The Bethlehem Star glows at night atop of South Mountain. The Bethlehem Star hike is one of many hiking trails in the Lehigh Valley to enjoy during quarantine. (Courtesy of Eric Adams)

Hiking trails in the Lehigh Valley


Students still on campus and those returning in the summer or fall are not limited to the hike from Maginnes Hall to Drown Hall as a means of exercise. Here are some hiking and walking trails in the Lehigh Valley to explore, during the era of social distancing or after. 


Bethlehem Star Tower

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.6 miles away from E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library 

Hike to the iconic Bethlehem Star at the top of South Mountain. Enjoy the view of the North and South sides of Bethlehem. A perfect short and easy hike to get some fresh air and visit the local landmark.


South Bethlehem Greenway

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: Less than a mile from E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library

The South Bethlehem Greenway is 4.7 miles long and is perfect for walking, running, roller blading, biking and taking pets for a walk. The paved trail follows the former Bethlehem-Philadelphia rail corridor. The South Bethlehem Greenway begins at the intersection of Route 412 and the Minsi Trail Bridge on the South Side, and ends near Lynne Avenue. There is easy access from Taylor Street.


D&L Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: Less than a mile from E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (known as the D&L Trail) is a 165-mile path following the Lehigh and Delaware rivers. It runs through the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania and passes through the Lehigh Valley. The section in Bethlehem along the Lehigh River (across from the SteelStacks) is called the Sand Island Trailhead — it’s a smooth, dirt trail perfect for walking and running. If coming from the South Side, walk onto either Fahy Memorial Bridge or Minsi Trail Bridge and go down the stairs to access the path.  


Dorothy Rider Pool Wildlife Sanctuary 

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 12 miles from E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library

With over 77 acres, seven trails and 2.6 miles of hiking, the beautiful sanctuary is immersed in nature. The trails are perfect for pet owners, runners, birdwatchers and other passive recreation. Dorothy Rider Pool Wildlife Sanctuary provides habitat for 136 bird species including the bald eagle, Baltimore oriole and great horned owl. Other species including white-tailed deer, red fox, Canada geese and red-tailed hawk often raise their young on the preserve.  Enter through the main entrance at 3701 Orchid Place, Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

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