The four core boroughs of the Slate Belt region of Northampton County offer a vintage experience reminiscent of earlier times. The four boroughs are Wind Gap, Pen Argyl, Bangor and Portland. Moving east to west, from the Delaware River at Portland, to the Appalachian Trail head in Wind Gap, these four boroughs contain natural, historical and cultural resources reflective of their hardworking close knit forebears who worked in the slate & stone quarries that still dot the landscape.
The towns are surrounded by rural countryside of family operated farms offering fresh produce, lakes and creeks offering sporting opportunities, hiking & biking trails, family camping opportunities and wineries. Individually, each town retains its own unique sense of place; together they offer the full experience of the industries, people and cultures that settled the Slate Belt and whose families remain here today, joined by newer residents attracted to the area's natural beauty, work ethic and small town friendliness.
Bangor - The Traditional Hub of Slate Belt Commerce & Conversation
- Listed on the National Register of historic places, this town features historic architecture in varied styles reflective of the ethnic groups, businesses, and industries that built Bangor.
- A pedestrian friendly downtown district, featuring a burgeoning center of diverse eateries and specialty shops.
- As an arts friendly community, they feature public murals, live performances, karaoke, open mic and hands on art projects.
Pen Argyl - A Great Place To Live, Work and Play
- Take a stroll on the Wisdom Walk, "Good for the Body and Mind." The Wisdom Walk was envisioned, designed and created by Pen Argyl residents, business owners, local officials, students and boy scouts to enhance the walking experience around town. Beginning in the downtown business district, the Wisdom Walk threads throughout the nearby neighborhoods, offering low intensity exercise on the lower section and higher intensity exercise on the hilly upper section. The Wisdom Walk features inspirational quotes from many creeds, religions and philosophies painted on the sidewalk.
- Historic Weona Park is a beautiful buildings and landscaping, featuring the vintage carousel, a designated National Historic Landmark.
- Family friendly picnic pavilions, playgrounds, handicapped accessible mini golf course, and band shell offers free public concerts, annual festivals and carnivals.
- The Downtown Business District offers many locally owned eateries and professional service businesses.
Portland - A Delaware River Community
- Breathtaking views of two states Portland (PA)/Columbia (NJ) with a pedestrian bridge connecting Pennsylvania and New Jersey; have a direct view of the water gap cutting through the mountain,
- Gateway to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which has easy access from and to New York and Pocono Mountain Resorts.
Wind Gap - An Appalachian Trail Community
- Officially designated Appalachian Trail Community through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (2015), the Appalachian Trail access open year-round for day, short duration and through hikers.
- The town is located just off Route 33/80, with easy access from points north (Pocono Resorts), south/west (Lehigh Valley & Philadelphia), and east (NJ, NY).
- The town features a diverse Business District with a variety of small locally owned pubs, cafes, diners and specialty service businesses.
The Slate Belt Community Partnership (SBCP) is the regional Main Street Program working to foster an improved image of the four Slate Belt boroughs' downtowns, through community marketing, streetscaping and facade improvement grants. The SBCP partners with our non-profit sponsor organization, Totts Gap Arts Institute's Heritage Mural Education Program, http:heritagemurals.org/ to bring murals depicting specific moments in Slate Belt history to the downtowns. The murals are painted by local student artists. The Heritage Murals have won state-wide recognition for educating about and encouraging community participation in local heritage and the arts. The Mural program is ongoing. Mural painting can usually be viewed by the public during the months of July - September in the selected borough for that year's mural. A mural dedication is held on the third Saturday of September.
Also in partnership with Totts Gap Arts Institute, is the in-progress (Late 2015) "DiscoverTheSlateBelt" project, which connects people to the history of significant Slate Belt sites through smart phone QR code technology. Many of the Boroughs' buildings and sites are included in this self-guided street level tour of the Slate Belt.