POCONO OUTDOOR ADVENTURE TOURS – UTV TOURS OF THE POCONO MOUNTAINS
Written By: Chrissi Wolosz
This would not be my first time in an off-road vehicle, but this was for sure the first time getting behind the wheel of one. For the novice, like myself, I was nervous and intimated for a UTV experience but here we go!
Pocono Outdoor Adventure Tours is simple to find and open all year round! It is less than 5 miles off I-80 and conveniently right next to the Pocono Raceway Ticket Office building. Off of Long Pond Road, turn right into the Pocono Raceway parking lot and Pocono Outdoor Adventure is the last building (you’ll usually see UTV’s lined up at the end of the parking lot). The staff here is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful with every step of the process. Prior to your excursion, you can expect to fill out waivers and take part in a quick briefing on how to operate the UTV’s, the safety measures that should be taken and of course – the fun you’re guaranteed to have! (Note: you must arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled tour time to complete the required waivers and briefing.)
For the first time on the tour, I invited 3 friends to experience this adventure with. Pocono Outdoor Adventure has two selections of UTV’s to choose from – two-seater UTV’s and four-seater UTV’s. Whether you are riding solo, with a partner or wanting to bring the family out, there are options for everyone! Kids as young as 5-years old are permitted to ride as well. UTV Tours are a HIT in the Pocono Mountains therefore book a tour online a few days in advance easily on their website. Additional information on pricing/deals, reservations and policies can also be found on their website HERE.
You may be wondering what you need for the tour. The staff provides clear glasses to protect your eyes from dirt and the wind, but you have the option to wear your own as well. Regardless, you will be grateful you wore them. Be sure to check the weather in Long Pond, PA before you get there. Like anywhere else you go, dress according to the weather and do not wear your nice clothes – you will get dirty. That is the best part of the whole experience! Some people also recommend wearing a face covering (bandana, scarf, gaiter) to block the dirt from your face and your mouth. If you don’t bring one, keep your mouth closed or you’ll find out the hard way like I did.
The tour begins passing the Gate 1 Tunnel entrance of Pocono Raceway and continuing by crossing Long pond Rd. The back-wood adventure begins! Like I said, being a novice to driving a UTV and driving alone was a bit scary. But within the first few minutes I got the hang of the vehicle and was extremely comfortable behind the wheel. On the first half of the tour, the trails are primarily flat, spacious and easy to handle. Until you get to the Challenge Course! No worries, I was intimated by the name too and thought I could not do it. This is where I truly learned the abilities of a UTV. UTV’s are a fearless vehicle that can handle any type of terrain, so I figured I had to be a fearless driver to get the best experience! The course is exhilarating – speeding through the corners, nose diving into water, conquering the steep hills – it was great! My confidence in myself and the vehicle were officially reached at this point.
The second half of the tour included rollercoaster-like trails and shows off more unique sites of the NASCAR track, Pocono Raceway. Be sure to bring your cameras – your guide will offer a photo-op stop along the way! Sites we saw included the race car graveyard, the Pocono Raceway iconic Grandstands from a view not seen by the fans, the backside of Pocono Raceway’s Turn 1 and Long Pond straightaway (another part of the 2.5-mile NASCAR track) and you cannot forget the possible site of Pocono Mountain wildlife.
The whole tour lasted about an hour and every minute was a thrill! If you are looking for something to do while visiting the Pocono Mountains, a UTV tour at Pocono Outdoor Adventure is a must! You WILL get dirty but most importantly, you will have a memorable time riding on trails of the beautiful Pocono Mountains.
Top 5 key-points from the tour:
- *A MUST* Arrive Early – you have to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled tour to complete the required waivers and briefing
- Eyewear is Important – blocks the wind and dirt
- Check the Weather – may want to consider weather appropriate apparel & wear something you’re okay with getting dirty
- Wear a Face Covering or Keep Your Mouth Closed – keeps dirt off your face and mouth
- Be Fearless, Be Safe, Have Fun!