Charles has long experience fishing, hiking, exploring, and camping in the Northeast.
Getting to the Tank Hollow Vista Parking Area
About a two-hour drive from the Philadelphia area, Tank Hollow Vista is located on State Game Lands #141 in Penn Forest Township, Pennsylvania. The beautiful town of Jim Thorpe is nearby. The Google Maps link to the parking area at the beginning of the trailhead is located at Buzzard's Point Parking.
- Physical Address: 404-416 Behrens Rd, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
My Planning Process
Lately, I've renewed my interest in bike packing, camping, hiking, and exploring the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains, specifically Carbon County. I research my hikes online throughout the week and try to start my expeditions on Thursdays or Mondays when there is less traffic and tourists. I generally camp in my car when a cheap hotel in the area is unavailable. See my article on car camping Budget SUV Car Camping.
I searched for hiking opportunities near Jim Thorpe, PA, and found a couple of articles about the Tank Hollow hike. I thought it sounded good and decided to plan for that hike. It's October now and I thought this time of year would make for a wonderful trip. The leaves on the trees are changing and the temperatures were perfect for hiking and sleeping at night.
Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon
I've seen the Lehigh Gorge referred to as Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon. I don't disagree. This short hike takes you to a rocky outcropping overlooking an amazingly beautiful gorge. With an elevation of about 1400 feet, the view into the canyon is breathtaking, literally. The Lehigh river rages through the canyon floor below as the steep forested cliffs of the mountains all around rise up to an elevation of 1700 feet.
The mountainside was ablaze with reds, yellows, greens, and oranges as Fall takes over the northern forests of Pennsylvania. The rocky outcropping has trees growing in the most unlikely locations, it amazes me how these trees survive on the bare rocks. There are train tracks visible below running alongside the river. I hope to get down there on one of my upcoming trips to explore the depths and past history of the canyon.
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Directions From the Parking Lot to the Tank Hollow Vista
Enjoy a pleasant, relatively easy hike that will culminate in a beautiful vista with panoramic views overlooking the Lehigh River Gorge. From the trailhead, head down the wide gravel road. I rode my bike from here making the hike a bit easier although I had to push it uphill for a short distance on my way back. The hike is a little over a mile on the gravel road. This part of the hike is pretty much flat until you reach the downhill section.
After descending a slightly steep hill along the gravel road, you will need to keep a sharp eye on the right side of the road for a trail that goes into the woods. It is marked with a white painted slash and there is an orange hunting sign warning hikers to wear orange for their safety. Follow this trail for almost half of a mile. As you near the end of this trail, you will begin to see lush rhododendrons that almost close off the trail, continue on, and arrive at the most scenic overlook in the Northeast. (See the trail map below.)
Hazards Along the Way
Make sure to bring water and bug spray. It can get hot out here and mosquitoes enjoy the water below. I didn't see any on my hike this day but there are black bears that call this area home. I missed the trail to the vista on my first attempt and ended up on a different trail heading towards the river. As I was hiking through, I came upon a large pile of fresh bear scat and quickly retraced my steps back to the main gravel road.
Keep your eyes on the ground as you hike towards the overlook and carefully scan the rocks of the outcropping when you arrive. Timber rattlesnakes consider this place home and could be present, warming themselves on the rocks. Be smart, be careful. Wear orange during hunting season and enjoy the view! Don't forget to follow me on HubPages and check out some of my other articles. Have a great day!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
manjah zakaria from marrakech on October 23, 2021:
Thanks a lot for this helpful article.