Local Food on the Road: Jim Thorpe

By Michael Buck and Michelle Pittman

If you’re looking to take advantage of colorful leaves and the cool autumn air, consider a short day trip just a bit outside the Lehigh Valley.

Jim Thorpe has the formula for fall spirit: foliage, food, pints of beer and train rides through the rolling mountains of the Poconos. All that comes with a small side of history. The mountain borough’s fall foliage weekends start on Saturday and continue for the next three weekends and include outdoor vendors, food and live music.

We buzzed up to Jim Thorpe last weekend to check out the terrain. The charming little borough doesn’t disappoint for a solid day trip and is a picturesque canvas for amateur photographers.

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The train ride is definitely a must. It’s an hour long and takes you through the Lehigh Gorge, providing some excellent views of the mountain foliage. We followed up our train ride with a visit to the borough’s jail, where the infamous Molly Maguire handprint resides.

The. Prison. Is. Freaky. Located a short walk up Broadway from the train station, the jail tour provides a short look into its history and creeps you out a bit with views of jail cells and the dungeon.

Sufficiently weirded out, we trekked back down Broadway to the Molly Maguires Pub for lunch and a few pints. The covered patio seems to be the ideal seating selection when dining here. The food is standard, but the real jewel of the pub is its large draft selection and outdoor ambiance.

And the leaves aren’t the only thing worth checking out. The drive, if you choose the scenic route, takes you right past Keepsake Farm and Dairy where you can load up on eggs, meats and assorted other local goodies at the farm’s store. The farm is at 3286 Route 248, which is also called Pheasant Drive, in Lehigh Township. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.

There is also the Jim Thorpe Farmer’s Market, which runs on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon until Oct. 16, and a handful of local farmers sell veggies, eggs and meats.

If you’re hungry for local flavor, Flow Bar and Restaurant right on Broadway is Jim Thorpe’s answer to the farm and table movement. Flow offers seasonal menus in a unique setting. Visit them beforehand at www.thecccp.org.

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