Spread across an area that covers over 6,000 wonderful acres, Lehigh Gorge State Park is a great place to head to when you need some time to rest and unwind.
Located in Weatherly, Less than a two hour drive from New York City and Philadelphia, this stunning state park is one of the most attractive in Pennsylvania’s system.
A year round destination, this Pennsylvania state park is a haven for those who enjoy whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, biking and hunting in the warmer months. While the colder months of winter turn it into a fantastic place for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Unfortunately there is no camping available in the park, but don’t let this put you off coming here. The landscape really is a truly magnificent one to explore, and there are plenty of nearby campgrounds where you can stay at in an RV or tent.
Those who come to the park, can choose to enjoy its sensational landscape in a number of different ways.
Here is a small selection of some of the activities you will be able to partake in whilst you are there.
Swimming at Lehigh Gorge State Park
Whilst there is little in the way of swimming opportunities at the park, there are several waterfalls throughout it where you can go for a quick dip.
All these waterfalls can be reached on foot, with the Glen Onoko Waterfalls being among the most popular.
If you do swim here please do so with extreme caution. The water is not lifeguarded, so you will be partaking in this activity at your own risk.
Fishing at Lehigh Gorge State Park
Fishing is regularly practiced at Lehigh Gorge State Park, with the northern section of the Lehigh River being a prime zone for anglers.
You will need to have a valid Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission licence in order to cast a line. But if you do have one, you will be able to catch an abundance of trout in the waters that run from the Francis E. Walter Dam all the way to Sandy Run.
Hiking and biking at Lehigh Gorge State Park
For those who enjoy hiking and biking, the park offers 33 stunning miles of trails to explore.
Ranging in length and degrees of difficulty, they showcase its outstanding landscape of forest, woodlands, open fields and waterways.
Here are some of the most popular trails at Lehigh Gorge State Park:
- trail 1 – Vista Trail. Length: 0.8 mile Degree of Difficulty: moderate
- trail 3 – Lehigh Gorge Trail. Length: 26 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
- trail 2 – Bald Mountain Loop Trail. Length: 8.5 miles Degree of Difficulty: challenging
Whitewater Boating at Lehigh Gorge State Park
Whitewater boating is a massive drawcard for many people to the park.
It takes place on a popular section of the Lehigh River which features both class II to III whitewater rapids.
Winding through a deep gorge that features steep walls, rocky outcrops, lush vegetation and stunning waterfalls, it showcases some of the park’s most attractive scenery.
Hunting at Lehigh Gorge State Park
During its established season, much of the park is open to hunting and trapping. You can also train your dogs in this space too.
Some of the common game species you can take down include bear, turkey and deer.
You’ll need to abide by the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the DCNR, if you want to hunt in the park. Also be mindful that hunting groundhogs is strictly prohibited.
Winter Activities at Lehigh Gorge State Park
During the winter, when the park gets covered in a blanket of snow, it offers excellent opportunities to enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Cross-Country Skiing and snowshoeing takes place at the Lehigh Gorge Trail. Which you will find on the west side of the river, in between White Haven and Glen Onoko.
A 15 mile long section of the Lehigh Gorge Trail, which runs from White Haven to the Penn Haven Junction is open for use by snowmobiles.
Nature & Wildlife
The park is renowned for its spectacular nature and varied wildlife.
Throughout it, you will see plenty of native plant species like birch trees, rhododendron, eastern hemlocks, huckleberry, red columbine and cardinal flower, especially along the trails.
You are also likely to encounter white-tailed deer, beaver, mink, muskrat and red and gray foxes. As well potentially, as the odd black bear (which you should not approach if you do see one).
Timber rattlesnakes and northern copperheads are two of many snake species that you need to be mindful of.
For those into birding, the park provides plenty of opportunities to spot many different breeds of birds like warblers, osprey, bald eagles, Louisiana water thrush and kingfishers.
Pets at Lehigh Gorge State Park
Pets are welcome within the park, although there are some restrictions. If you intend to bring your dog with you, it is worth contacting the main office to ascertain what they are.
Camping at Lehigh Gorge State Park
Unfortunately there are no camping options available at the park at all.
However, within a close radius of it, there are several campgrounds you can stay at. This includes Hickory Run State Park and the Lehigh Gorge campground – the latter of which is not affiliated with the park.
Both of these campgrounds offer several sites for RVs, some of which come with full hook-ups for water, sewer and electric. As well as a range of other options like cabins, group camps and tent sites.
Amenities include toilets, showers, picnic tables and fire rings for campers.
Lehigh Gorge State Park
S Lehigh Gorge Drive
Weatherly, PA 18255
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Lehigh Gorge State Park: