Lehigh River

Lehigh River

Lehigh River
Lehigh River near Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
Counties On the river: Wayne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Luzerne, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, Watershed: Wayne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Luzerne, Carbon, Lehigh, Schuylkill, Berks, Bucks
 - left Tobyhanna Creek, Drakes Creek, Bear Creek (Lehigh River), Pohopoco Creek, Aquashicola Creek, Hokendauqua Creek, Monocacy Creek, Catasauqua Creek
 - right Black Creek, Nesquehoning Creek, Mauch Chunk Creek, Mahoning Creek, Lizard Creek, Little Lehigh Creek, Saucon Creek
Cities Lehighton, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton
Source Pocono Peak Lake
 - location Lehigh Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania, USA
 - elevation 2,056 ft (627 m)
 - coordinates
Mouth Delaware River
 - location Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, USA
 - elevation 160 ft (49 m)
 - coordinates
Length 109 mi (175 km)
Basin 1,345 sq mi (3,484 km2)
Discharge for Glendon
 - average 3,740 cu ft/s (106 m3/s)
 - max 11,700 cu ft/s (331 m3/s)
 - min 1,160 cu ft/s (33 m3/s)
Discharge elsewhere (average)
 - Stoddartsville 280 cu ft/s (8 m3/s)
Lehigh River watershed

The Lehigh River, a tributary of the Delaware River, is a 109-mile-long (175 km)[1] river located in eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. Part of the Lehigh, along with a number of its tributaries, is designated a Pennsylvania Scenic River by the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. "Lehigh" is an Anglicization of the Lenape name for the river, Lechewuekink, meaning "where there are forks".


  • Course 1
  • Fishing 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The river flows in a highly winding course through valleys between ridges of the Appalachian Mountains. Its upper course is characterized by numerous whitewater rapids and supports a broad range of recreational pursuits including whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing. Its lower course forms the heart of the Lehigh Valley, a historically important anthracite coal and steel-producing region of Pennsylvania.

Forest scene on the Lehigh (Pennsylvania) (circa 1832): aquatint by Karl Bodmer from "Maximilian, Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834"

The river rises in the Jim Thorpe, then southeast, past Lehighton. Southeast of Lehighton, it passes through Blue Mountain in a narrow opening called the Lehigh Gap.

From the Lehigh Gap, the river flows southeast to Allentown, where it is joined by Little Lehigh Creek, then northeast past Bethlehem, where it joins the Delaware River in Easton, along Pennsylvania's border with New Jersey.

The PA Gazeteer of Streams shows that the Lehigh River begins as the outflow of Pocono Peak Lake. Flowing south from the south end of the lake (a natural but dammed body of water) it turns west after a mile and receives water from many lakes and ponds as it flows past the borough of Gouldsboro.


The Lehigh River holds many species of fish, such as Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Pickerel, Panfish, Carp, Catfish and the fish of 10,000 casts, the notorious Muskellunge (Muskie). Trout, both rainbow and brown in the 18"-20" range are average while some have been caught into the mid to upper 20" range. Smallmouth Bass are large in numbers but are of smaller size with most between 8"-14" with an occasional fish from the 18"-21" range. There is an increasing number of muskie being reported within the 30"-52" range. There are both pure and tiger Muskie, the usually sterile, hybrid offspring of the true muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) and the northern pike (Esox lucius) being caught in the river.

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
  • "Fast Facts About Lehigh River". Lehigh Earth Observatory's Envirosci Inquiry. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 

External links

  • U.S. Geological Survey: PA stream gauging stations
  • Water Flow at Francis E Walter Reservoir outlet
  • Lehigh River Watershed Conservation Management Plan
  • Lehigh River and Canal at Jim Thorpe
  • Lehigh River Whitewater Rafting
  • Lehigh River Fly Fishing Adventures
  • Lehigh River Sojourn
  • Lehigh River Watershed Association
  • Lehigh River Water Trail
  • Lehigh River Whitewater
  • Lehigh River Whitewater Rafting
  • Pennsylvania Scenic Rivers website
The Lehigh River near Slatington at the Lehigh CountyNorthampton County line