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Written By Silas Chamberlin
Our “Take a Hike!” series will periodically feature a favorite day hike or bike on the D&L Trail. The second installment is a hike on the trails within Lehigh Gap Nature Center. The hike utilizes the D&L and Appalachian trails and the network of footpaths that link the two. This is a difficult hike that gains elevation rapidly, as the trail ascends the side of the Kittatinny Ridge. The effort is well worth it. Expect to see lots of wildlife, especially a variety of birds, and spectacular views to the north. For those of you on bikes or looking for a less daunting challenge, see the optional ride along the LNE and D&L trails.
Lehigh Gap Nature Center: D&L Trail to Appalachian Trail
Total Distance: 7 miles round trip
Trail Surface: rolled ballast and footpath
Activities: hiking (for bikes, see optional route)
Trailhead amenities: parking; portable toilet at Nature Center
Click here to download a .pdf map of the trail section.
Park at the D&L Trailhead on Paint Mill Rd. in Slatington and travel north on D&L Trail.
0.31 – Lehigh Gap Nature Center
1.35 – left onto short “Bobolink Trail”
1.48 – take “Prairie Grass Trail” (footpath – no bikes) and begin rapid ascent
1.8 – left onto “Charcoal Trail”
2.58 – intersection with “North Trail” (blue blazes)
4.5 – left onto “Appalachian Trail” (white blazes) at second radio tower
6.4 – left onto “Woodpecker Trail”
6.6 – right onto D&L Trail at Lehigh Gap Nature Center
Continue south 0.3 mile to trailhead.
Optional (recommended for riders): At 1.48 make right onto “LNE Trail” (rail trail) and continue west. Note that biking downhill on the Bobolink Trail may be hazardous, due to the rough surface. At 3.22, follow Pine Tree Lane for 700 feet. Make left onto Sunset Drive and then a quick right. Follow paved road for 350 feet towards river. Make a right onto the D&L Trail (rolled ballast). Continue 3.4 miles to trailhead. Round trip: 6.5 miles.
Did you take this hike? Have you been here in the past? Leave a comment and let us know about it! Send your photos to [email protected].