Keith Dorney

Keith Dorney Detroit Lions

My favorite Lehigh Valley discovery is ‘Macungie Mountain’ even though, technically, isn’t really a mountain.

“According to the U.S. Geological Survey, to qualify as a mountain, it would have to stand 2,000 feet above sea level. ‘Macungie Mountain’ stands just over 500 feet. Not even close. But that’s what everyone I ever knew in town called it. ‘Macungie Hill’ just doesn’t sound right.

This was my playground growing up forty-odd years ago. Through my backyard, underneath the walnut tree, across Chestnut Street, through the baseball diamond adjacent to the firehouse, across the little-used Cotton Street, and there it was, looming in front of me like Everest, challenging, beckoning, calling to me.

Oak, beech, maple, pine, and willows spill down off the hillside and down both sides of the creek. Adjacent the water lie vast meadows, which are alive with life and surprises in the spring and summer. Autumn brings a thousand colors, winter a still and stately calm.

You can enjoy the smells, sounds, and solitude of my old haunts, thanks in part to the generosity of Frederick Kalmbach, a German immigrant who like me cherished(s) Macungie. He donated his beloved property out of his devotion to keep wild, unspoiled surroundings that ‘reveal the omnipotence of our Creator,’ as Mr. Kalmbach put it himself. Then there are the many friends of the park, the volunteers, who have carried out his wishes so thoughtfully.

The fruit of their labor is known as Kalmbach Memorial Park. Enjoy the maintained walking and hiking paths. Take in an educational program at the circa 1850 restored barn. Enjoy the beauty and solitude seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

So get up, go outside, get your bearings, and head toward ‘Macungie Mountain.’ You can’t miss it.”