Northampton County is located at the juncture of two important American rivers: the Lehigh, which flows south and east from the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania, and the Delaware, one of the most important rivers in the settlement of the American frontier, which flows south from New York into the Delaware Bay at Philadelphia. These two rivers flow in and between the mountain ranges that make Pennsylvania one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Within a short distance of Easton and Bethlehem, these two rivers provide outstanding fishing (the best spring fishing for American Shad takes place on the Delaware as these anadromous game fish make their way from the Atlantic Ocean upstream to spawn), and wonderful boating, canoeing, and kayaking. Indeed, outstanding whitewater kayaking and rafting is available just a short drive upstream on the Lehigh.
Golf has been an important part of the outdoor recreation scene in Northampton County since the earliest decades of the twentieth century. Today, in addition to being the home of one of the finest private country clubs in America – Saucon Valley, which has hosted two recent US Senior Opens and is scheduled to host another soon – Northampton County and the Lehigh Valley are home to several dozen outstanding private and daily fee golf courses.
Winter skiing is available at many locations just to the north of Northampton County at many of the resorts in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
During the summer, the county is home to several important festivals, including America’s music festival – Musikfest - in Bethlehem. Easton is the home of the National Canal Museum, and is also the home of Crayola Crayons. Families can step right up to crowd-pleasing attractions; sports fans can score with a variety of venues; athletes can make the right plays; and wilderness lovers can get into nature almost anywhere in the county.
If you are looking for great activities for the whole family, we suggest you try one or all of these extra special treats –right here in Northampton County.
The Crayola FACTORY® at Two Rivers Landing is a hands-on discovery center for children and adults, providing creative personal development experiences, while supporting the economic revitalization of Easton and the Lehigh Valley. The Crayola Factory® offers a place where the only creative limitation is the imagination. Participants can color, draw and create with the latest Crayola® products, without the cleanup afterwards. The Crayola Store, adjacent to the factory, offers every Crayola product.
Every year for a week in late April, Easton is the home of the Forks of the Delaware Shad Fishing Tournament and Festival, right where the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers meet.
The Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, "The World's Fastest Mile!” is a one-mile tri-oval, D-shaped, semi-banked, track. In 1999, Nazareth Speedway and Penske Motorsports merged with International Speedway Corporation, making the track part of the world's largest motor sports entertainment company.
The Celtic Classic Highland Games and Festival in Bethlehem celebrates the history and evolution of the Celtic culture. During the last weekend in September, the Highland Games hosts professional athletes from around the world who compete for two days in traditional Scottish outdoor games – the sheaf toss, Braemar stone throw, and the all time crowd favorite – the caber toss.
Each year during August, the Philadelphia Eagles – veterans and rookies, coaches and trainers – arrive in at Lehigh University in Bethlehem to get ready for another winning season. For a small fee, fans can watch the Eagles practice. As you would expect, August Eagles Camp is a must-attend event at least once for every die-hard Eagles fan.
The Discovery Center of Science and Technology in Bethlehem offers a variety of hands-on educational resources that no single school district can afford alone. Students are given the opportunity to explore over 100 interactive exhibits demonstrating real world applications of science and technology.
Back in the early 1800s, after huge deposits of anthracite coal – black diamonds – were discovered along the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania, entrepreneurs and engineers created canals to transport coal from the mines to homes and factories in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York. The first important canal (the Lehigh Canal) that was engineered and constructed ran along-side the Lehigh River as it flowed for 47 miles from Mauch Chuck (now Jim Thorpe) toward Easton and the junction with the Delaware. Today, the National Canal Museum in downtown Easton – at Two Rivers Landing – tells the story of how that strategic canal was built and how it changed the nation. Just west of Easton, on the north bank of the Lehigh River, an authentic reproduction of a 19th century Lehigh Canal boat provides visitors to the Hugh Moore Historical Park with the opportunity to see what travel on the Lehigh Canal was really like.
In addition to the attractive lineup of indoor and outdoor activities in and around Northampton County, the Lehigh Valley also offers an exceptional assortment of family recreation.
The Das Awkscht Fescht in Macungie features an antique and classic car show, arts and crafts, jugglers, acrobats, clowns, special children activities, band shell concerts, open-air markets, and lots of food. Three days in August.
The Lehigh Valley Velodrome, on Route 222 on the way to Reading, is one of the premier velodromes (high speed, banked-track bicycle racing) in the world with quality develop-mental programs and the best professional weekly race series in the United States.
The Trexler-Lehigh County Game Preserve Zoo in Schencksville provides visitors with the unique opportunity of viewing large, North American game animals – elk, deer, bison and cats – in their natural settings. The Game preserve also features large animals from Australia, Africa and Asia.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Mission in Kempton, just north of I-78, west of Allentown, is a premier North American wildfowl sanctuary. It is one of the finest places in the world to watch migrating raptors; as many as 20,000 hawks, eagles and falcons will be spotted and counted by hundreds of volunteers from August to December as North America’s birds of prey head south for the winter.
Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown is the Lehigh Valleys premier summer destination. Dorney offers 17 rides, and three special water park areas.
Bear Swamp Park and Archery ComplexUpper Mt. Bethel TownshipA 180-acre park reserve with hiking trails, wilderness and wetlands, archery complex and campsite.
Frost Hollow OverlookForks TownshipFeatures a small picnic area and rest stop with a scenic view of the Delaware River.
Fry’s Run ParkWilliams TownshipFeatures a small picnic area and rest stop
Minsi Lake Wilderness AreaUpper Mt. Bethel TownshipA 300-acre park reserve with hiking trails, wilderness and wetlands and a 120-acre lake for fishing and canoeing.
Nor-Bath TrailEast Allen TownshipTake a walk on this four-mile historic rails-to-trails walking and bicycle path – on an abandoned Northampton-Bath Railroad line.
Louise W. Moore ParkLower Nazareth and Bethlehem TownshipsA beautiful 100-acre park with picnic pavilions, hiking trails, tennis courts, community gardens, a playground, and a softball field.