Occasionally you’ll hear someone describe a place as being, “As pretty as a postcard.” That certainly could be said of Honesdale in the Poconos. The vintage postcard you see here captures some of the charm that’s made Honesdale, PA a favorite destination for many years. The town offers a wonderful mixture of beautiful scenery, fascinating history, and modern conveniences and amenities.
In August of 1829, Honesdale was home to the Stourbridge Lion—the first commercial steam locomotive to run on rails in the United States. The train began its route in Honesdale; ran three miles to Seelyville; and then returned to Honesdale. The town is therefore known as the birthplace of the American Railroad.
The Wayne County Historical Society Museum in town contains a full-scale replica of the Stourbridge Lion along with many historical photographs, artifacts, and other exhibits. You can even recreate the route of the Stourbridge Lion. The Delaware Lackawaxen & Stourbridge Railroad Company operates The Stourbridge Line Rail Excursions that depart from the platform at the Wayne County Visitors Center. There are excursions that run on Presidents Day Weekend and Easter. There is also a full schedule that runs from May through October, in addition to special holiday trips in November and December.
During the coal-mining days of the nineteenth century, Honesdale was also the starting point of the Delaware and Hudson Canal, which enabled the transport of coal to Kingston, New York, and then down the Hudson River to New York City.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Of course, there's much more to Honesdale than just history. The area around Honesdale offers many parks, hiking and biking paths, and waterways. You can hike, bike, boat, raft, fish, or do some serious bird watching in the midst of beautiful Poconos scenery. Click here for details about outdoor adventures in the area.
There are plenty of quirky and unusual shops in Honesdale. If you like discovering things that you simply won’t find in run-of-the-mill department stores, you might enjoy checking out Milkweed at 1019 Main Street in Honesdale. They have a great supply of quality, unusual gifts. Check out their Facebook page for more information! If you have a hankering for incredible coffee and/or chocolate, you’ll want to explore the offerings at Moca Origins!
If you’re hungry for a great meal in the “farm-to-table” style, you’ll want to check out Dyberry Forks restaurant (Dyberry Forks, by the way, was the town’s name before it became Honesdale). Or if you’re looking for a quick bite, you can check out Elegante Restaurant & Pizzeria or Fiesta on Main.
The Fun Doesn’t Stop When the Weather Turns Cold
Honesdale is a town for all seasons. In fact, the town’s snowy scenery was the inspiration for the popular holiday tune, Winter Wonderland. When the weather turns wintery, the area is great for snow sports such as sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Winter is also great for bird watching. In fact, the peak time to catch a glimpse of an eagle along the Lackawaxen River is in January and February.
Honesdale may be a small town (with a population of around 4,500) but it’s big on great scenery and fun. It’s part of what makes the Poconos such a great place to live.