US Highway 6 in the Poconos
If you’re looking for a great, off-the-beaten-track road trip, look no further than US 6 in the Poconos. This throwback in time is authentic, explore-worthy and scenic. Surely over the years loads of tourists have used the highway as a transportation link. Today, this forgotten highway is worth exploring as it represents a bit of a trip to the past and the highway itself has become the destination.
We were coming up Route 209 from Bushkill Falls (something you can’t miss if in the area) and linked up with US Highway 6 at Milford. Milford is a great little town and one that was surprisingly well kept and pleasant. It did have some odd parking restrictions that I now recall as I write this but nothing that prevented us from parking and walking the town.
Where can you find a great Italian market in the Poconos? Well, don’t let the chain coffee store or auto parts store on the main road try to fool you – the town of Milford is well worth exploring despite not having unique shops on the Highway 6 through town. We eventually found a great Italian market with Fretta’s, a small but excellent place to shop for food on the main side street in the town. We definitely bought our share. Don’t expect a large market – this place is small, neighborhood or small town scale and is incredible for being just what it is. This is the type of place that, when you find it in your travels, makes the journey that much better simply because it exists.
This is the county seat of Pike County. I felt immediately comfortable here for some reason that later when I started looking in my family tree, I realized my great grandparents were here at some point as one of their children was born in Milford. I am not sure how these feelings work or what science they are based on, if any, but I do think there is something to genetic memory whether it is tied to DNA or an aura or something else we haven’t discovered yet.
Anyway, back to traveling. Route 6 continues through beautiful country and past a lot of interesting places. You’re exploring so stop and do some exploring wherever you want. There’s no shortage of scenery, shops and interesting places. The next major area you get to is going to be Lake Wallenpaupack. There’s lots to do here and plenty to see. There’s camping as well. It is a well-developed area for tourists and, like much of the area, a bit of a throw back to a different time – which is why it is so appealing!
Past this is Hawley, another small town well worth experiencing. It has a diner and a general store and is the kind of place you wish you could just land and spend a few days relaxing. You’ll come up to White Mills and eventually to Honesdale. Honesdale itself is a small town but compared to the ones you’ve just driven through it is the big town of the region.
Honesdale is one of those towns that is loaded with potential and opportunity from a tourism perspective. On the northbound trip through the town, you don’t pass through the best of shops and urban scenery. But the potential is there. The town’s southbound section of US 6 is a bit better and has much more in terms of shops so be sure to circle down the southbound part of US 6 in Honesdale. Hopefully one day the town will figure out how to attract more tourists and really become a destination as it has a good foundation already.
Continue your journey along US 6 and you’ll pass through Waymart. Unfortunately, the route mostly by-passes the small town so you can deviate here and do a quick tour around or get out and explore some more. You have the option to visit Carbondale or join up with the Lackawana Valley Highway which we did and headed toward Scranton. You could also take Business Route 6 and really explore your way down to Scranton which is what I would have preferred to do but we didn’t have the time.
There are plenty of campgrounds in this area so you are well set. We stayed at the Ponderosa Pines Campground near Honesdale and found it wonderful. So happy travels and enjoy the journey like we did.
RV Road Trip Note:
This is part of the series of blog posts on a fourteen day road trip from St. Petersburg, Florida to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania with stops along the way north and south with no real planned itinerary. We did this trip in our 30 foot class A motorhome in late July/early August with two bicycles strapped to the back. We traveled up here from Delaware Water Gap and were headed out on US Route 6 to visit the Poconos with our destinations being Scranton and Hazleton.