The D&L Blog

Delaware & Lehigh - Explorations: White Haven to Black Diamond
The scenery along the Black Diamond-White Haven Trail Section ranges from forests to ponds, perfect for wildlife-spotting!

On Monday, August 23, a new pedestrian road and railroad crossing at Middleburg Road along the D&L Trail will be celebrated as officially open to the public.  The culmination of over a decade of planning and construction efforts to improve safety and accessibility on the trail between White Haven and the Black Diamond Trailhead, this new pedestrian crossing makes it even easier to explore the beautiful Lehigh Gorge State Park and surrounding attractions.

The Black Diamond-White Haven trail section itself is part of the locally known “Black Diamond” Section, named after Anthracite coal’s nickname – “black diamonds.”  This trail section provides amazing opportunities to view the area’s natural wildlife, passing through ponds, bogs, and towering trees.  While you’re taking advantage of this trail section and the new Middleburg pedestrian crossing, take the opportunity to explore:

The Borough of White Haven

Founded in 1824 and incorporated in 1842, the historic town of White Haven is named for industrialist Josiah White, co-founder of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company.  The town was a critical link in the anthracite-shipping network, and one of the most prosperous examples of the opportunities made possible by the Corridor’s industrial history.  The Lehigh Canal began its southerly journey downstream to Easton, while the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad stretched north to the coal-rich mines of Wilkes-Barre.  At the center was White Haven, the cross roads of coal, timber, canals, and railroads.

Today, the town is a charming place to spend a peaceful afternoon, with plenty of shopping, dining, and recreational opportunities, including three of our Trail-Friendly Businesses:

Pocono Biking, offering everything the novice or experienced biker needs, from gear to gifts, bike rentals, shuttles, and planned specialty excursions.  Whether you’re looking for a single-day ride, a scenic ride on a historic train, or a four-day journey along the length of the D&L Trail, Pocono Biking has something for everyone!

The Victorian Connection is a fully-restored historic home, built around 1875, now available as a rental space for any event from meetings to an overnight stay.  Originally owned by W.W. DeWitt, one of White Haven’s early industrial leaders, this beautiful space allows you to step into White Haven’s history.

Otters Odds and Ends features “antiques and etc.’s” for everyone!  Their pet-friendly store is located on the ground floor of the historic Independent Order of Odd Fellows building.  This gathering spot offers a little bit of everything from White Haven souvenirs, to antiques, art and homemade goods from local artists, and water, snacks, toolkits, and more for cyclists heading through on the trail!

Nearby, you can visit some of the most stunning scenery in the Corridor. 

The Francis E. Walter Dam offers a boat launch, along with areas for picnicking, hiking and fishing, and provides excellent whitewater rafting downstream (You can access information on whitewater releases through the Philadelphia District Web site by checking under Francis E. Walter Dam!).  

Hickory Run State Park features Boulder Field, a National Natural Landmark and State Park Natural Area that has remained relatively unchanged for more than 12,000 years.  Wander the boulders, some of which measure up to 26 feet in length, along with exploring the trails and opportunities for picnicking, swimming, fishing, hunting, disc golf, wildlife watching, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating and camping. 

Nescopeck State Park is the perfect place for nature lovers to explore, with a pristinely preserved and unique biodiversity.  High-quality wetlands, rich forests, and the Nescopeck Creek are home to over 160 species of birds, 30 species of amphibians and reptiles, and over 600 species of plants.

Lehigh Gorge State Park stretches from the Francis E. Walter Dam to Jim Thorpe, and boasts over 4,500 acres of breathtaking scenery along with 26 uninterrupted miles of the D&L Trail, snaking its way along the banks of the Lehigh River.  Paddlers will find plenty of opportunity to challenge themselves with Class II and III rapids, and the bucking-bronco experience of navigating down a swift-moving river.

Pocono Whitewater offers whitewater trips for all levels, from beginner to expert, along with family-friendly rafting and rail-trail biking excursions.  Whether you’re looking for a quick paddle, a multi-day vacation, or a themed experience (ever wanted to be “attacked” by pirates?), Pocono Whitewater provides an amazing new perspective on exploring the Corridor.