hickory run state park webOne of the best parts of the Fall season is seeing our landscape change color. I do not know anyone who is not impressed by the beauty in our area as trees and bushes change from variants of green to beautiful shades of orange, yellow and other colors. Many of us jump in our vehicles and just drive around the Valley taking in the views. If you want to take a scenic cruise this fall, we have a list and description of our Valley and surrounding area.

 

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
The world’s first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation. The 2,600-acre mountaintop preserve offers incredible scenic overlooks, eight miles of trail, a Visitor Center, native plant garden, and the Acopian Center for Conservational Learning.

The drive there, including on Hawk Mountain Road, offers nice views of farms and of mountains. The views from the sanctuary’s mountaintop overlooks are spectacular. You typically can enjoy a colorful landscape there through early November.
Visitors also can watch the famous Annual Autumn Hawk Watch through Dec. 15, during which visitors can see hawks, eagles and falcons migrating against the changing colors of the leaves. For more info go to hawkmountain.org

Delaware Water Gap
The Delaware Water Gap is a water gap on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania where the Delaware River cuts through a large ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The gap constitutes the southern portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which is used primarily for recreational purposes, such as rafting, canoeing, swimming, fishing, hiking, and rock climbing.

The park is called the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. It runs along a 40-mile section of the Delaware River, stretching from Monroe County northward to the outskirts of Milford, Pike County. A 27-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail runs along much of the eastern boundary of the park. A good drive to view the changing leaves is along route 611, from Portland to Delaware Water Gap borough. Once at the recreation area, you can drive more than 100 miles of scenic roadways through the park. Historic and cultural sites include the Minisink Archaeological Site, historic buildings at Millbrook Village, N.J., Peters Valley Craft Center and Native American archaeological sites.
For more info go to nps.gov/dewa

Hickory Run State Park
The park lies in the western foothills of the Poconos, in Carbon County. A nice scenic drive is on Route 534 through the park to Beltzville Lake. The park has more than 40 miles of hiking trails, three state park natural areas and miles of streams.
It’s known for the Boulder Field, a striking boulder-strewn area, which is a National Natural Landmark. The 400-by-1,800-foot boulder field can be reached by car on Boulder Field Road or by hiking the 3.5-mile Boulder Field Trail from the trailhead on route 534. Hikes includes ones that follow the course of Sand Spring Run. Dams at some points create scenic lakes. The Hawk Falls Trail leads to a popular waterfall. Some of the popular November State Park Events:
 Nov. 1 – 8 Fading of autumn in South Zone,  Hawk migration, White-tailed deer rut.
Nov. 9 – 15 Hawk migration, White-tailed deer rut.
Nov. 16 – 22 Cherry Springs - Darkest skies in PA.  
The Leonid meteor shower is expected to peak on the night of November 17 and early morning of November 18, 2016. End of hawk migration. White-tailed deer rut.
Nov. 23 – 30 White-tailed deer rut.
For more info go to bit.ly/2dY6xYI

Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe is one of a handful of places that have been given the title “Switzerland of America.” The borough is built on the slope of Mount Pisgah, giving it great views of the forested countryside.
The best drives to see foliage are on Route 903, from Fern Ridge to Jim Thorpe, and on Route 209 with views of the walls of Lehigh Gorge. Other ways to enjoy the colors: Take a downhill bike ride along the D&L Trail (formally known as the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor). The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway offers round-trip train rides that follow the Lehigh River, travel through the Glen Onoko area and go into the Lehigh Gorge State Park.
The borough of Jim Thorpe has a European feel with its steep and narrow streets. It’s home to historic sites like the Victorian Asa Packer Mansion, which was the home of the founder of Lehigh University, and the Carbon County Jail, where seven members of an Irish labor organization called the Molly Maguires were hanged in the 1800s. For more info go to jimthorpe.org

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