We hear it all the time, everyone should walk at least 10,000 steps per day to stay healthy. Well here in Lehigh Valley, there are plenty of places to "get to stepping" so you'll never be bored taking the same route.
Walking is such a great form of exercise. It can be done by just about anyone, young and old alike. Even your dog can join you in most places. It doesn't require any super special equipment either. Just a comfortable pair of shoes, although some trails recommend sturdy hiking shoes for safety. Pay attention when they do, you don't want to slip and fall out there.
If you want to start out easy check out any portion of the D&L Trail which runs on the canal paths along the Delaware and Lehigh rivers as its name implies. Most of the trails are flat and you couldn't find a more peaceful setting.
Make your adventure a learning experience by following Historic Bethlehem Museum & Sites Heritage Trail. For just $12 you can download the audio tour to your smartphone or iPod and learn all about the history of over 80 different sites.
There are plenty of challenging courses for the more serious hikers out there. For example, South Mountain Gateway Trail in Emmaus has offshoots from the main path where you can find all sorts of terrain and natural attractions. And don't forget Hawk Mountain in Kempton. They have challenging rocky trails that reward you with spectacular views as well as a new handicapped accessible trail suitable for wheelchairs or walkers as well as strollers. Plenty of benches line the gently sloped trail, too, for those who need to take a break.
For even more picturesque walks, check out some of the several rails-to-trails paths in the valley. There's the Asher F. Boyer Trail between Northampton and Slatington, the Towpath Bike Trail in Palmer Township, the Ironton Rail Trail which runs through Whitehall, Coplay, and North Whitehall, and the Nor-Bath Trail between Bath and Northampton.
Make sure you enjoy your exercise by following some basic rules. Bring water, and enough for your entire outing. Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate shoes or boots. And don't forget to wear a hat and sunscreen so you don't get over exposed. And, as with any form of exercise, start slow and build yourself up. Your heart, brain and bones will be glad you did!