Certain aspects of daily life on-the-go may leave us feeling anxious, trapped, desperate or helpless. For this reason, it’s important to “stop and smell the roses” every once in a while.
Recent research has shown that natural outdoor environments, such as forests, meadows, riverbanks, and mountainous hiking trails, can actually reduce our stress and feelings of burnout.
One great thing about the Lehigh Valley is that this part of Pennsylvania is rich in these forms of natural beauty. If you’re looking to eliminate stress and get back in touch with nature, LCCR is here to tell you about five exceptional local Lehigh Valley hiking trails that may benefit your mental health.
If you’re interested in birding or conservation as well as natural beauty and breathtaking views, Hawk Mountain is the perfect trail for you. Located at 1700 Hawk Mountain Road in Kempton, PA, this trail offers visitors eight miles of trails, scenic overlooks, and lush native plant gardens.
For the best experience, climb to South Lookout to take in stunning panoramic views and possibly catch a glimpse of the variety of raptors and other birds of prey that so often soar the skies here.
Trails are fully accessible to accommodate for capability levels of all individuals!
Bake Oven Knob
If you’re looking for a slightly different viewpoint that’s equally as beautiful, explore the captivating trails at Bake Oven Knob. As part of the Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail, Bake Oven Knob is a .08 mile trail located near Germansville, PA.
A favorite among locals, this beautiful and peaceful hiking trail offers breathtaking views from two lookout points located on separate sides of the Blue Mountain Ridge. Be sure to watch your step as you ascend to the mountains highest point of elevation, which sits 1,560 feet above sea level. Trails can be rocky!
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
If lushous, heavily wooded areas are more reflective of your mental wellness sanctuary, perhaps the Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is an ideal spot for you. Recognized as an official Pennsylvania State Park, this Education Center covers more than 1,160 acres of the Lehigh Valley.
Tranquil wooded areas, calm fishing streams, and 18.5 miles of trails ripe for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and more. While Pennsylvania is home to over 121 state parks, only four are officially designated as environmental education centers — Jacobsburg is proud to be one of them.
Sticking with a woodsy theme, you can also make your way through the grounds of the Wildlands Conservatory in Emmaus, PA. This conservatory offers multiple parks and trails scattered throughout the Lehigh Valley. While exploring, you’ll be able to experience several venues that will help you connect with nature.
The 77.5-acre Pool Wildlife Sanctuary serves as the epicenter of the Wildlands Conservatory’s main office and the Air Products Environmental Education Center. While visiting the Conservatory, guests are encouraged to hike the trails, browse the open meadows, and enjoy the boardwalk which is carefully constructed along Little Lehigh Creek.
Delaware & Lehigh Valley National Heritage Corridor
Spanning 165 miles in total and 48 miles of the Lehigh Valley, the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor offers breathtaking views of the river and canal. Along this trail lies a flat surface that is ideal for hiking, biking, and running.
The Delaware & Lehigh Valley National Heritage Corridor is also perfect for those with furry friends! Bring your pup along for a pleasant walk as you take in a number of local landmarks like the George Taylor House, the National Canal Museum, and more.
At the Lehigh Center for Clinical Research, we are always looking for new ways to help members of our community with their ongoing struggles with mental health. That’s why we’re constantly researching these illnesses and working on new ways to treat them.
If you’re interested in being a part of our journey to create better lives for those suffering from mental health disorders, click here to check out how you can get involved in one of our many ongoing studies or clinical trials. We look forward to seeing you!