The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe is consistently ranked as one of the best sightseeing trains in the northeastern United States.
Recently I had a chance to take the fall foliage excursion, and I can confirm this is indeed a train ride you won’t soon forget!
Departing from the historic train station in downtown Jim Thorpe, the train winds its way north into Lehigh Gorge State Park, before returning on the same track.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know to make your own memories aboard the historic Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.
How to Find the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway departs from the train station located at One Susquehanna Street, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229.
There is a large municipal parking lot next to the train station – the weekday I went it cost $8.00 for the entire day, which I thought was very reasonable.
The ticket booth is located next to the old train station.
I purchased a $20.00 seat on an open air car; seats on a standard coach car were a few dollars cheaper.
You can even rent out the entire caboose for $125, for up to 6 passengers.
Riding the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
The fall foliage excursions are 45 minute out-and back trips, departing from Jim Thorpe and heading north into Lehigh Gorge State Park, before reversing course and returning along the same tracks.
The day I rode the train, it was pulled by two diesel locomotives.
The train crosses over the Lehigh River on its way towards Glen Onoko.
Along the way we passed numerous cyclists riding the Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail.
The open air cars like I was riding on provide an excellent view of the passing landscape.
Eventually we returned to the train station in Jim Thorpe.
After getting a “make it official” photo, I set out to do a bit of exploring across the street from the train station.
Many people come to Jim Thorpe just to soak up the architecture.
Without strolling more than a block or two from the train station, you’ll understand why!
In a town whose fortunes were built on coal, it’s impressive to see how the economy here has pivoted to a largely tourism-driven one.
And the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway is certainly a big part of that.
The Mount Pisgah Trail in Jim Thorpe is a steep but easy-to-follow trail leading up Mount Pisgah to a pair of fantastic Carbon County vistas.
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.
Turn Hole Tunnel is an abandoned railroad tunnel located near the Glen Onoko access to Lehigh Gorge State Park.
And directly above Turn Hole Tunnel you’ll find Moyer’s Rock Overlook, offering a commanding view of the Lehigh Gorge.
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.
Railfans will be happy to know that the East Broad Top Railroad in Huntingdon County is back and running again!
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