Industrial Heritage

Delaware & Lehigh - Industrial Heritage

We connect people to the enduring industrial heritage of the Corridor through education and preservation.

Journey through American industrial heritage along the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (DLNHC), where a combination of geology, geography, and cultural genius catapulted the region into a hub of industrial production. Through the National Canal Museum, educational programming, and historic preservation along the D&L Trail, DLNHC preserves and celebrates the storied industrial heritage of the Corridor.

National Canal Museum

The National Canal Museum is dedicated to telling the story of America’s historic towpath canals with a specific focus on Pennsylvania’s Lehigh and Delaware Canals. These canals carried anthracite coal from the mines in Northeastern PA to markets in the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, and beyond. The museum interprets the historic impact and culture of canals, as well as the science and technology behind their building, through a variety of exhibits and hands-on activities. With a docent to assist, children and adults can harness a mule, steer a canal boat, and engage in activities that help them learn how canals were built and what life was life for those who worked on them.

Not to be missed are the 45-minute rides during the summer and fall on the Josiah White II, one of only three mule-drawn canal boats operating in America. The leisurely cruises are led and narrated by authentically costumed interpreters, who tell the story of the building of the Lehigh Canal and its role in America’s 19th Century Industrial Revolution.

The museum is situated in beautiful Hugh Moore Park, a 520-acre City of Easton park nestled between the Lehigh Canal and Lehigh River. The park includes a large playground with a zipline, a pavilion that can be rented through City of Easton, a dog park, and a paved walking path in addition to the D&L Trail along the canal. When the museum and welcome center are open, there are bicycle, canoe, and paddle boat rentals, ice cream sales, and a beverage machine.

Educational Programs and Curriculum

More than 100,000 students and adults immerse themselves in our heritage annually in outdoor and educational programs, including our award-winning fourth-grade curriculum, Immersion Days field trips, the Freemansburg Canal Education Center, environmental education programs, conferences, and workshops.

The Tales of the Towpath traveling curriculum offers 4th- and 5th-grade students a unique opportunity to explore mid-19th century life along the Lehigh and Delaware canals and understand the canals’ importance in America’s growth during our 19th Century Industrial Revolution. Developed by a team of advisors comprised of teachers, principals, curriculum coordinators, and historians, Tales of the Towpath is centered on an illustrated storybook that follows the life of a young Irish boy – Finn Gorman – whose father takes his family to America in 1846 and eventually becomes a canal boat captain. Young Finn’s adventures lead readers on a journey into the region’s past, when anthracite coal was fueling industrial and economic growth.