Two avid trail users, Tony and George, recently biked the D&L Trail from Glen Summit to New Hope. The following is an itinerary of their biking trip.
We started our trip on the Black Diamond trail in Glen Summit and finished in New Hope. We have done similar bikes trips along canal paths for the past 5 years and one of the members of our group found the D&L site on a search for possible locations. We actually considered riding the D&L last year but decided to wait because of the storm damage and the closed sections that you mentioned. We hoped that there might be some improvement throughout the year and when we revisited the idea this past winter, we found that enough improvements had been made to give it a try.
Scott Everett from your office was helpful in our initial research. (FYI…our past trips have been the first 100 miles of C&O canal, the last 100 miles of C&O into DC, about 100 miles of The Great Allegheny Passage and 100 miles of the Mohawk Hudson trail along the Erie Canal)
I must say that trying to gain information about specific sections that are closed and how to circumvent them was not easy and a bit confusing at times. I ended up calling a bike shop in Bethlehem (Bike Line) and asked if there was anyone there that knew the trail that could help me figure out how to navigate the trail. The owner recommended I call a customer named John, who was a frequent rider of the trail and might be able to help.
John and I connected and after several emails and conference calls we had a plan. John’s insight and knowledge ended up being integral to the trip. He ended up riding with us for 2 of the 3 days and was an invaluable guide. He is incredibly passionate about the trail, had a wealth of information about the sites along the way and the history of the trail and obviously very practical first-hand knowledge of what sections we might avoid. To be honest, I’m not sure how we would have been able to do it without him.
This was our basic itinerary:
We arrived Thursday night (6/5) and stayed in cabins at Jim Thorpe camping resort.
We drove into town on Friday morning (6/6) and took a shuttle to Glen Summit (from Blue Mountain Sports). We rode 36 miles back down to Jim Thorpe. We bought sandwiches at a deli in White Haven and stopped to eat lunch about halfway down the trail. We had dinner and drinks at the great Irish pub: Molly Maguires’ in Jim Thorpe. We had an awesome time and then we headed back to the camping resort for the night.
Saturday (6/7): After breakfast in town, we loaded up our cars and drove to the trail head in Lehighton. This is where we met up with John. From there, we rode the trail through Coplay where we saw the amazing cement kilns and John Cool filled us in on all of the history. We took a slight detour and rode along the Ironton Rail Trail in Whitehall. We spent the afternoon at Sporting Clays, where we enjoyed some skeet shooting and a great catered lunch. We had a great time there and many of us got our first experience shooting a shotgun. After that, we loaded up the cars and drove to Easton for the night. If we would have had enough time, we would have driven to Allentown and picked up the trail there.
Sunday (6/8): We drove our cars to Delaware Canal Park in Easton and rode about 20 miles where we crossed the bridge into Frenchtown, NJ where we stopped for lunch and rode along the D&R Canal Trail for a while. We crossed back into PA at Lambertville and ended our trip in New Hope.
All in all, I think we rode just under 100 miles. We enjoyed our trip and really appreciate all of the help that we have received from John.