Glen Onoko Falls Access is one of the major put-in and take out areas within the Lehigh Gorge State Park. Besides great access to the river, you will find a few other interesting areas. This includes the:
- "Hole in the wall" - An old train track going through a mountain
- Glen Onoko Falls - A steep but fun hike up to the falls and back
- Bike/walking tow path along the river
Trail & Path Info
The main "trails" in this area include:
- The Glen Onoko Falls hike
- The rail to trail bikeway along the river
There may be more, but we do not know them. Definitely talk to someone in town if you are looking for more adventure than this :)
We stayed in Jim Thorpe for a weekend while exploring this area many years ago. Specifically, we:
- Stayed overnight at the Jim Thorpe Camping Resort.
- Biked up the rail trail within the Lehigh Gorge State Park.
- Took a rafting trip through Whitewater Challengers.
- Hiked to Glen Onoko Falls
There are many outfitters in this area as well that offer kayak trips, rafting, biking adventures, guided hikes and more.
Tips and Tricks
The main activities within this location will include: biking / walking the rail trail, visiting the old railway hole in the wall, getting into or out of the river, or heading out for a hike up the the falls. All are rather simple to figure out, with the exception of getting to the falls...
To get to the falls:
- Park in the main parking lot within the Glen Onoko Access Parking Lot.
- Head down towards the hole in the wall.
- Find a sign explaining how dangerous this place is.
- Follow the path under the bridge.
- Try to figure out where to go next.
- Once you figure that out, head up the stream, past the nice "flume-ish" falls, until you find the taller 25' plus falls.
- Find a trail to get you to the next set of falls.
- Be careful
- Turn around and come back.
I HATE to give such poor directions. But when we visited last (2007), the trails were not really marked there in the beginning. They also were not marked once we were heading up the mountain. And there were not many markings near the top either. We had to just ask people as we went. But really, the gist is to go under the bridge, and head straight/left-ish until you find the water/stream/run, and head up the hill.
There is a few larger lots for this access point. But since this is a popular spot on a summer weekend, the lots can get rather full. And only park in designated (legal) spots or you may get a ticket.
Lat/Lon of the access parking lot: 40.8838348, -75.7604141
Close address to the main entrance: 259 Main St, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
To get to Glen Onoko Access Point parking:
- Starting form the town of Jim Thorpe, head North on 209 (the river would be on your right), until you see River Rd / a bridge crossing the river. Turn right onto the road, and head across the river.
- This bears left, and turns into Main street.
- Make your first left to enter the access point entrance road.
- Follow this road all the way to the end.
We visited the falls back in 2007. It was a very busy day on the trail, and we had many people to follow. But, from what I remember, if there were not a good bit of people already heading up the poorly marked paths, we may have not found our way very easily.
Though I hope that this has changed in the last 8+ years, it seems like people are still posting across blogs and social sites about the same issue. Mainly that they see a big sign saying that everything is dangerous, but no maps or new / bright / noticeable trail blazes to help get you up the trail without getting lost. Maybe this is on purpose to keep some less adventurous people away? Maybe :/