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This trail is a combination of canal towpath and rail-trail. On the east side of the Lehigh River, the trail follows the earthen canal towpath. On the west side of the river, the trail follows a rail-trail of crushed stone, between Slatington and the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. Through Lehigh Gap, the trail follows a railroad grade of medium-size ballast, with compact fines and limited rough and wet riding.
The section between Walnutport and Bowmanstown follows canal towpath and old railroad grades through the unique canal towns of Walnutport and Slatington, and winds through the Lehigh Gap past Palmerton and into Bowmanstown.
From Bowmanstown, you can continue north on the west side of the river to Lehighton, where you can cross the water to reach Weissport. Note that parts of this northern section are on-road. In Weissport, connect with the D & L Trail - Lehigh Canal North to explore the river's east bank.
Note: The trail is suitable for wheelchair user only south of the Lehigh Gap.
Access the trail in Walnutport (Main St. to Lehigh St.) at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center (Rt. 873 to Paint Mill Rd.), and at the East Penn Township Boat Launch (Rt. 895 to Riverview Rd.).
Great trail to close out May 2016.
Had a bit of difficulty following the trail in Bowmanstown. Maybe it's just the old eyes....
I have now done all the miles open from the Delaware river to Mountain Top on the D&L system. This is a nice trail but not a great one. The surface is great and I was on my very old Mt Bike but I did see a lot of Road Bikes along the way. The high point was the Airport just north of Slatington, there is a bone yard of old Airplanes, I thought that was neat. The trail head in Slatington is one of the very best on the whole of the D & L trail system. I could not believe the number of people on this trail down at the south end.
If you are looking to ride north from this location, it is possible with less than a mile of road riding. Heading north: After going around the yellow gate at the sewage treatment plan in Lehighton, continue north on the paved road. Cross under two bridges. Look for a narrow paved driveway on the left and ride up the short hill. This will bring you out to route 209 by Castle Grill. Proceed through the parking lot towards Dunkin Donuts. Make a left onto Bridge Street. Be sure to travel on the right side of the road and avoid sidewalks as this is used heavily by pedestrians and construction signs. Follow Bridge Street through Weissport. Once you cross the railroad tracks the Canal Park can be accessed. If you want to go south towards Parryville, go right. If you want to connect up to Jim Thorpe, go left. The Canal Park has a nice pavilion there for you to rest and a portapotty if needed.
We started at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center and rode to Weisport. The trail is lovely! There are loads of wildflowers along the section that's part of the nature center, plenty of shade, and you're right along the Lehigh. The trail is wide and well-maintained. The only "con" is that you ride on the road for a portion of the trail, and the place to pick it back up again (across the river from Bowmanstown) isn't well marked or visible from the road. Considering most D&L trails have great signage, I was surprised by this oversight. We also rode a part of the canal path that starts in Slatington. It was pretty, but the trail isn't nearly as well maintained and it just kind of piffled out into grass. Probably better for walking than biking. We loved the rail trail and will definitely return.
I rode this trail early Sunday morning, very light traffic. The trail is in very good condition. This trail will be great if they ever tie it in with the trail from Jim Thorpe to White Haven.
This section of trail now continues North all the way to Lehighton. The trail is now crushed stone all the way to the parking lot entrance of Riverview Park along Riverview Rd. in East Penn Township. You have to ride approximately 3/4 mi. on Riverview Rd. to route 895. Across 895 is a cul-de-sac and Marvin Gardens Park. On the cul-de-sac is the entrance to the trail. The trail continues under the new Turnpike bridge to Lehigh Drive in Lehighton. None of the road sections are busy roads. It appears that a parking area in Lehighton is almost completed at the end of Lehigh Drive. From Lehighton it is possible to cross Bridge St. to the canal path on the east side of the river and ride to just south of Jim Thorpe.
An official connection to Jim Thorpe is all that is needed to really make the whole D&L Trail one of the best in the country. The section through Lehigh Gorge already is.
Rode from Slatington to Lehighton on June 1, 2013. Only passed a few other bikers. Be sure to stop at Lehigh Gap Nature Center just north of Slatington.
This is a very nice trail, one of the best in the area. Good for walking, jogging and biking. Picnic tables and benches are located all along the entire trail. Trail is flat with great scenery on both sides. In Slatington there are places to stop and get something to eat. If you ride to Bowmanstown there are also places to eat. Rest rooms are being built in Slatington and should be open very soon. I hope in the future the trail gets extended toward Coplay and the Ironton Rail Trail.
I confirmed this with the Northampton assistant borough manager. You can still use Canal Street, a relatively lightly-traveled street, to reach the new Cementon trailhead, and I have corrected the Google Maps site that shows it as a bike path. For what it's worth, Northampton is only in the discussion phase when it comes to the D&L Trail bicycle route through Canal Park.
This is section through Northampton Canal Park. It's paved, and is close to the river. However it is also prominently signed "no bicycles" . We enjoyed riding that section very much yesterday...even if we were breaking the law...
My wife and I rode this trail two weeks ago on our mt. bike tandem, and I can honestly say it may now be the best trail in the surrounding area. In May of this year a new section of trail was completed, and it is now possible to ride about 17 miles on this D&L portion in one direction. This new portion starts at the Cementon trail head and continues on to Laurys Station where you encounter another trail parking area. Continue on to Treichler's bridge and yet another trail parking area and then on to Slatington. All of this is new trail and not yet shown on the current map. In Slatington is another parking area, and the trail continues on to a park in Bowmanstown. The trail, as of last week, had a closed sign from the nature center to Bowmanstown as they put the final touches on the new trail surface, but we rode it on a weekend when no work was being done to the trail. As for the canal trail in Walnutport which is across the bridge from Slatington, it remains, in my opinion,safe ( except for the Canada geese when they have their young) but does appear in need of some TLC.
Today was the first time I was on this trail. (I usually walk on the Ironton Rail to Trail) Anyway, my son and I decided to try this trail out. We entered the trail from a playground off of 2nd Street in Cementon and walked toward Laury's Station for about a mile or so. It was a nice shaded walk to do in the afternoon. Does anyone know if they are continuing to do work on this part of the trail? Also, I didn't see a place to park to enter the trail at the D & L Cementon Trail Head- does anyone know if there is parking there?
I've also seen ATV's and loud motorized vehicles on the trail most times I've been on the Laurys Station stretch and on the railroad side of Walnutport Canal. Now there are concrete barriers by the entrances at 329 and along the trail. They are making an effort on parts of some of the Lehigh Valley trails, but I think the fact that the trails go through numerous jurisdictions it makes laws tough to enforce.
This is a nice trail and is my favorite local trail so far. It offers a nice ride from Walnutport to the 873 bridge then the trail has a rough patch of the ballast rock but it is pretty well packed down. Then it is just a dirt trail after that. There is great scenery along the way, including small water falls and views of the valley.
I didn't see the trail name for the Laurys station Portion of the D&L, but we just tried it tonight and we were rather disappointed to say the least. We understand this trail is not completed yet, but thought it connected up to the Walnutport portion of the D&L. We headed out towards Walnutport from the trailhead in Laurys Station. The trail starts out with rail to trail feel, but then that ends and you head through the woods. This is fine except you pass what looks like an abandoned campground with broken down campers etc on the right. It looked like some sort of horror movie scene to be honest, then you pass by some nicer homes a little further up and it feels like you're driving thru their front yard. We got up to the 145 bridge and heard a bunch of yelling and screaming and a bunch of dirt bikes and 4 wheelers. Since we were trying to ride to enjoy nature etc, we turned around to the other way on the trail. After we turned around 3 minutes later their was a scruffy looking guy following on us on a motorized mini scooter. Then another scruffy guy came up behind him on a mini dirt bike. we pulled over to allow them to pass and only one did. Then he stopped and we passed him. They ended up following us the entire way. We felt like we were somewhere we didn't belong and were being chased. I actually thought about reaching for my cell phone several times. When we got back to the completed part of the trail, the two guys on the motorized bikes went right up on the trail and passed us as if the rules didnt apply to them. (NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES!) Thankfully they ran out of fuel about half way up then we passed them and continued on our way. We decided to take the trail in the opposit direction towards cementon. This part of the trail looks really nice we went only about 3 miles up to the water authority and turned around. It was getting dark and after being chased through the other part of the trail we wanted to be safe getting back. We will ride the southern part of this trail again but will not be going towards walnutport that is for sure. Is there a number to call to report motorized vehicles on the trails or do the police handle it?
This "trail" really consists of 4 trails. Ones is not even listed.
The southern starting point of this trail shows a spot a few miles south of walnutport/Slatington. The best advice is to drive into from 145 Walnutport, head towards Slatington and as soon as you cross the river, there is parking next to the Pizza parlor on the right or a big parking lot on the left.
1) If you head north(right side of the road), take the west side of the river if you want some incredible views. Be advised though that about 2 miles into the west side trail, you will hit some really bad trail right after the airport. the stones are the big 2 inch chunk type found along most railroads. Tough it out for about 1/4 mile for the best part of the whole trail. You will come to a point where the trail splits off to the left and goes straight up hill. Take this if you want to see the whole valley, go straight if you want to stay near the river. The ride is pretty rough though. Not a whole lot of fun. When you come back, if taking the high route, pass the exit coming back down, and continue to the end of this trail. this leads to the highest spot your going to get access to on a bike. There is an antenna mounted at the end, and a big rock jut, that is great for some cool photos.
2) if you head north again, but this time take the right side of the Lehigh, its a really nice stroll down mostly macadam. It has a lot of nice spots that are very pretty in the fall etc.. The views are basically water level river to the left and canal to the right. The trail ends at the bridge down by 873. Kind of tame.
3) Now if you head south from the parking lot go off to the left if you want to take the old canal tow path. Basicall a tame little ride to nowhere. Views are all nice, but basically woods and canal.
4) A trail that isn't even marked is the one that heads off to the right. it looks like a little alley as it follows past the backyards of a whole bunch of older houses. There is a dog that is usually tethered to back of one of these homes, so be on the look out. He scared the crap out of my wife the last time we went that route. Once you get away from the homes, this trail turns into a really nice ride through the woods and follows trout creek. As it comes to road crossings, dont give up, keep looking for the trail on the other side. Usually it will be located near the stream. One point it actually looks like you have to go though a persons backyard as the trail is very faint. But dont worry, its state land. Stay on the trail until it ends in Slatedale.
That wraps up this entire trail system. As I write this though, they are actively working to expand the system all the way down to Laurys Station.
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