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 is a region located in northeastern Pennsylvania, United States. The Poconos, located chiefly in Monroe and Pike counties (and parts of Wayne, Carbon, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Northampton, Lackawanna and Schuylkill counties) 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 to the south by the Lehigh Valley.
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.
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
Located in Monroe County
Also located in the southern part of Luzerne County
Delaware River Region
Upper Delaware River Region
Lehigh River Gorge Region
Located in Carbon County
These communities may be considered part of the Poconos. Many are located in or around Carbon County.
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). 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 is 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 (4.9 km2) in Pocono Summit. Camp Mosey Wood, owned by the Girl Scouts' Eastern Pennsylvania council, is located on a property of 425 acres (1.7 km2) in White Haven, PA. Other Scout camps located on the edges of the Poconos include Goose Pond Scout Reservation (Lake Ariel, PA), Resica Falls Scout Reservation (Marshall's Creek, PA), and Trexler Scout Reservation (Jonas, PA).
The Poconos is 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, as well as live harness racing and off-track betting, are available.
Pocono Raceway, a major automobile racetrack, is home to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, the Pocono 400 in June, and the Pennsylvania 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 dollars in brings to the local economy. Only recently did the Mattioli family (owners of Pocono Raceway) allow sponsors on the names of the races which were just The Pocono 500 and The Pennsylvania 500 until 2010. Pocono is the closest track to the major metropolitan areas of NY/NJ and Philadelphia.
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 DC 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.
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.