White-Water Rafting, Zip Lining, and Six Other Outdoor Activities to Try in the Poconos

It’s not summer without a little adventure. Here’s where to find it.

things to do in the poconos

Camelback Mountain Adventure. Photograph courtesy Camelback Resort

It’s not summer without a little adventure. Here’s where to find it.

White-Water Rafting


Take to the water for a dam-release rafting adventure with Pocono Whitewater — no expertise required (though kiddos must be over eight). This family-owned rafting outfit has dates throughout the summer and early fall, with journeys of up to 12 miles through 17 sets of rapids on the Lehigh River. Jim Thorpe; poconowhitewater.com.



The Lehigh Gorge Rail Trail is one of the best ways to take in the beauty of the Poconos all at once. Rent cycles via Pocono Biking; the staff will shuttle you to the White Haven trailhead. From there, it’s a 25-mile downhill journey back to Jim Thorpe on the D&L trail, a former railbed along the Lehigh River. Go at your own speed and view gorgeous rocks, old canal locks and waterfalls. Jim Thorpe; pocono­biking.com

Ropes Courses


You don’t have to be a Camelback resort guest to take advantage of Camelback Mountain Adventure. The superlative-filled adrenaline fest is Pennsylvania’s biggest outdoor adventure park; its 4,000-foot zip line is the longest in the state, and it’s home to the only steel-track mountain coaster in Pennsyl­vania — not to mention a massive treetop ropes course and off-roading Segway tours. Tannersville; camelbackresort.com


Go rafting in Lehigh Gorge State Park. Photograph by Natalie Chitwood

Air Tours


For those who consider zip-lining down a mountain a half measure, get really up there with Moyer Aviation’s private prop plane tours of Mount Pocono, the Delaware Water Gap, Lake Harmony, and other local destinations (available daily, 8 a.m. to sunset). You can also take private flying lessons. Tobyhanna; moyeraviation.com

Horseback Riding (Beginner)


Sometimes, the only nature you see up close on a trail ride is the back end of the horse in front of you. The rides at Mountain Creek Riding Stables, by contrast, take you literally over the river (well, okay, a stream) and through the woods, with the option of picking up the pace once you’re comfortable in the saddle. Younger riders can take a guided loop through the paddock. Cresco; mtcreekstable.com

Horseback Riding (Advanced)


Anybody can do a pony ride. If you’re more of an adventure seeker, look no further than Triple W Riding Stable, which offers excursions for more advanced riders as well as overnight horseback camping trips. Honesdale; 570-226-2620. 



You’ve throttled down Camelback in winter, so waterskiing should be a cinch, right? Experience the thrills of zooming across Lake Wallenpaupack on two skis with an experience (and lessons!) from the Boat Shop. Tafton; paboatshop.com



Yes, we have ax-throwing in Philly. But what makes Pocono Axe Works special is its rural setting, inside an open-air barn. (If you’re visiting off-season, don’t worry; there’s an indoor location just down the hill.) Prices start at $30 per person. Lakeville; poconoaxe­throwing.com

Published as “Get Your Adrenaline Pumping” in the “We’re Going to the Poconos!” guide in the June 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.