About The Lehigh Valley
The Lehigh Valley is a scenic region of eastern Pennsylvania. Situated an hour’s drive from Philadelphia and an hour and a half from New York City, the Lehigh Valley offers vibrant small towns and rural landscapes a short distance from vibrant city life.
The region's official census area includes Lehigh and Northampton counties. The traditional boundaries of the region are the Pocono Mountains to the north, the Delaware River and New Jersey to the east, the boundaries of Berks and Montgomery county to the southwest, and the boundary with Bucks County to the south. More recently, however, parts of upper Bucks County near Quakertown, eastern portions of Berks County, southern sections of Carbon County, and the area surrounding Phillipsburg, N.J., are also considered an extended part of the Lehigh Valley.
Cities and location
The Lehigh Valley's three main cities are Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. The area is home to more than 821,000 people, making it Pennsylvania's third most populated metropolitan region. Recent Pennsylvania census studies show the Lehigh Valley to be the fastest growing region of the state, due in part to its close, commutable distance to neighboring Philadelphia and New York City. The Lehigh Valley is located about 60 miles north of Philadelphia, the nation's fifth largest city, and 90 miles west of New York City, the largest city in the nation.
The area is historically important for its production of steel, anthracite coal and other natural resources. It once served as a major center of industrial manufacturing, though this role has diminished in the 21st century. Major international companies currently based in the Lehigh Valley include Air Products & Chemicals Inc., Buckeye Partners L.P., Mack Trucks, Olympus Corp., PPL Corp. and Rodale Inc., among others. Lehigh Valley Health Network, one of Pennsylvania's largest hospital systems, is the region's top employer, employing more than 17,000 people.
Colleges and universities
The Lehigh Valley is a hub of post-secondary education activity, with several reputable four-year colleges and universities, including: Cedar Crest College (Allentown), DeSales University (Center Valley), Lafayette College (Easton), Lehigh University (Bethlehem), Moravian College (Bethlehem), Muhlenberg College (Allentown), and Penn State University's Lehigh Valley campus (Fogelsville).
The area is also home to Lehigh Carbon Community College (with campuses in Allentown, Carbon County and Schnecksville) and Northampton Community College (with campuses in Bethlehem and Monroe County).
Numerous public school districts and many private schools can be found in the region.
Lehigh Valley-based high schools include:
- Allentown Central Catholic High School (Allentown)
- Bangor Area High School (Bangor)
- Bethlehem Catholic High School (Bethlehem)
- Catasauqua High School (Catasauqua)
- Easton High School (Easton)
- Emmaus High School (Emmaus)
- Freedom High School (Bethlehem)
- Lehigh Valley Christian High School (Allentown)
- Liberty High School (Bethlehem)
- Louis E. Dieruff High School (Allentown)
- Moravian Academy (Bethlehem)
- Nazareth High School (Nazareth)
- Northampton Area High School (Northampton)
- Northern Lehigh High School (Slatington)
- Notre Dame Area High School (Easton)
- Parkland High School (Allentown)
- Pen Argyl Area High School (Pen Argyl)
- Phillipsburg High School (Phillipsburg, New Jersey)
- Pius X High School (Bangor)
- Salisbury High School (Salisbury Township)
- Saucon Valley Area High School (Hellertown)
- Southern Lehigh High School (Center Valley)
- Whitehall High School (Whitehall)
- William Allen High School (Allentown)
- Wilson Area High School (Easton)
Athletics and entertainment
The Lehigh Valley is the home of pre-season training camp for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, who hold their training camp each summer on the practice fields of Lehigh University in Bethlehem. The camp routinely draws some of the largest crowds of any NFL team's pre-season training.
Stabler Arena, one of the East Coast's premier indoor arenas, is based in the region. Stabler hosts regular sporting and music events. It is home to Lehigh University men's and women's college basketball teams and also to the Lehigh Valley Outlawz, an indoor football team that plays in the Great Lakes Indoor Football League.
Minor League baseball
The IronPigs AAA-level minor league baseball team plays at the 8,000-seat Coca-Cola Park in Allentown's east side.
American Hockey League
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, play at Allentown’s PPL Center.
The region is home to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, near Allentown. The park is one of the most popular amusement and water parks in the country, featuring some of the nation's most elaborate roller coasters and water rides. Just a short 30-minute drive away is the Pocono Mountains region, which features some great skiing and several large lakes for boating and fishing. The shoreline of New Jersey and its beach attractions are approximately 45 miles east of the Lehigh Valley region.
The Lehigh Valley is also home to a number of parks and trails for hiking, mountain biking, running, and walking. Among them, the Lehigh Parkway offers a six-mile loop along the scenic Little Lehigh Creek; It’s open to runners, walkers, cyclists and horseback riders. In Bethlehem and Emmaus, an extensive trail system exists on South Mountain, a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers. Near by, Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Berks Country, offers 330 wood acres for skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, hiking, biking, boating and more.
The Lehigh Valley is served by air transportation through Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE), located three miles northeast of Allentown. Private bus companies provide multiple daily round trip transportation to New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and other regional locations. Public bus service is provided by LANTA, which serves Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and neighboring suburbs with various routes.
For more on what the area has to offer, check out these links to popular points of interest.