On the west side of the Lehigh River, a three-mile, unimproved section of the D&L Trail runs between the new East Penn Township trailhead in Bowmanstown (just north of the Rt. 895 bridge) and the waste water treatment plant in Lehighton (south of the Rt. 209 bridge).
[The D&L Trail continues to the right of the gate]
This is a surprisingly dynamic section of trail, consisting of an unimproved rail bed, in some areas wide open and easily traveled, in others quite narrow and overgrown.
[Wide trail with rail ballast and remaining ties]
[Narrow trail with a compact treadway]
Views of the tall cliffs rising between Bowmanstown and Parryville, the Blue Mountains to the south, and the winding Lehigh River appear through breaks in the trees.
[A glimpse of cliffs on the other side of the river]
On a recent Monday, I spent most of the day walking the trail and did not pass a single person, but, if the well-worn pathway and bootleg trails are any indication, this section is already popular with bicyclers (although a trip on this section would probably not be appropriate for families with young children).
[The Lehigh River from the D&L Trail]
Although little work has been done on this section of trail, look for future improvements, such as the clearing of downed trees and installation of mile markers. The section provides an essential connection between Jim Thorpe and Lehighton to the north and Lehigh Gap and Slatington–Walnutport to the south. But why wait? The trail is open to traffic, and hikers, walkers, and bikers looking for a change from smooth tow path and cindered rail trail, should give this section of trail a try!