Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Seeing the Sights in Hawley

Hawley, Pennsylvania isn't a place that springs to mind when contemplating the Poconos, nonetheless it is worth a visit if you're headed that way. 

The small borough is situated at the northernmost end of Lake Wallenpupack in Wayne County and was founded in 1827 by Irad Hawley, the president of the Pennsylvania Coal Company during the days when coal was king.

My husband and I visited a few weeks ago for a short two-day getaway to enjoy the beauty of the area, from the waterfalls at the Ledges Hotel, to the art at the repurposed silk mill and the scenery at Lake Wallenpaupak.


The Settler's Inn, built in 1927
One of the first things you'll want to do while contemplating visiting the area is to select a place to stay. I can recommend both the Settlers Inn and the Ledges Hotel, both of which are conveniently located within minutes of various attractions.

Built in the 1920s as an Arts and Crafts Lodge, the Settlers Inn is situated on six acres of land surrounded by gardens and bordering the Lackawaxen River. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the award-winning, chef-owned farm-to-table restaurant and during the warmer months guests can grab a drink at a small bar around the corner from the check-in desk before strolling outside on the expansive deck. Once there, they can relax on the comfy chairs and take in a view of the elaborately landscaped grounds.

Later, guests can retire to their rooms and enjoy other amenities like jacuzzi tubs, microfiber robes, fireplaces and free internet.

A nearby sister property to the Settlers Inn is the newer Ledges Hotel, which features a stunning view of the river gorge falls, which guests can admire from their perch at the onsite bar and bistro known as "Glass."

Shots of the River Gorge Falls taken from the Ledges restaurant "Glass."

Guests relax at the bar inside "Glass."

Comfortably appointed rooms at Ledges feature local artwork and a sitting room in the main area also provides a view of the falls.

The sitting area also provides views of the falls.
Art, Retail and More
The Hawley Silk Mill is the largest bluestone building in the world.

Located adjacent to the Ledges Hotel is the Hawley Silk Mill. Built in 1880, the Mill has the distinction of being the largest bluestone building in the world. The former industrial site now houses Lackawanna College  and features a unique collection of shops, offering home decor, children's clothing, bath and body items, art, candles and gifts.

An artist's rendering of the silk mill hangs inside the building.

If you enjoy craft beer, be sure to head to the lower level of the silk mill where you'll find a nanobrewery called Hopping Eagle. Their lineup includes IPAs, Hefeweizen, Porters and even fruited beer, known as "sours," which are experiencing a spike in popularity in the United States.

Hopping Eagle Brewing Company is located on the lower level of the Hawley Silk Mill.

Before leaving the silk mill, be sure to visit the standalone building in front of the mill called "Cocoon Coffee House and Bakery." The cozy cafe was once home to the cocoons which supplied the silk for the mill. Today visitors can enjoy coffee crafted from custom-blended beans and pair that with pastries, sandwiches, soups, snacks and more.
The eatery known as "Cocoon."
Located just a mile away from the area is Lake Wallenpaupack, where you can hop on board a pontoon boat for a 50-minute cruise, during which you'll learn about the history of the region, along with details about the reservoir, which was created in 1926 by PPL for hydroelectric purposes.

Scenes along Lake Wallenpaupack.

If you're planning on visiting with a group, Lake Wallenpaupack Tours offers charters for groups of four or fewer on their Harris Sunliner Pontoon Boat. Charters come with a captain and prices start at $325.

Another attraction in Hawley that is fun for the entire family is Costa's Family Fun Park, which operates from mid-June through Labor Day and offers go-karts, batting cages, mini-golf, water slides, laser tag, bumper boats and more. 

Costa's Family Fun Park in Hawley features mini-golf and more.

Well that's about it, for now. This is what I call a "hit and run" excursion--a quick way to enjoy a short trip to another region for a change of scenery and a little fun as the summer begins winding down.