Fall Weekend Trip Idea: ATV’s and Craft Brews in NEPA

I was doing a little bit of a mini northern tier tour last weekend with my dad. He got a mid-life crisis BMW convertible so we took it up north to the Orson Inn and Lakewood Lodge where we got some wings. We were on the same barhopping schedule as a group of guys ATVing (or “four wheeling”/”quadding”, as we say up in NEPA) and got into a conversation about how we (or I, rather) would enjoy going out ATVing, and think it’d be a great activity to pair up with some brews, but would not feel safe going from bar to bar in a vehicle that has neither sides nor a roof.

I somehow managed to grow up in Northeastern PA without having every been on an ATV, until three years ago on a guy’s weekend out in Pittsburgh. We did what was called a Mines and Meadows tour, ATVing through a Northwestern PA ATV park that contained a series of old limestone mines. The mines were initially what was the draw, but I ended up liking the ATVing in general and thought it was a perfect way to spend an afternoon with some friends.

Fast forward to this weekend, when I was doing some work on the project I mentioned in Monday’s post and stumbled across the Lost Trails ATV park right here in NEPA. The park is located just north of Scranton in Dunmore and is not only somewhere ATV aficionados gather, but also offers guided tours for $90.00 (which might initially seem expensive, but is actually quite reasonable for any tour where some sort of motorized vehicle is involved (especially since it is guided). The website says they focus on making sure you’re not just on a flat path, but climbing hills/mountains, fording streams, going through mud pits, and experiencing awesome views. As soon as I found this, I knew I wanted to make it a “weekend trip idea.”

Since those in NEPA who frequently ATV usually pair it with some libations, I figured I’d do the same, and since this is an idea for a weekend getaway, and not just your average weekend, it seems right to class it up a bit and not go for the usual post-activity Coors/Miller light drafts. Grab a hotel room in Scranton for the night (there are several hotels in Dunmore, but I’m assuming you’ll want to go out and this will eliminate the need for cabs)- I’d suggest the Hilton, as it’s right downtown and there’s a pool and hot tub on hand if it was a  particularly cold/muddy day. After relaxing for  a bit, and showering all the mud off of yourself (you will get dirty), embark on a little NEPA craft beer tour. The ATV tours run in the morning/early afternoon, which is the perfect timing for doing this.

I’d head down to Pittston and Plains, about 15-20 minutes south of Scranton on 81. In Pittston you’ll find Susquehanna Brewing, while Plains is home to Breaker Brewing Company. Both have tap rooms so you could sample to your hearts content. Three Guys and a Beerd is brewed up in Carbondale and doesn’t have a tasting room, but is served at both Cooper’s and Backyard Alehouse for when you’re back in Scranton, which you probably want to be after going to two breweries. Check out my Scranton bar recommendations here, if you’re not too tuckered out by this point.

Enjoying a Susquehanna Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale at Elk's summit last week at sunset; might be the definition of L-I-V-I-N.

Enjoying a Susquehanna Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale at Elk’s summit recently.

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