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Five Cool Places to Experience Nature In and Around the Lehigh Valley

Rocks, flowers, hawks, farms, Celtic megaliths: the Lehigh Valley has it all.

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by Carrie Havranek

If it ever stops raining, here are five cool places in the greater Lehigh Valley where you can experience all that nature has to offer. We’ve got some unusual, special, and just plain cool things around hereโ€”don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Ringing Rocks, Upper Black Eddy. This place, ahem, rocks. Make sure you pack a hammer (or three) in the car. This enormous rock field, down 611 about 20 minutes from Easton, is an enormous playground for kids and adults alike. Clamber over the rocks and strike them over and over and listen to them ring, ring, ring. The waterfall in the park (pictured above) is also the largest in Bucks County.ย Ringing Rocks Park, Upper Black Eddy; 215-348-6114.

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, New Hope. More than 800 species of native plants call this 134-acre preserve their home. You can visit and wander the grounds, or come for a guided walk or talk and other events; plan your visit based on what’s blooming. June promises mountain laurel, magnolia, prickly pear cactus and more. 1635 River Road, New Hope; 215-862-2924.

Hawk Mountain, Kempton. Those who loves birds should make a road trip to this sanctuary for birds of prey, the first of its kind. While you’re walking the eight miles of trails, you may spot hawks, eagles and falcons here. And don’t worry, there are plenty of open spaces for scenic, panoramic vistas to watch the birds dance in the air. 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton; 610-756-6961.

Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm, Stroudsburg. Want to see the new baby farm animals? Quiet Valley doesn’t open for the season, technically, until June, but during the weekends of May 21-22 and May 28-29, it’s holding its 23rd annual farm frolic, perfect for the entire family. 1000 Turkey Hill Road, Stroudsburg; 570-992-6161.

Columcille Megalith Park, Bangor. You can drive up here just about anytime but you must respect the place’s splendor. The whole point is to observe silence and nature. It is a meditative kind of place, and its Celtic-pagan roots show during celebrations welcoming the seasonal changes (i.e., solstices and equinoxes). 2155 Fox Gap Road, Bangor; 610-588-1174.

Carrie Havranek is a writer in Easton who is experiencing nature every day, tending to her plot at Lafayette College’s Organic Garden in Forks.

Photo of Ringing Rocks courtesy of Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.

 

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7 Responses

05.19.11

A great list, but don’t forget about Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/jacobsburg.aspx

05.19.11

Jacobsburg is indeed great. I’ve written about it many times before, which is why I wanted to do a list of different things in “nature,” sort of taking a broad definition here. ๐Ÿ™‚

05.19.11

“Pagan” roots? But the place is named for one of the most famous of all Irish Christian saints!

Anyway, having been a pilgrim once upon a time to the original Iona, I imagine I should check this place out and see just how pagan it is. ๐Ÿ™‚

05.19.11

My comment about pagans was hyphenated (Celtic-pagan) and in reference to the celebration of the turn of seasons–solstice, equinox, etc. That’s cool about Iona, though! Columcille is a beautiful spot that many people probably don’t know about. It’s really serene and special. Tell us what you think once you go! Hope you enjoy it.

05.19.11

Hey, Carrie – I’m surprised that in writing about cool places in the Lehigh Valley to experience nature, you omitted any mention of Lost River Caverns in Hellertown. It’s one of the better choices for respite from the oppressive heat of 90+ degree days, as well as educational and interesting for folks of all ages. Plus, you can follow up with a stop at Vassi’s for some great soft ice cream afterward.

05.19.11

Mark–I love that place, too. I am saving it for another post…… Thanks for your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

05.19.11

Your Comments

Great coverage! Thinking about going to Ringing Rocks today..

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