Bethlehem Bump Into Nature
April 30, 2014


Some exciting family-friendly hiking events are coming to the Lehigh Valley this summer as the Appalachian Mountain Club partners with the Wildlands Conservancy, Friends of Johnston, and the Gertrude B. Fox Environmental Center to provide a series of four family nature hikes. The Bethlehem Bump into Nature hike series will feature short, naturalist-guided  walks in the Bethlehem area so that families can spend quality time together outdoors while learning more about the Pennsylvania Highlands. Each hike will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the date it is scheduled. 

June 14

The series’ first hike, scheduled on National Get Outdoors Day, will be at at Bethlehem’s Gertrude B. Fox Environmental Center. Healthy snacks will be provided after the hike. The center, located by Monocacy Creek, focuses on environmental action and community outreach. Their nature center features exhibits, vivariums with teaching animals, a “Nature Nook”, and more. Besides taking nature walks here, my kids especially love going into the environmental center to spend time with the rescued box turtles and other animals. The last time we were there, my 8-year-old Lucas could not get enough of Puppy Dog, the very friendly resident ball python.

July 19

The second hike will take place at the Archibald Johnson Estate, located in Bethlehem. Friends of Johnston is a part of a restoration project to preserve and restore the Johnson Estate. The plan is to restore and reuse the estate for environmental education, to grow food local food banks, and as the home of a nature-based preschool.

 August 23

AMC’s very own Cathy Reuscher will take folks on an exploration through the urban trails of downtown Bethlehem, starting at Sand Island. There are so many fantastic hiking, walking, and biking trails located right in the City of Bethlehem that are sometimes forgotten about. Cathy will provide the group with information about all the various trails we have right under our noses. 

September 27

The Wildlands Conservancy, whose headquarters is located at the Poole Wildlife Sanctuary in Emmaus, owns nine nature preserves in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. The organization is a leader in land protection and environmental stewardship in the area and facilitates a whole host of educational and fun programs in which families can participate. Whether or not you can make this hike, plan to attend some of the upcoming activities by the Wildlands Conservancy or spend some time at one of their many preserves hiking with your family. You can also look back at my previous post about the Poole Wildlife Sanctuary or use our trip planning materials to set your own itinerary for your day outdoors.

To register early for these excellent family hikes, contact Cathy Reuscher at creuscher@outdoors.org.

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