The Four Main Areas that make up The Poconos: Eastern Poconos, The West End, The Mountain and Stroudsburg Area
Eastern Poconos – The Eastern Poconos is made up of the Delaware Water Gap. East Stroudsburg, Lehman Township, Middle Smithville Township, Porter Township, Price Township and Smithfield Township – Eastern Poconos is served by the East Stroudsburg School district South and North. In Monroe County the district serves: East Stroudsburg Borough, Smithfield Township, Middle Smithfield Township, and Price Township. In Pike County the district serves: Lehman Township and Porter Township. Visit East Stroudsburg Area School District at www.esasd.net
Delaware Water Gap – is a borough in Monroe County. It is located adjacent to the Delaware Water Gap, the pass through which the Lackawanna Corridor and Interstate 80 run across the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border along the Delaware River. The Delaware Water Gap Area is famous for its panoramic mountain river gap and the Appalachian Trail. President Theodore Roosevelt and the John Philip Sousa band were among celebrity visitors in days gone by. The town was home to band leader Fred Waring’s publishing base. An annual jazz festival each September draws thousands to hear world-renowned performers.
East Stroudsburg – Dansbury Manor was the borough’s name until 1870 when it became East Stroudsburg for railroad identification purposes. But reminders of Daniel Brodhead, who founded the town in 1738, remain in local names, including Dansbury Park and the Brodhead Creek, which borders the town. Over the years, the railroad has played a key role in East Stroudsburg’s history. Another long-lasting reminder of the borough’s heritage is in the Bricktown section of North Courtland Street, where all the buildings are made of bricks manufactured by the Zacharias family, which is still in business as a masonry supply company. The fast-growing borough features a flourishing downtown district. It is home to East Stroudsburg University and Pocono Medical Center. Many enjoy Dansbury Park with its pool, playgrounds, and athletic facilities, Zacharias Pond Park and Gregory’s Pond Park.
Lehman Township – Lehman Township was created August 19, 1829, from Delaware Township. Listed on the tax rolls for Upper Smithfield Township in 1815 was Joseph Leighman, paying 55 cents on 442 acres. In 1824 his name was spelled Leaman and by 1832 was Lehmman. Lehman Township is home to several communities. The unincorporated community of Bushkill was a well-known small town in. Lehman Township is also home to Pine Ridge, Pocono Mountain Lake Estates, Pocono Ranchlands and Saw Creek, four private communities. These private communities provide community and recreational services to residents. While these communities were initially mostly composed of vacation homes, many people have since moved there full-time including retirees and former vacationers.
Middle Smithfield Township – Middle Smithfield Township was created in 1794 and named for the pioneer Smith family. Today, a popular event is A Day in the Park each June. The township boasts beautiful views of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and a branch of the Pocono Family Y. The Cold Spring Farm Springhouse, John Michael Farm, Schoonover Mountain House, Capt. Jacob Shoemaker House, John Turn Farm, Zion Lutheran Church are located in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area at Middle Smithfield Township and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Porter Township – Along with the immense State Forest holdings, Porter Township has numerous private estates and hunting clubs which have guaranteed that a vast amount of acreage remain in an undeveloped state. Examples of these privately owned estates include the Porters Lake Club, Hunters Rage, the Saw Creek Hunting and Fishing Club, The Beaver Run Club, Dorney Park’s Hermitage, and many others. The first step taken to make Pike’s forest land available to the public came in 1913 when the Department of Forestry authorized the leasing of “small areas of land for the purpose of permanent camping and outing ground.” Since that time, over 1000 cabins have been built on land leased from the Forestry Department. Nowhere is the hunting cabin a more prevalent sight than in Porter, where they actually outnumber permanent, year-round residences. A typical example exists at Pine Flats where a 60 cabin colony and clubhouse stand near the Big Bushkill Creek. A similar cabin colony stands near Little Mud Pond across the lake from a natural cranberry bog.
Price Township – Cool streams and shady woodlands abound in Price Township, named for John Price, who settled here in 1764. The township includes many acres of Delaware State Forest as well as Snow Hill State Park, which was one of the first parks in Pennsylvania. Visitors enjoy picnicking, fishing and hiking. Close to Buck Hill Falls and Promised Land State Park.
Smithfield Township – The Shawnee-Minisink Site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. The annual fishing tournament at Waterfront Park and the Easter Egg Hunt are popular events among local children. The township Park Commission provides the events, in addition to administering use of all athletic fields. Smithfield Township, created as a part of the infamous Walking Purchase in 1737, was established in 1742 as the first township north of the Blue Mountains.
The West End – This area consists of the Ross, Chestnuthill, Eldred and Polk Townships. The West End is served by Pleasant Valley School District covering Chestnuthill, Eldred, Polk, and Ross Townships, as well as communities in them, such as Brodheadsville. Visit Pleasant Valley School District www.pvbears.org
Ross Township – was formed from a division of Chestnuthill Township and named after a very prominent citizen, Judge John Ross of Easton, Pennsylvania. Its villages include Ross Common, Rossland, and Saylorsburg (also in Hamilton Township.) It is drained by the Aquashicola Creek westward into the Lehigh River a popular whitewater rafting river. Blue Mountain with popular ski area forms its natural southern boundary.
Chestnuthill Township – was incorporated in September of 1763. Today the township is home to a clusters of small towns including Effort and Broadheadsville which is home to the annual and famous West End Fair. The township offers a 34 acre park with sports facilities and Community Center for its’ residents use.
Eldred Township – Offers all of the scenery and outdoor recreation that the Poconos is known for and is also the home of Kunkletown – which has it’s own claim to fame. Kunkletown is named after a Mr. Kunkle who “played” President Lincoln’s “body” double to foil assassination plots. When in Kunkletown, be sure to visit Smiley’s General Store for the best ring baloney in the Appalachian Mountains.
Polk Township – The township building is in Kresgeville, named for the pioneer Kresge family whose members over the years have included chain store magnate S.S. Kresge, founder of Kresge’s department stores, which became Kmart. Kresge who donated $25,000 in 1928 to help the local school district. Among points of interest are a nature trail on Route 534, which offers picnicking and hiking, and the Veterans Memorial on Route 209 in Kresgeville that was erected during the sesquicentennial.
The Mountain– The heart of our region is made up of Coolbaugh Township, Jackson Township ,Mt. Pocono, Paradise Township, Pocono Township, Barrett Township, Tobyhanna Township and Tunkhannock Township – The Mountain is served by the Pocono Mountain School District – PMSD – The district is divided into two parts: Pocono Mountain East and Pocono Mountain West. The Pocono Mountain East attendance area includes: Jackson Township, Pocono Township, Paradise Township, Barrett Township and Mount Pocono Borough. It also includes a small area east of Route 380 that is Coolbaugh Township. Pocono Mountain West attendance area includes: Tobyhanna Township, Tunkhannock Township and Coolbaugh Townships. Visit PMSD at www.pmsd.org
Coolbaugh Township – Tobyhanna Village (not to be confused with Tobyhanna Township) was a major center for ice harvesting many years back. Today, Coolbaugh Township may be best known for the Tobyhanna Army Depot and for a large Wal-Mart distribution center.
Jackson Township – was principally a farming and logging community. Some of the state’s most progressive farms of the mid – 19th century were located in Jackson Township. Jackson Township also played a part in the Monroe County ice industry. Most of the ice was harvested on two major lakes in the Township, Trout Lake and Mountain Springs Lake. The prosperity and growth of Jackson Township was increased significantly by the construction of the Wilkes Barre & Eastern Railroad a project of the New York Susquehanna and Western in 1893-94. Jackson Township ice was loaded at the Reeders Depot for shipment to Jersey City and New York. Today Jackson township is a rural wooded area home to many small communities and Bed & Breakfast’s as well as some commercial districts and resorts.
Paradise Township – was carved from Price Township in 1848. Among its villages is Henryville, once known for the Henryville House fishing hotel visited by such celebrities as Buffalo Bill Cody and four U.S. presidents. Today, you’ll find lodging facilities, attractions and restaurants. The township also hosts Easter, Halloween and Christmas festivities, and the annual Community Day picnic in September, with music, games and food.
Pocono Township – hosts so many of the activities that have made the Poconos a destination, Camelback Ski Resort and Camelbeach Water Park, the Cranberry Bog, an 800-acre National Natural Landmark. The Pocono Township Branch of the Eastern Monroe Public Library, on Route 611. Mountain View Park features athletic fields, tennis and basketball courts, pavilions, playground and trails. Pocono Township and Tannersville are probably best known for ski slopes, elegant resorts, the Camelback/Camelbeach ski resort and water park and the Crossings, a large complex of factory outlet stores that draws travelers from far away.
The township is also home to Aventis-Pasteur, world-famous for production of human vaccines and biological; to Roadway Express, one of the nation’s largest truck companies and to Northampton Community College’s Monroe Campus.
Barrett Township – is a growing community of approximately 4,100 full time residents. With the presence of several popular tourist destinations, resorts, and a thriving commercial and business community, the population present in the Township on a daily basis can often swell to many times that number. Barrett was formed in 1859 from portions of both Paradise Township and Price Township. The Township is bordered on the south by Paradise Township, Price Township to the southeast, and Coolbaugh Township on the west. Barrett Township is bordered by Greene Township in Pike County to the north, and Porter Township in Pike County to the northeast. Barrett Township consists of 5 villages: Cresco, Mountainhome, Canadensis, Buck Hill Falls, and Skytop. Each village represents the original settlement areas within the Township and is serviced by it’s own United States Post Office. Barrett is close enough to the more populous areas of the county to be conveniently accessible, yet it’s position within Monroe County provides for a more “small town” sense of community and makes it a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family.
Tobyhanna Township -The 52-square-mile Tobyhanna Township was incorporated from neighboring Coolbaugh Township in 1830 and takes its name from the stream Tobyhanna, which means a stream lined with alders. It is frequently confused with Tobyhanna Village, located in Coolbaugh Township. Among points of interest are Blanche Price Park, the Clymer Library, Brady’s Lake, state fish and game lands and New Ventures Business Park as well as being home to the prestigious Lake Naomi, Timber Trails and Pinecrest Lake Golf & Country Club Communities located in Pocono Pines.
Tunkhannock Township – Considered one of the world’s Top 40 “Last Great Places” by The Nature Conservancy, Tunkhannock Township boasts a beautiful landscape and abundant recreational opportunities. For good old-fashioned fun, residents enjoy the annual Tunk Fest in July. The township may be best known, though, as the home of the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, which attracts 150,000 visitors for two NASCAR races.
Stroudsburg Area – This area consists of Hamilton Township, Stroud Township and Stroudsburg (East Stroudsburg is sometimes also included in this area however it is considered part of Eastern Poconos – Please see the Eastern Poconos section for information on East Stroudsburg) The Stroudsburg area is easily accessible from Route 80 making the area popular with visitors from New Jersey and New York as well as a home to thriving commuter communities. Stroudsburg Area is served by the Stroudsburg Area School District encompassing Hamilton Township, Stroud Township and Stroudsburg. Visit Stroudsburg Area School District at www.sburg.org/sasd-main-page-5
Hamilton Township – Hamilton Township is home to many historical sites one is particularly outstanding – Along Business Route 209 in Hamilton Township stands a mill centuries old. Built by Jacob Brinker in 1730, this old mill was originally a log structure. By 1800, the mill had been replaced by the stone structure which stands today. Jacob Brinker and his mill played an early role in the shaping of America. The 2½ story mill houses a large overshot wheel which was used to produce flour. Water from the McMichaels Creek provided power to turn the large wheel and grind corn to make various types of flour and feed. Two millers were needed to operate the mill.
By 1830, the Snyder family took over the mill and operated it over the next 100 years. Will Snyder was the last of the Snyder family to work the mill until he sold the building to Eugene Heller in 1954. Heller eventually sold the mill to Karl Hope. In 1974, Hope generously donated the mill to Hamilton Township with the understanding that the old structure would be used for “historical, cultural, and governmental purposes.”
The mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 13, 1976 and serves as a reminder of Monroe County’s diverse past. The mill offer an annual demonstration and seasonal tours. This township offers one foot in the past with all the lovely stone building and colonial homes and one foot in the present with many residential communities and small comercial areas.
Stroud Township – was named for Stroudsburg founder Jacob Stroud. Among the larger communities within it are Analomink, founded around 1846 by William White and originally named Spraguesville for a type of brake manufactured there. It was later renamed Analomink after a creek now called the Brodhead.
Stroudsburg – the Monroe County seat, was founded by Jacob Stroud who laid out the town in 1799. The house he built on Main Street for his son John is known as Stroud Mansion, and today hosts the Monroe County Historical Association and museum. The borough is noted for its bustling downtown, filled with restaurants, nightclubs, banks, hotels, retail stores, art galleries, churches and more.
Stroudsburg is a hub of activity year-round, hosting celebrations from the St. Patrick’s Day parade to the Memorial Day parade to Tuba Christmas and community caroling. You’ll also find recreation opportunities at the five municipal parks and community pool. Be sure to visit the flourishing downtown where art galleries are the focus of the monthly “First Saturday” events. Visit the Jacob Stroud Corporation’s Web site, www.stroudsburg.net, for information on downtown events.
Jay Albertson Park, at 1211 N. Fifth St., features a playground, a gazebo and a duck pond. Pinebrook Park, on Route 191, is ideal for walking, picnics, fishing and possibly tubing. Big Pines Park, near the Stroudsburg Middle School off Cranberry Road, is a 25-acre park with walking trail, athletic field and pavilion. Yetter Park, off Stokes Road, has walking and jogging trails. Katz Park, at Wedgewood Lake and Heritage Drive, encompasses 7.2 acres with a pond, walking trail, picnic tables and benches. Kovarick Lands comprises 13 acres off Glenview and Paula and Michael Drives. Michael Moore Park, on White Birch Street, features playground equipment.
The Appalachian Trail is accessible in the township at Fox Gap at Tott’s Gap Road and on Route 191 South.