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Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania: Pocono Ice Harvest

Annual event to saw up the ice pond into 300-lb. one ft. thick blocks for recreating the historical icehouse storage production operating since 1895. Event only held when cold enough.

646 Lakeside Dr., Tobyhanna, PA
Tobyhanna Millpond #1 Ice Harvest. East of Hwy 423, Maple St. to Lakeside Dr. Location approximate.
Jan Sa of MLK or Feb Sa of President's Weekend. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Free unless you ride the train-- then about $25-$30
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Ice Harvest.

Pocono Ice Harvest

Rather than drive to the mill pond, which started operating in 1895, we choose to add to the excitement by taking a train ride to the Pocono Ice Harvest. The hour-long train excursion offered beautiful winter scenery on the way to the train station in historic Tobyhanna. Tickets available through Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA (

At the station, we boarded school buses for the short ride to the mill pond. The ice was cut with a power saw and kids could help hand-saw the 300 pound, 1 foot thick ice chunks and separate them with the tools available. The ice was then guided to the horse drawn lift. The many volunteers were very friendly and helpful and offered stories of how the ice was used to preserve food in neighboring towns or carried by the railroads from the Pocono Mountains to the big cities.

The fresh cut ice is packed into the ice house which holds 50 tons. With 8-inch thick walls lined with sawdust, the ice keeps frozen for 10 months! Be prepared to dress warmly, as the harvest is only done if temperatures are cold enough. If you get a chill, the kids can warm by the bonfire, help make homemade ice cream or tour the boxcar with vintage equipment. Buses run all day, and there was a warm bus to sit in if you needed a rest.

The train station had food and hot drinks available for purchase or you can pack a lunch. There is no charge to attend the ice harvest, only the cost of the train ticket if you choose the excursion.

The harvest is either the Saturday of Martin Luther King weekend or the Saturday of President's weekend in Feb, depending on temperatures. Portable restrooms only!

[Susan W, 08/16/2011]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Ghost Monkey Candle ShopGhost Monkey Candle Shop, Swiftwater, PA - 7 mi.
Ice Cream Cone and CowIce Cream Cone and Cow, Greentown, PA - 12 mi.
Loch Ness - Lake Fred MonsterLoch Ness - Lake Fred Monster, Canadensis, PA - 11 mi.
In the region:
Joe Biden's Childhood Home, Scranton, PA - 21 mi.

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