View from Mount Pocono Lookout
|Elevation||2,693 ft (821 m)|
|Etymology||Lenape Indian term for "stream between two mountains".|
|Parent range||Glaciated Allegheny Plateau|
The Pocono Mountains, commonly referred to as the Poconos, is a geographical, geological, and cultural region located in northeastern Pennsylvania, United States. The Poconos are an upland of the larger Allegheny Plateau. Forming a 2,400 square miles (6,200 km2) escarpment overlooking the Delaware Valley and Delaware Water Gap to the east, the mountains are bordered on the north by Lake Wallenpaupack, on the west by the Wyoming Valley and Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and to the south by the Lehigh Valley. It comes from the Minsi or Munsee Indian word Pokawachne (pronounced Poke Ah Waak-nay), which means "Creek Between Two Hills."
The wooded hills and valleys have long been a popular vacation area, with many communities having resort hotels with fishing, hunting, skiing, and other sports facilities.
- 1 Population
- 2 Municipalities and communities
- 3 Transportation
- 4 Geography and climate
- 5 Recreation
- 6 Notable natives and residents
- 7 Media
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The Pocono Mountains are a popular recreational destination for local and regional visitors. While the area has long been a popular tourist destination, many communities have seen a rise in population, especially in Coolbaugh Township and other communities within Monroe County. The region has a population of about 340,300, which is growing at a rapid pace, largely attributable to vacationers from New York and New Jersey turning vacation homes into permanent residences. The region lacks a major population center, although there are municipalities such as Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg, Mount Pocono, and the townships around them which are all in Monroe County where the population is 165,058, which is about half of the total population in the Poconos.
Municipalities and communities
The Poconos Region is served by many state highways. The most-used of these highways include Pennsylvania Route 115, Pennsylvania Route 715, Pennsylvania Route 903 (Designated in some areas as the "Highway to Adventure" because of the numerous venues and resorts along the highway), Pennsylvania Route 33, Pennsylvania Route 940, and Pennsylvania Route 611. Pennsylvania Route 309, a major north-south route connecting Northeastern Pennsylvania with the Delaware Valley region passes through the western end of the region.
There are two U.S. Highways in the Pocono Mountains region. The most used is Route 209, which goes from Ulster, New York to Millersburg, Pennsylvania (near Harrisburg). The halfway point of the route is in the region north of Stroudsburg. The other main U.S. Highway in the region is U.S. Route 6, which is a transconinental highway that starts near Bishop, California and runs for over 3,000 miles to its eastern terminus in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It is designated a scenic route in Pennsylvania. 11, 22, and U.S. Route 46 are also not far from the region and serve it indirectly.
The main east-west Interstate Highway in the region is Interstate 80, off of which branches Interstate 380, which connects the Poconos to Scranton. The other Interstate Highways in the region in Interstate 476, the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Northeast Extension, which has interchanges in Lehighton (Mahoning Valley) and Albrightsville (Pocono), and Interstate 81, which serves as an alternate route for the much-busier Interstate 95, particularly for travelers from Toronto, Syracuse, and Montreal to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Other Interstates that serve the region are Interstate 84, which begins in Scranton and goes east to New England, and Interstate 78, by way of Route 33 or Route 309.
Restoration of passenger rail service
New Jersey Transit is rebuilding trackage on the Lackawanna Cut-Off route from Scranton, through the Poconos, to Hoboken, New Jersey. There is no clear estimated target year when the Lackawanna Cut-Off service will be in operation. The service would consist of nine trains per day in each direction. Until 1970 the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad operated long distance trains through the Poconos to Buffalo and Chicago to the west, and Hoboken to the east.
Geography and climate
The Pocono Mountains is a defined area encompassing portions of Carbon, Monroe, Pike, and southern Wayne counties of Pennsylvania. In total, the Poconos encompasses over 2,500 square miles (6,500 km2). Some definitions also extend the Poconos to Lackawanna, Luzerne, far eastern Schuylkill, and Susquehanna counties. The Poconos are geologically part of the Allegheny Plateau, like the nearby Catskills. The Poconos' highest summit, Elk Hill’s North Knob, reaches 2,693 feet (821 m), while its lowest elevation is 350 feet (107 m) in Pike County.
The Delaware River flows through the Pocono Mountains and gives the region its name, from a Native American term roughly translating to "stream between two mountains." The Lehigh and Lackawaxen Rivers also flow through the region, totaling about 170 miles (270 km) of waterways.
The popularity of the Pocono Mountains as a summer retreat began at the dawn of the 20th century when Philadelphia Quakers started the resorts of Buck Hill Falls and Pocono Manor, and later in the 1920s, Skytop.
The Poconos is a well-known outdoor recreation destination for visitors around the northeast, especially from New York City and Philadelphia. The Poconos encompasses the Delaware State Forest, including six designated natural areas, seven state parks, seventeen state game lands, and one national park: The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
There are extensive opportunities for water sports, with many of the lakes and rivers stocked for fishing. Hunters can also pursue white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, and other wildlife. Toward the southern margin of the Poconos, the Blue Mountain ridge is the site of the Appalachian Trail and a major flyway for the autumn raptor migration.
The Poconos are home to several Scout camps. Camp Minsi, owned by the Boy Scouts' Minsi Trails Council, is centrally located in the Poconos on a property of 1,200 acres (490 ha) in Pocono Summit. Camp Mosey Wood, owned by the Girl Scouts' Eastern Pennsylvania council, is located on a property of 425 acres (170 ha) in White Haven, Pennsylvania. Other Scout camps located in the Poconos include Goose Pond Scout Reservation (Lake Ariel), Resica Falls Scout Reservation (Marshalls Creek), and Trexler Scout Reservation (Jonas).
The Poconos are also home to several Jewish summer camps, including Camp Massad, Camp Poyntelle, Camp Ramah, and Pinemere Camp. Other non-denominational season summer camps include Camp Lohikan, Tyler Hill Camp, and Camp Watonka.
The Poconos is and has been Pennsylvania's most popular tourist destination. It is also known for its brilliant color during the fall. The region contains over 80% of the state's resorts. These resorts earn 1.5 billion dollars in gross revenues and employ 18,000 workers.
The Mount Airy Casino Resort opened to the public in 2007. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is another site where slots, table games and live harness racing and off-track betting, are available.
Pocono Raceway, a major automobile racetrack, is home to an IndyCar race, the Pocono IndyCar 500, and two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, the Pocono 400 in June, and the Gobowling.com 400 in August. It also serves as a racing school and motorcycle track. The two dates in Pocono are vital to the region for the tourism money it brings to the local economy. As of 2010[update] the Mattioli family, owners of Pocono Raceway, allows sponsors on the names of the races, which before then were called just The Pocono 500 and The Pennsylvania 500. Pocono Raceway is the closest track to Philadelphia and the major metropolitan areas of New York and New Jersey.
Numerous ski resorts in and around the Poconos offer some of the closest and most accessible skiing to the major populated areas of Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York and Washington, D.C. areas.
Notable natives and residents
The Pocono Record is the newspaper for the Poconos. Its coverage area centers on Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg and covers parts of Monroe, Pike, Lackawanna, Wayne and Carbon counties as well as areas of western New Jersey.
The Times News, of Lehighton, covers Carbon, Schuylkill, and Monroe counties, and also portions of northern Lehigh and Northampton counties.
West End Happenings covers events in the West End of Monroe County.
Blue Mountain Moments is a monthly publication covering the Route 903 corridor from Blakeslee to Jim Thorpe.
Carbon County Map shows an illustrated map of this southern tier of the mountains.
Pocono Map shows an illustrated map of the middle of mountain range of Monroe County.
WESS at (90.3 FM) broadcasts from the Borough of East Stroudsburg as a service of East Stroudsburg University. Students and Faculty of the University provide programing often, and the station rebroadcasts BBC world service when live DJs are not available.