On the Water in Lehigh Valley

Explore Lehigh Valley’s waterways, and reconnect with Mother Nature. Glide your way through Lehigh Valley’s numerous waterways or raft the class II/III whitewater rapids on the Lehigh River with Pocono Whitewater. Drift lazily down the Delaware River for three hours with Twin Rivers Tubing in a tube, watching the scenic banks go by. 

Paddlers can rent and launch kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, and stand-up paddleboards on to the 117-acre, 50-foot deep Leaser Lake, named for Frederick Leaser, who transported the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown during the Revolutionary War. Craft your skill at L.L. Bean’s Discovery School.

If a scheduled tour with an outfitter isn’t your style, there are many access points throughout the region where you can take out your boat, and explore on your own. Access the Lehigh River at Lehigh Gap. A put-in known as “The Ledges” is a short but fun stretch of water with lots of places to practice surfing; full whitewater equipment required. The Allentown Canal Park is a good place to do an easy loop of the Lehigh, drifting down to Bethlehem and then paddling back on the canal. The Delaware Canal State Park will get you on the Delaware River or on Giving Pond, a 90-acre body of water that used to be a sand and gravel quarry. Today it's a recreation area to enjoy kayaks and paddleboards, fishing, and birding.

Yet, sometimes it's the water view you're after. With 200 acres of woodland, Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary is a little-known nature preserve offering three to six miles of hiking—some challenging—through the lush forests Pennsylvania is famous for. Hike the River Lookout Trail to a towering view at 300 feet above the Delaware Canal and the Delaware River.

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