The D&L Blog

Delaware & Lehigh - Dirt on the Trail, Summer ’24

Seasonal Announcements

Biking on Trail

Written by Liz Rosencrans, DLNHC Director of Trails & Conservation

Summer is creeping nearer with the solstice on June 20 and so is the busiest season for the D&L Trail! Here are some of our top tips to ensure your next journey on the D&L is top notch.  

  • Know Before You Go – plan before hitting the trail this season. Double check the rules for the trail section(s) you’re visiting and see if there are any special concerns for the area (severe weather, air quality, fire risks, large trail events). The D&L Trail Interactive Map and our DLNHC Facebook Page are your best spots to see what’s happening in the Corridor.  
  • Trailhead Parking Fills Up Early – be sure to have a backup parking area in mind. Our regional brochures are one of the best spots to see all your parking options. 
  • Mind Your Manners – don’t forget to brush up on your Trail Etiquette. Stay alert as others may be new to the trail and its rules- pass along knowledge wherever you can to make the D&L Trail an enjoyable space for all.  
  • Leash Pets – all pets must be leashed when on the D&L Trail and their waste properly disposed of- this includes horses. Your trail pal may be as sweet as can be, but other dogs may not be and some people could be allergic or afraid of dogs or horses. Keep your animals safe and by your side

Want to get involved, or catch up on the latest trail updates? Check out the below summer opportunities. 

  • Our last Trail Tender event of the 2024 Season will be August 17th with Lehigh Gorge State Park. We’ll clear invasive species at Lock 22 near the Rockport Trailhead – registration is required. And remember, if you’re interested in holding your own cleanup you can reach email me at [email protected] to set up a Private Trail Tender Event. 
  • The second and final Trail Volunteer Training is scheduled for August 24th. If you’re interested in Adopting a section of D&L Trail or joining the Trail Patrol team, register online.  
  • Did you miss our 3rd Annual State of the D&L Trail public update? Don’t worry! You can catchup on the 2024 seasonal updates by reviewing the presentation slides, Q&A, and you can even check out the event recording on our website! 

And with that, I’ll leave you with the words of John Lubbock to remind you that while it may be the busiest time of the year on the trail, the Corridor is full of natural wonders that gives us cause to pause and appreciate the world around us – “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” Enjoy!

Camping Along the Corridor

Written by Tiffany Serra, DLNHC Trails & Conservation Associate

As the weather warms and trail users spend more time on the D&L Trail, we often receive questions on whether camping is permitted along the trail. There are multiple campsites directly along the D&L Trail and within a short distance of the trail. Each campsite offers a different type of camping experience. Whether you’re into GLAM-ping, RV camping, or want a backcountry experience – we have it! 

We have compiled a list of campsites that we are aware of within the Corridor here on Google Maps: D&L Trail Camping – Google My Maps. Many of the public and private campsites listed are fee-based and require reservations to utilize them. There are also several Trail Friendly Businesses that offer overnight accommodations and transportation for through-riders/hikers along the D&L Trail.  

Free Fun Outdoors Along the Corridor

Written by Brit Kondravy, DLNHC Conservation Coordinator

Whether you’re looking to bike, hike, paddle or plant, Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor has you covered with this curated list of free, guided recreation opportunities.  While the cost is free space is limited so register for your favorite events today! 

Congrats to our Golden Grabber Winners

Written by Alice Wanamaker, DLNHC Economic Development Manager

Congratulations to the winners of the first ever Quest for the Golden Grabber – Nazareth Area High School, led by Olivia D! The group of 10 students cleaned up Allentown Canal Park and removed 12 bags of litter from along the trail, river, and edge of canal. They won the official golden grabber trophy and various prizes thanks to our sponsors Jim Thorpe’s HOUSE of JERKY and The Soapy Bee Country Store. Over 75 bags of trash were collected during the contest, see our website for photos from cleanups throughout the Corridor.  

Business is Booming

Written by Alice Wanamaker, DLNHC Economic Development Manager

I love working with our small (and large) businesses that are along the trail in our five-county corridor. Getting them on-boarded with our Trail Friendly Business program is easy and fun, and most businesses along the trail already offer great guest service and welcome trail users with open arms!  Some of you may be wondering how the businesses feel about being part of program, so we asked them and here is what they had to say!  

  • 77% ranked trails as very important for business and 23% ranked trails as important. No one thinks that trails are not important to business activity and growth!  
  • Trail friendly businesses say that on average, 39% of their business comes from trail users! 
  • 41% of Trail Friendly Businesses have expanded their business and offerings due to the program. 

See a full list of Trail Friendly Businesses to plan your next trip on the D&L Trail.  

New Trail Open in Morrisville! 

Bridge Street Pedestrian Crossing-Ribbon Cutting

Written by Liz Rosencrans, DLNHC Director of Trails & Conservation

Bridge Street Pedestrian Crossing-Ribbon Cutting

The Bridge Street Pedestrian Crossing was officially opened on April 24, 2024 in Morrisville Bucks County.  

A decade in the making, this project developed a safe and accessible street crossing at a site where a road had cut off the Delaware Canal and Towpath, preventing trail users from continuing their journey along the D&L Trail without a roundabout detour. Partners and funders from across the state gathered in April to hear how this short crossing project that began in 2012 became one of Pennsylvania’s first Top 10 Trail Gaps in 2016 and overcame multiple obstacles from changes in abutting landowners to design altering discoveries during construction. The finished crossing includes two accessible ramps, a crosswalk, and Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons that halt traffic for crossing trail users.  

Bridge Street Pedestrian Crossing-Ribbon Cutting

“What may appear to be a small road crossing, in reality, is a major connector between nine miles of towpath trail south to Bristol and 50 miles north to Easton along the Delaware Canal. This crossing not only fills a gap in the trail network but connects trail users to businesses along Bridge Street—the results of which we’re already seeing through two new Trail Friendly Businesses that are eager to greet visitors.” said Claire W. Sadler, Executive Director of DLNHC. 

Funders included the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and William Penn Foundation. Partners included the Borough of Morrisville, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. This location is also a key point for the East Coast Greenway, providing access to Bridge Street and the bridge into Trenton where the ECG makes its way off of the D&L Trail and into New Jersey, towards New York and its northern terminus in Maine. 

If you’re looking for a new trail section to explore this summer, move Bridge Street to the top of your list!

165 Kickoff Has Been Rescheduled! 

Written by Whitney Davison, DLNHC Education Manager

Were you looking forward to May 5 and our Get Your Tail on the Trail (GYTOT) 165 Mile Challenge kickoff event? Were you disappointed when it was cancelled due to rain?

Never fear, it has been rescheduled!  The new date is Saturday, September 14, at 10am. As usual, we are partnering with our St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) sponsors to put on this event. Health professionals from St. Luke’s will be joining us to lead our walk, run, and bike events. Obviously, this is no longer a kickoff event, and has been retitled our Midpoint Mile Boost. Come on out on what (we hope) will be a beautiful fall morning and join us for a walk, run or bike ride to boost those miles in your mile tracker. Mother nature taught us a key lesson this past spring. We have a rain date this time, it will be Sunday, September 15 at 10am. Sign up here.

Coming Soon – Nutrition Meets the Trail 

Written by Whitney Davison, DLNHC Education Manager

GYTOT is in your corner when it comes to healthy living.  Helping you track your exercise and making it fun with virtual badges and incentive challenges is a great way to get people moving, but we know this is only one part of your healthy lifestyle. Nutrition is key. With that in mind we will be introducing some nutritional information to our website. Working with SLUHN nutrition experts, we will be adding articles and helpful hints to the website over the coming months.  

Web Map Updates 

Written by Liz Rosencrans, DLNHC Director of Trails & Conservation

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our Interactive Map is updated regularly with information provided by landowners. Please note, an update will remain posted with the original posting date for as long as the incident is relevant. Please check our Interactive Map for current updates before planning any excursions on the D&L Trail.  

There are multiple construction projects throughout the Delaware Canal Region and D&L Trail statuses may change weekly. Please practice patience and safety while navigating around these closures as it takes time to properly rebuild the trail. Closures at MM 58.9 to MM 56.57, MM 44 and MM 31 remain closed to trail users. 

For more information about ongoing projects in the Delaware Canal Region, see DCNR’s recent Restoration Work update.

Jim Thorpe (East) – Weissport Obstruction within trail section – this trail section remains closed to the public until further notice. A note from the landowner, Lehigh Canal Recreation Commission: 

LCRC Statement on Jim Thorpe – Weissport Closure

As you may know, the Lehigh Canal trail remains closed between Weissport and Jim Thorpe remains closed, as work on the overflow improvement project continues.  While we had hoped to reopen the trail this spring, water line and other complications created snags in our plans.  This has required additional engineering and construction plans and we continue to pursue prompt action to get the work done.  We now hope to get the trail opened by the end of summer. 

There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into the upkeep of this popular trail. It is maintained entirely by volunteers with the Lehigh Canal Recreation Commission. The funding for daily maintenance and operation of the trail comes from a shoestring budget – it’s barely enough to cover gas for our lawnmowers and the electric and porta-potty bills. Fortunately, we receive support from the DLNHC, the state, and various grants to complete big projects such as this one. But between daily wear and tear, flooding, etc., it takes significant time and effort from our volunteers to keep the trail usable. The good news is remediation efforts, like this project, ensure the trail is safe for use, and the spillways being repaired will be the safest they’ve ever been! 

Please note: Initially we tried to keep the beginning and end sections of the trail open for everyone to enjoy, but unfortunately closure signs were being ignored and people were entering the active construction zone. To resolve this issue, we had to close the entire length of the trail in order to keep everyone safe and allow our contractors to do their job without liability. We are, however, still observing people ignoring the barricades and signs. We ask for everyone’s cooperation to please obey these barricades. If the contractors cannot complete this work in a protected environment, work may take longer.

We appreciate your support and look forward to having a safe and beautiful new trail soon! If you have questions, please let us know and we will answer them to the best of our abilities.

Theodore Roosevelt Recreation Area – Durham Aqueduct Complete, Open and Improved – as of 6/11/2024 this trail section is open 

Morrisville – Bristol LagoonComplete, Open and Improved – the Bridge Street Pedestrian Crossing was officially opened in April with a Ribbon Cutting