When it gets time for a great weekend of adventure, Luzerne County is a fantastic option. From wines to brews, and from hiking to whitewater, Luzerne County offers the best ingredients to enjoy an action-packed weekend getaway.
Luzerne County is located some four hours from Washington, D.C., and has also lots of city attractions. However, once you go out of the Wilkes-Barre area, the outdoor excitement that Northeastern Pennsylvania offers will open up a different kind of fun.
A great time to visit Luzerne County early summer and fall is also a pretty good season to visit the area. Throughout the summer, Luzerne County communities are holding fascinating bazaars and festivals, showcasing the wonderful region’s civic spirit. The region boasts some of the finest outdoor festivals in Pennsylvania.
All through the spring, summer, and fall period, a lot of action is found on the water, where both casual kayakers and wild water lovers can find perfect conditions, and that’s particularly the case along the wonderful Lehigh River, where until mid-October whitewater rafting excursions are happening. Whitewater Challengers is one of the area’s major providers of whitewater rafting trips and they’re known for their good rafting experience and service. You can also enjoy some of the best trout fishing in the nation.
Whitewater Challengers is offering several trip options for water sports adventure seekers and entire families as well. The Lehigh River, usually a Class I or II river, sometimes becomes more challenging, and that’s when water gets released from one of the upstream dams, which creates additional water flow which leads to more rapids. This is putting more water into the river which really adds to all the excitement. Dam water release days are posted on the website of Whitewater Challengers. Generally, this happens on summer weekends, but also occasionally on weekends in September and October.
The beautiful Lehigh River cuts its way south through the Pocono Mountains to the Delaware River, and in Luzerne County, many state parks and recreational areas border much of the river which provides a pretty nice secluded feel to all sorts of river adventures. Whitewater Challengers is providing well-guided rafting trips and excursions all through spring, summer, and fall. The organization’s rafts will fit six people, and seasoned guides will paddle along the rafts during the entire excursions. The organization will provide all the necessary tools and supplies to guarantee a fantastic time on the Lehigh River. Trips are for individuals ages 9 and up, and the guides are providing the experience, expertise, and anything else the rafters might need.
Bike along the river
Besides all the fun on the river, there’s so much more to explore and discover around the Lehigh River area. You can rent a mountain bike to explore the Lehigh Gorge Trail, situated next to the river. You can rent a bike and a helmet, and there are several shuttle services to bring you back after a 9, 13, or 22-mile bike ride. All bike rides will take you along the picturesque Lehigh River, and the longest ride (22 miles) will take you all the way from White Haven to Jim Thorpe, one of the quaintest towns in the area. This trail ride is, for the largest part, level, as it follows an old Luzerne railroad grade. You will have the chance to experience the beauty of two state parks and enjoy countless scenic vistas. You can camp outside at the White Haven-based camp site, which allows for weekend-long activities throughout the spring and summer months.
Wineries and breweries
The region around Luzerne County boasts 11 wineries and breweries, and each one of these interesting places offers unique crafts and flavors. One brewery, the Susquehanna Brewery, boasts its strong Northeastern Pennsylvania roots. The brewery was set up in 2010 while Ed and Fred Maier, the owners, are part of the well-known Stegmaier family. This family owned a famed regionally operating Wilkes-Barre brewery, and the family tradition of crafting the finest and tasty beers is continuing at their Susquehanna Brewery that is offers 11 different beers on tap. Free tours are available on Saturdays, and all through summer, the brewery hosts various events.
Maiolatesi Wine Cellars, owned by Sal Maiolatesi, is located not so far away from the Susquehanna Brewery, and the winery offers a number of red and white wines in a beautiful Tuscan-style wine-tasting bodega. For more than 30 years, Maiolatesi has been producing the finest wines, and he has perfected the craft of creating tasty liberations from the best Pennsylvania-grown grapes. On Friday nights, the winery offers wood-fired oven prepared gourmet pizza, and the combination of a perfect glass of wine and some mouthwatering traditional pizza is drawing crowds in Friday nights, so make reservations!