Allentown is a striving metropolis whose roots started with the iron industry. In 1829, Allentown went from a small village comprised of Pennsylvania Dutch farmers and tradesmen to a major area of commerce. The Lehigh Canal opened. Many canal workers made their homes here. In the 1830s-40s, the Lehigh Valley gave birth to America’s industrial revolution. Coupled with the impact of the Lehigh Canal and later the railroads, Allentown finally achieved the commercial success William Allen envisioned. Today, the Allentown Art Museum is one of its main attractions. The museum offers exhibitions of notable artists such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Andy Warhol’s Athlete Series, paintings by Flemish and Barocci, just to name a few. Tour the Museum of Indian Culture that honors the native Lenni Lenape people. Begin each year with a drive through Lights in the Parkway, a symbol of community spirit that burns brightly as it draws hundreds of thousands of visitors. Allentown’s Canal Park is nearby, providing easy access to the D&L Trail, plus opportunities for hiking, biking, jogging, fishing and access to the waterways for paddlers.
Mauch Chunk Lake Park is located on the outskirts of Historic Jim Thorpe, this County Park is perfect for that family getaway. While at the park you can enjoy the art of Mother Nature on the 2.8 mile Mauch Chunk Lake, walk or bike the renovated 16-mile Switchback Gravity Railroad and many other trails throughout the park, rent a boat, hike or stroll through the woods to the Environmental Center to see the birds of prey. Then unwind on the parks sandy beach. Campsites, cabins and cross-country skiing are available in season.
The Delaware River Islands provide critical habitat for migratory waterfowl and songbirds. They also contain sites of archaeological importance, and enhance recreational opportunities for fishermen and canoeists. Some river islands, such as Hendrick Island, were originally part of the main shoreline, but most islands grew individually from the river itself. Silt and stone left by glacial waters almost 10,000 years ago form the substrate of these islands. Seeds were eventually deposited by wind, water or wildlife. As plants grow on the islands, the roots bind the substrate materials together.