New Tripoli

New Tripoli

40°40’51″N 75°45’07″W
ZIP CODE: 18066

In the northwest quadrant of the Lehigh Valley, New Tripoli sits between 78 and 476. This sleepy town, with plenty of green rolling hills, has a population just under 1,000 and enough farmland to satisfy even the most country-hungry city dwellers.

Though originally called Saegersville, its modern name is in remembrance of the United States’ involvement in the Barbary Wars with Tripoli in the early 19th century. However, while non-locals may feel inclined to use the pronunciation of “TRI-po-li,” from what is now Libya, Pennsylvania Dutch natives will be quick to correct you (in the friendliest way possible) to the more accurate “New Tri-PO-li.”

New Tripoli is part of Lynn Township, which was established in 1732 by German and Swiss travelers. Two main roads in the town, Decatur Street and Madison Street, are named for Stephen Decatur, decorated naval officer during the Barbary Wars, and president James Madison. One of the first public establishments was an old stone tavern home along route 309, which still stands, and originally held the town’s first post office and hotel. To create a more self-sufficient community, local finance experts established the New Tripoli National Bank, which is still a community bank at Madison and Market Streets.

In the early 20th century, New Tripoli was a residential town of 400 people—mostly farmers and local business owners. The dirt roads and lack of automobiles allowed farmers to make wagon-lead day trips to Allentown to sell their crops. Farming was (and still is) the backbone of this area, and the number of farms and town establishments at the time meant it was self-sufficient. Those looking to escape the country life, however, were only a train ride away from Reading and Philadelphia via the Reading Railroad.

Willard Snyder, president emeritus of the Lynn-Heidelberg Historical Society, says he’s “particularly proud of what the Historical Society and township have done with Ontelaunee Park.” This includes the restoration of the old train amusement ride from 1929; and Zeisloff log cabin, which was built by George Zeisloff a short time after his arrival to America from Germany in 1736, and moved to the park in 2001.

Farming was (and still is) the backbone of this area

Even in a now more fast-paced society, New Tripoli harkens back to its ancestors with a display of PA Dutch and farming traditions in the many establishments, young and old, that now dot its rolling landscape. Discover the best ones below!


Eight Oaks Craft Distillers

Nestled in rolling hills of preserved farmland, you’ll find Eight Oaks Craft Distillers, with a spectacular barn tasting room. Chad Butters, co-founder and head distiller, says he was drawn to New Tripoli for the “band of agriculture” that surrounds the Lehigh Valley. He’s always amazed that “you can be fishing in a trout stream one minute and hiking on the Appalachian trail the next.” Eight Oaks’ crafting process includes local ingredients and time-honored PA Dutch distilling methods. Applejack is the oldest spirit in the U.S., and Eight Oaks’ version is made from locally grown apples. The tasting room is open four days a week and often has local food trucks parked outside. You can find their vodka, rum, whiskey, bourbon, gin, and, of course, applejack for sale in bottles.
7189 Route 309  |  610.298.8811

Blue Mountain Vineyards

The climate of the Lehigh Valley is likened to the Loire and Burgundy regions in France, and brings in many winemakers to produce crisp and bold flavored wines. The owners and winemakers at Blue Mountain Vineyards have harnessed this climate, and their 50 acres of vineyard have yielded numerous award-winning “old world” style wines. Their main tasting room is open seven days a week and offers tastings and wine for purchase.
7627 Grape Vine Drive | 610.298.3068


Wanamaker’s General Store

Just west of New Tripoli proper, along route 143, Wanamaker’s General Store is a staple sandwich shop and grocery store. Built from bricks manufactured in a neighboring meadow and timber milled in the nearby Blue Mountains, this landmark of trade was reopened in 2008 after a 5-year hiatus. Their legendary sandwiches (recommended by Chad Butters of Eight Oaks) are available all week, and the dine-in area is BYOB. In addition to their edible offerings, you’ll find toys, pottery, local crafts, and even PA fishing and boating licenses.
8888 King’s Highway, Kempton | 610.756.6609

Willow Haven Farm

The folks at Willow Haven Farm have been cultivating crops for over 60 years. Reuben and Tessa DeMaster (and their family) grow organic vegetables—on land settled in the 1740s—to serve the Lehigh Valley. They offer customizable weekly and biweekly community supported agriculture (CSA) shares as well as bread, cheese, fruit, pork, and egg seasonal shares.
7686 Herber Road | 610.298.2197

Schmidt Berry Farm

If you’re the DIY type, George Schmidt Berry Farm offers pick-your-own strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and much more. Off route 100 on the aptly named Berry Drive, you can check for seasonal offerings and bring your containers to pick to your heart’s delight.
5681 Berry Drive | 610.298.2591


Leaser Lake

Named for the famed Frederick Leaser, the Revolutionary War veteran who used his wagon to help move the Liberty Bell from Philadelphia to Allentown, Leaser Lake is home to all sorts of activities. The 540-acre park contains the 117-acre lake and allows for fishing, hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, and endless picnic opportunities. For boat and bike rentals, visit
8502 Pleasure Court

Olde Homestead Golf Club

On the grounds of this 18-hole golf course are a summer kitchen establishment from the 1700s, a restored farmhouse from 1910, and a mid-1800s one-room schoolhouse, all of which hail from the Schneider settlement. The modern-day side of the club has a practice facility and GPS assistance to run through 18 holes, along with putting greens, a FootGolf course (a combo of soccer and golf), and a full-service café.
6598 Route 309 | 610.298.4653

Ontelaunee Park

Opened as recreational space in 1929, Ontelaunee Park is now undergoing a renovation into a municipal park. In its heyday from 1929 to 1966, this park was the site for free movie nights, square dancing gatherings, and even a stop on the Reading Railroad. Visitors now can venture on a guided walking tour, or view Zeisloff log cabin and Fort Everett on the park grounds.
7344 Kings Highway | 610.298.2645

Because You Live Here® introduces readers to a Lehigh Valley neighborhood or local point of interest and its history. This offers both lifelong residents and newcomers a chance to discover the hidden treasures our market has to offer.

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