Take your furry travel buddy on a scenic train ride along the majestic Lehigh River in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains!

Brindle dog in front of a car from the pet friendly Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA
 

Taking a ride on the pet friendly Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway as it follows the Lehigh River is a lovely way to enjoy the Pocono Mountain scenery.

After visiting years ago with our dogs, Buster and Ty, we enjoyed returning with our pup, Myles.

Pennsylvania's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway | GoPetFriendly.com

History Of The Lehigh Gorge

The Lehigh River, known for it’s churning rapids, cut the Lehigh Gorge over millennia as it coursed through Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. For most of history, only the dense forests of white pine and hemlock tracked it’s progress.

But when European settlers arrived in America, they quickly burned through this easily-accessible building material and fuel. By the 1790s, the deforestation of the East was nearly complete and our fledgling country needed another source of fuel.

In 1791, anthracite coal was discovered in central Pennsylvania. Canals and railroads were quickly constructed to move the new fuel down the Lehigh River to Philadelphia, Trenton, and Wilmington.

The Lehigh River from the scenic railway

Fast-forward 110 years to 1972, and the railroad through the Lehigh Gorge lay abandoned. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took the opportunity to purchase the real estate, create the Lehigh Gorge State Park. They turned the former rail bed into a 26-mile, multi-use trail.

Pennsylvania's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway | GoPetFriendly.com
 

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway Is Born

In 2005, with the completion of a railroad bridge across the Lehigh River in Jim Thorpe, the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway was born. They offer narrated, pet friendly trips into the State Park on vintage coaches. Trains depart from the old railroad station in historic downtown Jim Thorpe, and the train schedule is on their website.

Historic train depot in Jim Thorpe, PA

Powered by diesel engines, the 16-mile route follows the river through the gorge and lasts about 75 minutes.

READ MORE ⇒ More Pet Friendly Scenic Trail Rides in the U.S.

The Lehigh River from the scenic railway
 

Dogs on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway

Well behaved dogs on leash are welcome to ride the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway – free of charge! The ticket agent and all the conductors genuinely seemed to enjoy having a dog along for the ride.

Pet Rules on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
~ Pets on leash are welcome in both the standard coach and open-air cars.

~ Please clean up after your pet

Happy train conductor sitting next to a brindle colored dog in a red harness on the Leigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA
 

Choosing Your Seat

Passengers traveling with pets have the option of riding in the standard coach, built in 1932 by Bethlehem Steel, with its padded seats and operating windows …

Pennsylvania's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway | GoPetFriendly.com

… or the open-air car with bench seating and a nice breeze. For us it was not a difficult decision. Being the dog that he is, Myles chose the open-air car for its enhanced sniffing opportunities.

Brindle dog in a red harness on the Leigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA

Sit Back And Enjoy The Ride

Wherever you choose to sit, the views will not disappoint!

Waterfall along the pet friendly Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA
Brindle dog sitting beside man on the pet friendly Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA
 

The motion of the train is so relaxing, it wasn’t long before Myles cuddled up for a little snooze.

Woman in a hat holding a brindle dog on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA
Scenery along the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA

At the half-way point, the engine disconnects from the front of the train, travels down the track beside the cars, attaches to the other end, and pulls you back to the station. So, if you missed any photos on the way out – you’ll have another chance on the way back!

Engine passing the train cars on the pet friendly Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe, PA
 

Stroll Around Jim Thorpe

When you arrive back in Jim Thorpe, there’s a nice park in front of the train station. It’s a nice spot for a picnic!

Woman with a brindle dog at a picnic table in Jim Thorpe, PA

From there, step into the visitor center for a walking map of Historic Downtown Jim Thorpe. There are 75 shops, eateries, businesses and historic buildings along the route.

Brindle dog in a red harness in front of a historic home in Jim Thorpe, PA
 

If you’re looking for a place to eat, check out the pet friendly patio at Marion Hose Bar (an old firehouse). We stopped in for a drink, and Myles was one of SEVEN well-behaved pups enjoying their hospitality.

Dog friendly patio at Marion Hose Bar in Jim Thorpe, PA

Explore The Trails

Of course, if you haven’t gotten your fill of the gorge, you can hit the Lehigh Gorge Trail. It runs from the train station 26 miles north to White Haven, and leashed pets are welcome!

Or check out one of the other area trails! The 165-mile D&L Trail follows the route of three historic transportation systems that carried coal and iron from mine to market: the Leigh Canal, the Delaware Canal, and the Lehigh Valley Railroad.

Woman holding brindle dog beside a trail sign in Jim Thorpe, PA
Man walking dog on a pet friendly trail in Jim Thorpe, PA
 

Just 80 miles from Philadelphia and 123 miles from New York, Jim Thorpe is a lovely pet friendly getaway destination. And it’s the perfect spot to make memories with your best friend!

(Visited 4,924 times, 1 visits today)