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Five Cool Places for a Walk

I think–and I’m crossing my fingers here–we’re finished with snow. Put on your walking shoes and breathe in some fresh air.

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by Carrie Havranek

Do you hear those birds? Can you see grass? It’s March, which means it’s time to take a walk. The going may be muddy, but hopefully not snowy.  Here are five cool places for taking a walk.

1. Bushkill Creek, Easton/Palmer/Tatamy. You can access this pathway at a number of places–in downtown Tatamy, from Bushkill Drive in Easton, from Penn Pump Park in Palmer. Any way you do, it’s a nice way to walk; the terrain varies a bit, and so does the view, passing along private property and through wooded areas.

2. Delaware River Canal Tow Path. Drive  down 611 South, from Easton. You’ll find a handful of little pull-over spots to park the car and hop on the path. Watch out for geese; they can be kind of cranky.

3. Sand Island, Bethlehem. You’ve been here before, I bet, for one of the city’s many festivals (Musik, Celtic, etc.), but have you ever wandered around here without the crowds of people? Biking and walking trails await you here, just paces from downtown Bethlehem.

4. Trexler Park, Allentown. There are 2,000 acres of open space in the Allentown Parks and Recreation system, and plenty of places to go walking. In fact, the Friends of Allentown Parks have put together a series of Discovery Walks for the spring, starting in late April. In the meantime, put on your sneakers or grab your dog leash—this park in west Allentown off Springhouse Road  is popular with both.

5. Wildlands Conservancy. This organization has been a leader in the Valley for 35 years in efforts to preserve our natural resources, including the Lehigh River Water Trail. Since it’s probably a bit too cold to hop on a canoe (although maybe some would), the organization has posted several River-to-Canal Loop maps for places such as Hugh Moore Park, Allentown to Bethlehem, Weissport and Walnutport.

Where do you like to walk? Talk back; tell us!

Carrie Havranek is a writer in Easton who loves walking with her twin two-year-old boys because one of them takes off at full speed, to see what’s ahead and the other stops and picks up every rock, stick, and leaf along the way.

 

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14 Responses

03.03.11

Huh? The AT runs through the northern rim of the Valley (albeit by a few meters) and isn’t even mentioned? Jacobsburg as well isn’t listed either. Both are far superior trails to most if not all you listed.

Gollub park, IMO, is also a better choice than some on the list as is trails as are trails in the Martins Creek Land Management Area.

03.03.11

Since we’re just coming out of winter, some of us need some more beginner terrain! But I think your suggestions are great and can maybe be part of another post– 5 Cool Places to Take a Hike. One of the challenges of these posts is that there are only 5 spots. We do the best we can here and are always open to suggestions and criticism, so thank you.

03.03.11

Anon, I didn’t mention Jacobsburg because I wanted to vary the list (I know and love and often include Jacobsburg in my lists) and talk about simple walks. This is more about walking than hiking, as Laini mentioned. However, Gollub Park is wonderful for walking, especially because at the end you get to the cliff. I forgot about that one. Thanks for sharing it/reminding us. We’ll do one for hiking when the weather gets warmer, and don’t worry: I have muddy hiking shoes to vouch for my love of it.

03.03.11

Since Laini asked: A “hike” to me connotes rocky terrain, special shoes, bringing water, mosquito repellent, etc.
A “walk” could be a five-minute spin around the block.
(To put it another way: You hike the Appalachian Trail; you don’t walk it.)
But that’s just my interpretation.

I like to take long walks on the Delaware & Lehigh Rail Trail, esp. heading north from Slatington, and on the Ironton Rail Trail.

03.03.11

I think there is a difference between a hike and a walk. I walk my dog every day. That’s a low-key pavement pounding, usually around some sort of urban loop. I gear up for a hike, which, for me, usually includes a destination with some sort of payoff and is almost always out in the woods, field, etc. I generally plan to make a day of it and take a backpack.

03.03.11

I agree with Kurt. Although, I have been wearing my hiking boots to walk the dog around the neighborhood. I’m going to have to think about the implications of that 🙂

03.03.11

Mike & Kurt are correct. I like to take both to breathe in the fresh air – but a hike is in the woods on non-man made surface & longer than walks – enjoying the sound of nature/silence/no cars. Stokes forest in NJ is another one of my fav spots to hike that is not far from the LV, plus they have a ground spring there which is a neat attraction that brings an interesting bunch of people. http://www.juicingart.com/ for a video of the spring.

03.03.11

Thank you everyone for your comments. I think a hike is any walk where I need to focus more on where I’m putting my foot next than on breathing. I’m not super coordinated.

03.03.11

A hike is almost always preferred, in my books, for the reasons Bret mentions. Practically speaking I take more walks than hikes these days as my usual walking partners have small legs that tire easily (toddlers, not dogs, although the similarities between them are striking–that’s another story). However, we plan on fully indoctrinating them to hiking once they are a little bigger and have more stamina.

Also, another difference between hikes and walks? Hikes require snacks. Incidentally, this is another reason why I like hikes.

03.03.11

RE: The AT in the Wind Gap area. I have never hiked this specific stretch, but I have been told by several experienced hikers and outdoorsy-types that this is one of the toughest stretches of trail on the AT.

03.03.11

My favorite ‘walk’ is a walk around downtown. It’s really the only way to see the new businesses and soak up the local color. And for my husband and I, often it becomes a walk down memory lane. Also, not having the stamina of our youth, a downtown walk allows for a coffee or a beer anytime the mood strikes.

03.03.11

Janis, I am totally with you on this. Downtown walks are underrated! There are many walks for many occasions, as the comments to this story have indicated.

[…] this is where I live. But as the weather gets nicer, I’m going to make it a point to walk in lots of different places. I’ll go back to ones I haven’t walked in a while, but love, like Sand Island in […]

03.03.11

Almost all of your links for Five Cool Places for a Walk are dead FYI…

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