Thinking about visiting the Poconos in PA? Check out these 25 fun facts before you visit! Hint: you’ll find out who invented the heart-shaped tub!
I present to you: Fun Facts about the Poconos! Read on to learn everything you want to know about my home!
Fun Facts About the Poconos
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Top 10 Facts about the Poconos
1. We can’t seem to agree on where they begin and end.
Ask 50 residents “where are the Poconos,” and you’ll probably get 50 different answers. To me, it ranges from the Tobyhanna area, down to East Stroudsburg, and out to about Bangor. Much further than Bangor and you’re in the Lehigh Valley. I’m on the fence about whether to include Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.
Of course, my answer differs from the “official” version. According to PoconoMountains.com, the Poconos encompasses about 2,400 square miles and includes most of Carbon, Monroe, Pike, and Wayne counties. I made this little map a while back that gives you a general idea of the area (or you can download a better one here):
2. We were once considered one of the honeymoon capitals of the world
In our heyday, the Poconos were THE place to go on your honeymoon. We had countless stunning resorts that, sadly, are now either falling down, burning down, or already completely torn down. Penn Hills used to be one of the top destinations. It closed down years ago, and a few months ago the main building burned so badly that I could see the smoke from a few miles away.
3. The Poconos is home to the first heart-shaped tub
Yep, true story! In 1968, Mr. Wilkins designed the very first heart-shaped tub for his Cove Haven Resort (which is still open and has a few resorts still standing around the Poconos, including Paradise Stream). He also has a patent for the first tub shaped like a champagne glass.
4. We also perfected snow blowing
We may not have invented the whole idea of making your own snow, but Big Boulder gets credit for perfecting it! Thanks to the Poconos, you can ski even when there is no snow, as long as it’s cold enough to blow!
5. We’re trying to become the indoor water park capital of the world
I think the Poconos is trying to become the #1 destination for indoor water parks. We started out with Great Wolf Lodge back around 2005. Split Rock Resort added their own smaller version, H2Ooooooh! That was it for a few years, then all of the sudden, BOOM! Water parks galore!
Now we have Kalahari Resort, which is pretty awesome and Camel Beach opened up Aquatopia, currently the largest in the area as of now. I heard that Kalahari is adding on, though. Plus, I heard that there are two more water parks in the works for different parts of the area.
6. We have 4 very distinct season
Like much of the Northeastern US, the Poconos has four very distinct seasons. Granted, the lines are blurring a bit more every year, but you can usually count on hot summers, mild springs, crisp falls, and snowy winters.
We also have four distinct tourist seasons: Water Park Season, Hiking Season, “Let’s look at the pretty leaves” season,” and ski season.
7. We welcome your pets!
The Poconos has over 40 different dog-friendly lodgings and attractions. Most of the major hotels in the area are very welcoming to pets. You can also bring your dog along to most of our hiking trails, including Bushkill Falls.
8. Most the area is named after the tribes who lived here first
The original residents of the Poconos include:the Delaware, Lenni Lanape, Iroquois, Minisink, Lenape, Shawnee, and Paupack tribes. Look around the Poconos and you’ll see these names pop up often, from Lake Wallenpaupack to Shawnee Mountain.
9. We inspired the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney!
I just learned this today: the Harry Packer Mansion, located in Jim Thorpe, inspired the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland and Disney World. The place doesn’t just look haunted, legend says that it actually IS home to a few spooks!
10. We’re actually full of creepy haunted places
The Harry Packer Mansion isn’t the only haunted house in the Poconos! We have plenty more places filled with things that go bump in the night, including:
- The Tannersville Inn
- The Henryville House (most of it is torn down now, though)
- Inn at Buck Hill Falls (FYI, they are deadly serious about that no trespassing rule, so you can’t even get close to this one without risking stiff fines)
- Shawnee Inn
More Fun Facts about the Poconos
- We have over 170 miles of rivers winding throughout the region, including the Delaware, & Lehigh.
- We have 150 lakes, including natural and man-made. FYI, Lake Wallenpaupack is NOT the largest man-made lake in PA, despite what many people believe. It’s actually the 3rd largest (or the 2nd largest if you are only counting those entirely in PA).
- We have 9 state parks, including Promised Land State Park, Beltzville, Big Pocono, Gouldsboro, Hickory Run, Lehigh Gorge, Prompton State Park, Tobyhanna and Varden. The Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area is a national park.
- My home town in the Poconos is home to America’s longest commute. Between the traffic and the small roads that just weren’t meant for this much traffic, it can take an hour to go a few miles at times! On average, it takes me 25 minutes to go 9 miles to the mall, and that’s taking back roads. We beat out the longest public transportation commute by a long-shot, too! It takes an average of 88 miles to commute by bus here. The next longest is 48.8 minutes, in Washington, DC.
- The Lenni Lanape people settled here over 10,000 years ago. Europeans didn’t arrive until the mid 1600s. The Dutch were the first Europeans.
- The aforementioned creepy Inn at Buck Hill Falls was built in 1901, making it one of the very first resorts in the Poconos. When I interviewed a psychic for an assignment about the haunted Poconos, she told me that it stands on a vortex of great turmoil (and, possibly, evil). It was a popular spot for mobsters, and quite a few murders & suicides took place there during its heyday.
- A local man, Dale H. Hearn, ran for Vice President of the US back in the 1948 election. I’m guessing he lost.
- We host one of the largest indy car races: the Pocono 500. Let me tell you, when it’s race weekend in the Poconos, you’re better off staying home! It gets CRAZY crowded here! Even more crowded than usual!
- Kelly Monaco, of Dancing with the Stars & General Hospital, is from the Poconos. While she was born in Philadelphia, her family lived here for her high school years. It was kind of big news when she became a Playboy Playmate.
- The word “Pocono” means “stream between two mountains.” It’s pretty fitting if you look at the way the Delaware River cuts through the mountains in the Gap.
- While Bushkill seems like it’s up in the mountains, it’s actually the lowest point of the entire area, at 340 feet elevation.
- Hikers will find a whopping 126 hiking trails covering over 250 miles altogether. That includes a chunk of the Appalachian trail.
- That’s nothing compared to our ski trails, though! You’ll find more than 170 of those throughout the six major (and a few minor) ski resorts.
- There’s a reason why fall is a popular time for tourists! We have more than 100 different trees and shrubs, and more than 20 ways to check out the foliage, including skydiving!
- We have way too many golf courses! Around 30, I believe, and a lot of them were designed by championship golfers. That’s great…if you like to golf. I wish we had more mini-golf courses!
There you go, 25 fun facts about the Poconos! It’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here. Kidding, I actually don’t hate it. I just want to move someplace where I don’t have to be afraid to drive on the weekends!
Have you ever been to the Poconos? What do you like about it?