season in Jim Thorpe.
The mansion sits high on a hill with a commanding view of downtown and the fall fall foliage on the surrounding mountains.
Next door, the Harry Packer Mansion (the inspiration for Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion) is another impressive sight.
3. Downtown Jim Thorpe
Downtown Jim Thorpe is awash with color on the Fall Foliage Festival weekends.
The Victorian building facades are decorated for the fall foliage festival, and a holiday mood fills the streets.
Jim Thorpe truly is a scenic paradise, and that’s never more apparent than in October.
4. Fall Foliage Views from Mount Pisgah
If you’re really adventurous, hike to the top of Mount Pisgah for panoramic views of the Lehigh Gorge and Jim Thorpe.
The views from the Lehigh Gorge Overlook on Mount Pisgah make the rather steep hike worth the effort.
From the Jim Thorpe Overlook on the opposite side of Mount Pisgah, it’s easy to see how the town garnered the nickname “the Switzerland of America”.
5. Fall Foliage Views at Glen Onoko
Finish your day in Jim Thorpe by driving out to the Glen Onoko access to Lehigh Gorge State Park, where you can catch the fall foliage train passing through yet again.
Moyer’s Rock Overlook at Glen Onoko offers a yet another fabulous fall foliage view of the Lehigh Gorge.
Final Thoughts on the Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival
Between the scenic train rides, live music, children’s activities, ghost tours, and seasonal specials at local restaurants, shops and galleries, there will be something for everyone to enjoy at the Jim Thorpe Fall Foliage Festival in 2023!
Buttermilk Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park is a cascading waterfall along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail, 1/4 mile north of the Rockport Access to the park and rail trail.
Luke’s Falls at Lehigh Gorge State Park is an easy 1/4 mile hike/bike ride south of the Rockport Access along the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.
Tank Hollow Overlook in Carbon County offers visitors a stunning view of a bend in the Lehigh River in the western Poconos.
The Jim Thorpe Memorial is the final resting place of namesake of the town and the man voted “The Greatest Athlete of the First Half of the 20th Century” by the Associated Press.
Exploring Hickory Run State Park is an in-depth guide to the best things to see and do at this 15,990-acre park in Carbon County, just north of Jim Thorpe.
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