The D&L Blog

Delaware & Lehigh - Forks of the Delaware to Sand Island

Although we can estimate the length of D&L Trail sections using river mile charts and topographical maps, there is no substitute for walking the trail with a surveying wheel and taking GPS readings. This is precisely what we began to do on Tuesday. Despite the rain, we walked the twelve miles from the Forks of the Delaware to Sand Island, rolling the wheel and placing pins at each mile along the section. On June 7, these pins will guide the volunteers who install our new mile markers.

This is a beautiful and relatively secluded section of railroad grade and canal towpath that follows the river’s edge and occasionally dips back into the woods. After eight miles or so, the forest gives way to the canal town of Freemansburg and Lehigh Canal Park. The next four mile stretch offers views of Bethlehem Steel, a lock recently revealed by the work of our Trail Tenders, and leads to the parking area on Sand Island.

During the walk, we saw deer tracks, fish jumping in the river and the canal, and a variety of birds, including Orioles, warblers, and mergansers. All of this between two cities!

[Photographs courtesy of Will Minehart]