Even though it’s been a rainy summer, I’m taking every opportunity I can to get outdoors. One of my favorite things to do, especially after a long day at work, is to hit the local hiking trails, particularly those with a water view. Since the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers cut through Lehigh Valley, there is no shortage of water views for my evening strolls.

This summer I’ve been making an effort to find the best trails in the area, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites in this four-part series.

As part of the Lehigh River Water Trail, the towpath at Sand Island (Bethlehem) extends for many miles, making it perfect for a long walk or bike ride. The trail is a well-maintained, gravel surface with views of the Lehigh River on one side and the canal on the other.

Located in the heart of Lehigh Valley you can follow the trail east towards Freemansburg, where you will pass through a recreation area, which offers basketball courts, tennis courts, a playground, public restrooms and a cultural center at the Ice House. Walk further and you’ll see Wind Creek Bethlehem across the river at the former site of Bethlehem Steel.

Venture westward for a more natural experience and keep an eye out for river otters, rainbow trout and an array of wild birds. The western end of the path is generally more serene; however, from time to time you’ll hear the whine of the rail cars passing through.

Check back next week for my second scenic trail recommendation.

This post was written by guest blogger Erika Liodice, who also writes the Journeys and Beyond the Gray blogs.