Crossroads of the Pocono Mountains
An inside look at the mountainous four-county Pocono Region
Crossroads of the Pocono Mountains is a three-part original documentary series produced by WVIA that explores many of the region’s vacation destinations, examines its history and considers what the future may hold for Monroe, Carbon, Pike and Wayne Counties. Produces for multiple broadcasts starting in the spring of 2008, this series celebrates and preserves a historic and attractive area that welcomes and inspires visitors, draws new and diverse residents, and offers many opportunities to learn and succeed. However, with expanding growth comes the potential to diminish the qualities that imbue the Pocono’s international reputation. The region is at a crossroad and it is time to assess.
The four counties that comprise the Pocono Region are each unique in their offerings. Whether you are looking for a quiet escape for two or an action packed family getaway, the Pocono Mountains are a vacation hotspot.
Monroe county is the eastern getaway to the Pocono’s and is the most heavily populated of the four counties. It is home to Pocono International Raceway, Sanofi Pasteur, Mount Airy Casino Resort, East Stroudsburg University, three major ski areas, a portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and the county seat of Stroudsburg.
The Lenni Lenape Indians migrated to this region from lands west of the Mississippi. Their simple life led them to settle along the Delaware River where plants, game and fresh water were all readily available. The same features that made the upper Delaware River attractive to the Indians also drew European settlers to the area that purchased land, built homes and established townships.
Monroe County flourished as a saw mill and tannery industry. To keep up with the growing industries, road systems were improved to coincide with the boats and rafts on the Delaware River, used for transporting raw material and finished hides.
Once the county opened to travelers, hotels, inns, taverns and the railroad quickly appeared to serve and transport them. These travelers enjoyed the mountainous countryside and fresh air.
Carbon, Pike and Wayne Counties each have their own unique histories and attractions as well. Visitors enjoy Carbon County’s historic Jim Thorpe and the Caesar’s Couples Resorts. Pike County’s original settlements and attractions such as Pinchot Falls, and Wayne County’s Stourbridge Lion Visitor’s Center and Lake Wallenpaupack. Other resorts, state parks, performing arts centers and golf courses are abundant in this region. Located nearly equidistant from both New York City and Philadelphia, the Pocono Region continues to host millions of visitors.
But this visitor’s paradise is not without struggle. Just as Manifest Destiny drove Europeans into the Pocono Region when it was originally settled, there is now a new influx of visitors and residents alike flooding the area, whether for a county retreat, property ownership, or the search for the quieter life. The leather tanneries and sawmill companies of the 19th Century went out of business because they used up their resources in the area. Could constant growth and building put the Pocono Region in danger of losing its green space and natural appeal?
The series focuses on each of the four counties. The first hour of the series features Monroe County, the second hour features Carbon County and the third hour features Pike and Wayne Counties.
Through original cinematography and interviews with residents and business owners throughout these counties, stories of the area’s rich history are complemented with insights into current trends and aspirations for the future.
The production highlights not only the popular recreation and historical areas, but also efforts to welcome diversity and maintain green space as the region move into the future. Living ‘green’ has become a popular international trend, but is especially important to the Pocono’s because this management and lifestyle model has a critical impact on the region’s tourist industry.
Monroe County is the first documentary produces in the series. Segments explore attractions such as Pocono Manor, Skytop Lodge, Camelback and Camelbeach and Mount Airy Casino Resort.
The documentary also visits Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond, which becomes one of the largest ‘cities’ in the nation during two of the major annual races: the Pocono 500 and the Pennsylvania 500. It also features the county’s two largest employers, Sanofi Pasteur and Tobyhanna Army Depot as well as one of the region’s leading learning institutions – East Stroudsburg University. Stories of Carbon, Pike and Wayne counties follow in a similar presentation style.
Monroe, Carbon, Pike and Wayne Counties have rich histories and for over a century have remained popular tourist destinations. Crossroads of the Pocono Mountains highlights the region’s cultural and natural attractions and provides a contemporary perspective on its future. This three-part original series maintains WVIA’s mission to serve the community with distinguished local programming by promoting each county in the Pocono Region, and providing an educational tour of one of the fastest growing areas in Pennsylvania.