RECREATION & TOURISM | Monroe County Historic Photo Album

The Pocono region has long been a playground for visitors, celebrities and dignitaries drawn by the spectacular Delaware Water Gap and beauty of the surrounding mountains and woodlands.

A ferry and wagon road transported visitors along the Delaware River to the Delaware Water Gap – listed as one of the country’s 15 scenic marvels in 1910 when President Theodore Roosevelt visited. The Water Gap’s attraction to musicians and artists drew such famous entertainers as John Philip Sousa, Fanny Brice and Enrico Caruso. In Paradise Township, Roosevelt and Presidents Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison and Calvin Coolidge stayed at the Henryville House Fishing Hotel, which also hosted such celebrities as Buffalo Bill Cody.

Hotels, motels, lodges, campgrounds, taverns, restaurants and resorts are as abundant as the waterfalls, wooded hills, festivals and recreation facilities that lure visitors. One of the first to lodge tourists was the famous Kittatinny Hotel in Delaware Water Gap, initially constructed in 1829 and destroyed by fire 102 years later.

The now defunct Inn at Buck Hill opened the Poconos’ first golf course in 1904 and introduced the region to such winter sports as skiing and tobogganing. Skytop is famous for its five-story-high resort with fantastic views and a reputation in its early years for such novel activities as ice skating while being pulled by a tractor or skiing with aid from an airplane.

In the mid 1870s, the railroad led to development of the Mount Pocono area as a resort region treasured for its views and outdoor recreation.

The first state park was located at Snow Hill in Price Township and was an outgrowth of a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Today, there are many parks, state game lands and lakes that are favorites for hunters, anglers, hikers and campers. The world-famous Appalachian Trail now brings travelers by foot, as they stop in Monroe County for a rest and supplies while hiking from Maine to Georgia.