“Hi Mom. Are you free next week for a day hike?”
“No, but the week after is free on Wednesday or Thursday.”
“Will do. Looking forward to our time together. Maybe your dad can get off work and come, too.”
Our first-ever hike in the Lehigh Gorge was born.
Hubby and I met our son at a trail parking area near the town of Jim Thorpe. Instead of following the Lehigh Gorge rails-to-trails, we decided to first hike the Glen Onoko path with its many water falls.
Several spots along the waterfalls had warning signs: “Hike at your own risk. Sections of the trail are steep and treacherous. Hikers have been seriously injured and killed as a result of accidental falls from the trail and gorge overlooks. You are responsible for your safety. Wear proper hiking shoes. Use extreme caution while hiking in the gorge.”
We took the signs seriously and stayed away from the edges of the waterfalls and didn’t try anything foolish like trying to climb up the falls themselves. As usual, we wore proper hiking gear. Several days later we learned that since 1970, at least 11 people had plummeted to their deaths while hiking trail, one while trying to scale a high waterfall.
The trail eventually moves away from the falls and loops across the top of the mountain into a gradual downhill path.
Along the bottom of the trail, old stone walls and paths spread across the mountainside, the only remains of a popular resort in the late 1800’s, Hotel Wahnetah.
Leaving Glen Onoko, we walked a ways on the rails-to-trail path along the Lehigh River. Large rocks and riffles created picturesque scenery in the river, howbeit a different kind of beauty than found in the glen.
To round out the day, we enjoyed a late lunch in Jim Thorpe at the Molly Maguire restaurant. And yes, we would like to go back again.