As summer starts to creep to an end and hot, sticky days give way to crisp mornings and comfortably warm early-autumn days, getting outside and stretching your legs becomes more of a treat. Luzerne County is the perfect place to get that one last warm weather getaway in before those enjoyable fall days quickly turn to snowy ones.
There’s an almost endless supply of options to drop in a kayak or canoe or hit some whitewater rafting. Plus, there are hiking and biking trails for all skill levels, as well as food and beverage trails for those who are a little less outdoorsy.
Luzerne County has more than 90 lakes and 130 streams offering paddlers anything from relaxing kayak rides down the Susquehanna River to whitewater adventures along the Lehigh. With views you wouldn’t get hiking or biking, paddling through this region offers breathtaking views, especially as the trees begin to change colors. There are plenty of rental choices for kayaking, canoeing and rafting. Some include shuttle service and the option to add fishing gear, camping deals and more so you can make the trip without having to haul bulky equipment.
With options like paved paths, gravel trails and rocky mountain paths, everyone can find a hiking trail for their level of skill. Beginners and families with young children can enjoy easy strolls under two miles while avid hikers will find challenges with winding trails through the Pocono Mountains.
Seven Tubs, or just “The Tubs,” is the trail to hit during those early almost-too-warm fall days as this trail can easily be about 10 degrees cooler. Continuously flowing water will not only keep the temp down, it provides a beautifully scenic hiking trail with plenty of opportunities for photographs and also gives the trail its name. The moving water has carved out pockets, or tubs, overtime.
On the Susquehanna Warrior Trail Walk, bike or run the former road bed of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad along the Susquehanna River. Beautiful views are a given along this trail, but you may be able to spot some wildlife, including herons, otters and bald eagles.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include the “Best Hike in PA” according to Backpacker Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards. Ricketts Glenn State Park is home of the Falls Trail, a challenging hike that gets its name from the 21 free-flowing waterfalls along the trail. The highest, Ganoga Falls, measures in at 94 feet. The whole Falls Trail loop is a little over 7 miles if you choose to hike the whole thing, but there is a shorter 3.2-mile option that still provides views of most of the falls.
Beer, wine and shine
If you’re more into ale trails than hiking trails, Luzerne County boasts the Beer, Wine & Shine Trail made up of local breweries, distilleries and wineries. Many of the locations on the trail have bites to eat or full menus like North Slope Brewing, a brewery that is also a gastropub, which makes many of these stops a great place to refuel after a day on the river or hiking through the woods.