Pop pop was in town and we promised both him and the kids a train ride. on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. We took the first ride of the day at 11am on Saturday. Ana got a big old hug from their mascot while Pop pop upgraded our tickets to the open air coach.
The weather was beautiful, sunny with a warm breeze as we took our seats in the first coach. The seating filled up pretty quickly and you could see the look of antispation in the kids eyes (and pop pops too:) as the train blew its horn to let everyone know we are about to start moving. Tickets PLEASE!
I was surprised at how quickly the train moved thru town on our way up the glen. The river sparkled as we crossed it and we saw rafters headed down river. The parking lot was filling up on the Lehigh Gorge Park with bikers and kayakers as we approached and everyone waved as we passed.
The ride is about an hour and they give a nice tour and information about what we are seeing as we pass. I knew the kids would hungry so I brought a thermos of milk and banana bread I’d made the night before. You can learn more out the Lehigh Scenic Railway here…and here is the route we took (from their website)
For our 16 mile roundtrip, we ride the former mainline of the Jersey Central Lines leaving Jim Thorpe. The line swings onto the former Lehigh Valley main line before passing Glen Onoko. From here the Jersey Central track is long abandoned, and is now the state park trail. Glen Onoko is the south gateway to the park. We follow the winding Lehigh River, rounding curve after curve until we reach Old Penn Haven.
They showed us the new tracks they are laying and I thought about how much work it must be to keep railroads up and running and safe and how lucky we are to have this in our backyard to enjoy a few times a year.
I am not sure who had more fun, pop pop or the kids but I know we will be taking a train ride up the gorge again once fall foliage is at its best.