As the official start of Fall 2016 rolled in, Brian had an upcoming work conference scheduled in the Pocono Mountains of Eastern PA. During that same week I happened to have a lot of writing and projects coming up and figured I could use a little inspiring quiet space to get things done. That's where a stay at Ledges Hotel came in. Ledges is a historic boutique hotel in the Pocono Mountain town of Hawley PA located just 2 hours from NYC.
To be honest, Brian and I only found this little spot while searching for places to stay within a few miles of the conference. When we saw the photos online, we were pretty intrigued by Ledges Hotel's setting overlooking unique 'ledgy' little waterfalls. Just as the name implies, the hotel is adjacent to streams of trickling water sprinkled throughout the large rock ledges nearby. The hotel's building itself is almost wedged between the large rocks. Decidedly a rare sight in any region, let alone one so close to our home-base, we had an 'I have see that' moment. We weren't totally sure what to expect, but we got on the phone and booked our stay. The person on the other end of the line was very friendly, charming and helpful.
About the Area - Hawley PA
Hawley, PA is in the Pocono Mountains. Throughout the Pennsylvania / New Jersey region the Pocono Mountains are a popular getaway. Much of the 2,964 sq. mile region is fairly quiet, wooded, and filled with lakes for recreation. However, if you're familiar with the region but haven't been to the Poconos in a while, images of fishing, hunting, family campfires, 4-wheeling, and those giant champagne glass honeymoon suites that were popular in the 90's might first come to mind. Yes you can still do all of those things in the Poconos. However, if you're looking for a more chic boutique-style getaway completely sans 'camp-in-the-woods' theme, Ledges is good news for you. In fact, the town of Hawley PA in which Ledges is located aims to please visitors with artful and upscale activities and dining.
The History & The Falls
During our stay we learned that other accommodations in the area managed by the owners of Ledges include The Settler's Inn and Silver Birches. One of the highlights of each of these properties is how tastefully done the interiors and exteriors are. They are historically sensitive and artful. As it turns out, Ledges was created within a historic glass factory that once used the power of the falls in manufacturing operations. If you visit, don't forget to read up on the fascinating story of Hawley glass and how the Paupack High falls (next to Ledges) came to be what they are today. Once a raging unified body of water, the falls changed their shape when a dam was created upriver to create Lake Wallenpaupack. The separated streams of falling water that you see today are less intense, but still uniquely picturesque. Note that they are most visible after a good rain.
We were fortunate to have arrived on an evening where rain was in the forecast the next morning. While we arrived to visible, but light falls, we woke up to a what after or during a rain is a very audibly relaxing and flowing sight. Some rooms do not have an immediate view of the falls (check while booking), however there are several decks to choose from for fall-viewing sitting outside. These nicely designed decks along with the watered rock ledges make Ledges a popular spot for weddings and parties.
Where to Eat + A Small Precaution
Do note that part of the charm of the old country mountain town of Hawley is that it is well, small and relatively quiet, especially in the off-season (Fall, Winter). As such, restaurants tend to close early and only open on certain days. Be sure to have a plan for food during your stay. Glass, the unique restaurant in the basement of Ledges is open select days and hours (check website or give a quick call for hours). Glass has small plates with a focus on tasty local foods. (By the way there are super-cute pet fish in the restaurant fish tank). We can also recommend Raven and Robin for great Italian food in town. One of the other most recommended places to eat is Settlers Inn, a farm-to-table restaurant, but they happened to be closed during our stay.
Any restaurant in town is just a short (less than 5-minute) drive form the hotel, but will not be walk-able to many (fairly steep hills and a few mile distance). If you're going for walkable, you might try Cocoon Coffee House (check for hours). Just get ready for a walk up a very steep (but short) hill! My favorite treat at Ledges may just have been the local truffles that came with the room. They were also available for sale at the desk. If you're a chocolate fan, ask about them. Highly recommended.
Although business is what happened to bring us on our Ledges / Hawley PA Poconos trip, we can see ourselves staying at Ledges again when scheduled to visit the area. For a Poconos stay Ledges is probably most our style. It's a unique place to enjoy modern comforts after a day of working, hiking, or exploring the nature, wildlife and history in the region.
Other Things You can See and Do in Hawley PA in the Pocono Mountains
- Visit The Hawley Silk Mill: This building adjacent to Ledges is another great historic restoration and a popular site to see in the area. It houses local crafts, town visitor information, boutique shops, light-groceries and a fitness center.
- Relax, wine, or dine by the falls (a nice spot for writing, journaling etc.)
- Have coffee at Cocoon Coffee House & (features free wi-fi & Gently Worn Words book store in-house)
- Lounge in your room or in the lobby with a book or the hotel wi-fi
- Visit the Spa at Woodloch. This spa is located just about 15 miles from Ledges.
- Check out Poconos hiking trails
- Visit or boat at Lake Wallenpaupak
- Visit Glass or one of the other farm-to-table restaurants in the region