D & L Trail - Delaware Canal Towpath

Trail Map

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The Delaware Canal Towpath, which extends from Bristol to Easton, is the only continuous intact canal remaining from the historic canal-building era of the early and mid-1800s. Through its connection with the Lehigh Navigation Canal at Easton, the Delaware Canal helped to develop the anthracite coal industry in the Upper Lehigh Valley. In 1940 the canal system became a state park, and in 1988 Congress officially recognized the system's importance to the economic evolution of America by establishing the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.

Today the 60-mile Delaware Canal Towpath, once trod by teams of mules pulling cargo-laden boats, is one of four named trails that make up the 165-mile D&L Trail, the backbone of the National Heritage Corridor and the longest publicly owned trail remaining in the state. Other trails contained in the D&L are: the Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail, the Lehigh Canal North, and Lehigh Canal South.

Flood damage in 2004 and 2006 closed entire sections of the trail while significant repairs were made. The trail reopened in July 2010. Most of the repair focused on the locks and canal itself. The trail surface remains bumpy from exposed tree roots; users should expect rough conditions.

A variety of looping routes can be followed using any of the five bridges that cross into New Jersey and connect to the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park on the Jersey side of the river. Trail users can easily access both sides of the river to explore quaint towns and in-land trails to take in scenic river views. Connecting bridges are in the Pennsylvania towns of Uhlerstown, Lumberville, Center Bridge, Washington Crossing and Morrisville.

NOTE: The trail is prone to flood damage in places and has suffered in recent years. Check with local authorities before heading out.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Washington Crossing trailhead from I-95, take Exit 51 to New Hope. Stay left and merge onto Taylorsville Road. Travel 3 miles to Taylorsville and turn right onto PA 532. Turn left on River Road (State Route 32) and park in the lot on the left.

There are numerous other access points along the 60-mile length of Delaware Canal State Park, which parallels Pennsylvania Routes 611 and 32. For more information, visit the Delaware Canal State Park website by clicking on the link to the right under "Related Links."

Reviews

osborn2ride

   April, 2015 by laretha

I never give out just one star and have only given out five stars on a couple of trails, so with that said this is one rugged trail. I do round trips so last fall I did the bottom half and last week I did the top half. If you are going to do this trail ...read more

Beautiful trail, eventually

   April, 2015 by louismande

I took the Delaware Canal Towpath from Bristol to New Hope. Having never ridden on this trail before, not a great place to start. Right off the bat, the trail just stops at the Levittown Shopping Center.There is no signage as to where to pick up the trail ...read more

Great fall ride

   October, 2014 by gobig33

Did the whole trail on 10.29.14 It was an awesome trip. read more