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Travel & Outdoors

Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip To Lake Harmony

September 29, 2012 7:00 AM

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Skiing
Lake Harmony, located in the Pocono Mountains, features a variety of outdoor and indoor activities. Today, it is known for its winter sports, but ski resorts did not come to Big Boulder/Jack Frost area until about 1942, during World War II. In 1949, the property changed hands, and “Hazzard” was renamed the Big Boulder Ski Area – the state’s first commercial ski resort. Jack Frost Ski Area, the companion to Big Boulder Ski Area was opened in 1972. Since then, it’s been powdery fun every winter.

During the summer and fall, the Lake Harmony and Blakeslee areas offer ample outdoor recreation opportunities, in addition to fine dining, cultural and historic attractions, and a variety of retail shopping options.

Getting There

From Philadelphia, the trip to Lake Harmony and the Big Boulder/Jack Frost resorts is a scenic drive that takes about two hours if you use I-476 north (Pennsylvania Turnpike). Take I-476 to exit 95, where you will then follow the signs to I-80 East; take exit 248 and then travel south on Route 115, where you will turn right onto Route 903 south. Turn right on Lake Drive and you will be in Lake Harmony. Signs point the direction to Big Boulder. For Jack Frost, the directions are the same as to Big Boulder, except that once on Route 115 South, rather than taking Route 903, turn left on Route 940 West. Signs will lead you the rest of the way.

What To Do

Split Rock Resort & Golf Club
100 Moseywood Road
Lake Harmony, PA 18624
(800) 255-7625
www.splitrockresort.com/

Split Rock Resort & Golf Club has a shared history with Big Boulder. Since that time, Split Rock Resort has changed in many ways. Located on the banks of the 125-acre Lake Harmony, it includes more than 1,200 acres of fun. This four seasons resort features a variety of activities, including, of course, a 27-hole championship golf course, two indoor pools and an outdoor pool, a swimming lagoon, 11 tennis courts, (three indoor, eight outdoor that include six clay and two all-weather courts), racquetball, archery, and a fully-equipped fitness center. It is also the home to the famous H2)000hh Indoor Family Water Park. Open year-round, it is best known for the Komodo Dragon, the first indoor flow rider in Pennsylvania, and for the more adventurous water enthusiasts, the Piranha and Amazon Blast slides are notorious for their four story drops. For younger children, Jungle Falls and Leapin’ Lizards play areas provide hours of fun.

Related:One Tank Trip to Dorney Park

The Jim Thorpe eXperience
37 W. Broadway
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
(484) 225-1209
thejtx.com

If you are looking for adventure, the Jim Thorpe eXperience may be just the ticket. Providing a unique selection of adventures, patrons may choose to experience history, culture, river trips, biking, hiking or any combination of the above. If its history and hiking, then the guided Town & Country 2: Historic Tour and Switchback Hike may be a perfect match. Customers may choose a one- or two-day package that combines a walking tour of the downtown, a hike to a mountain overlook and a walk along the Switchback rail trail to Mauch Chunk Lake. If kayaking is more to your liking, try a guided kayak experience, a half-day trip on the Lehigh River. Biking tours are also available.

Related: Top Spots for An Outdoor First Date



Dining


Piggy’s Restaurant
91 N. Lake Drive
Lake Harmony, PA 18624
(507) 722-8493

Down home country cooking is what makes Piggy’s Restaurant a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Piggy’s prides itself on its use of locally grown products and many of the items are made using Piggy’s own original recipes. Featuring breakfast all day long, its menu offers selections of homemade pancakes, farm fresh eggs, French toast, muffins, Piggy’s own homefries, fresh fruit in season and a variety of sausage, bacon, ham and scrapple. Don’t forget to try a selection from its Hog Heaven Ice Cream Shop. Its lunch menu features sandwiches, subs, salads and soups. The Pig Pen Gift Shop features a large selection of piggy banks, stuffed pigs, pig soaps, pig purses, pig bedroom slippers and other unique gifts.

Louie’s Prime Steak House
134 Lake Harmony Road
Lake Harmony, PA 18624
(570) 722-3990
louiseprime.com

Known for its rustic but elegant atmosphere and its fireside views, Louie’s Prime Steak House features fine cuisine and hand-crafted entrees, including beef wellington served with a puffed pastry and stuffed with black truffle foie gras, and a veal and colossal crab Francaise served with egg-battered veal scallopine, lemon and white wine, topped with crabmeat and served with yukon gold mashed potatoes and asparagus. Or try something from the appetizers – shrimp cocktail, a crab martini featuring crab meat served with fresh lemon and cocktail sauce, calamari and smoked chicken spring rolls. As expected, the steakhouse also boasts a varied selection of wines.

Lodging

Fern Ridge Motel
Pennsylvania Route 115
Blakeslee, PA 18610
(570) 646-2813
murphysloft.com

Price: from $90

Constructed with stone taken from Big Boulder mountain in 1946, Fern Ridge was recently renovated in 2005. With a rustic, colonial-style facade, the motel is located minutes from Pocono International Raceway and both ski resorts. All rooms have TV with cable and most have air conditioning. A heated swimming pool is also available. The motel also features dining at Murphy’s Loft. Locally known as “The Log Cabin,” the building was once a mountain lodge. While it still retains that ambiance, the restaurant is well known for its outdoor bar, deck and covered patio.

Ski Resorts

Jack Frost
1 Jack Frost Mountain Road
Blakeslee, PA 18610
(570) 443-8425
www.jfbb.com

Big Boulder
15 Lake Drive
Lake Harmony, PA 18624
(570) 443-8425
www.bigboulderpark.com

(Both are closed until skiing season begins, usually in mid to late November. Check these websites for opening dates.)

Jack Frost, the newest of the two ski areas, has a summit of 2,000 feet with a 1,400-foot base and a vertical drop of 600 feet. It boasts 21 slopes ranging from easiest to advanced, plus to terrain parks. Explore nine lifts, one quad, two triples, six doubles and one ski carpet.

Big Boulder Ski Area has grown and changed with the times over the decades. Since the time of downhill skiing, snowboarding and terrain parks have been added to the sport. Today, Big Boulder dedicates 50 percent of its terrain to park features. With a base elevation of 1,700 feet and a summit at 2,175 feet, it includes a vertical drop of 475 feet. It features 15 slopes ranging from easiest to advanced slopes and five terrain parks. Enjoy eight lifts, two triples, five doubles and one ski carpet.

Both resorts feature on-site accommodations, dining, equipment sales and rentals.

Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on Examiner.com.
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