North Branch Canal Trail


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North Branch Canal Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Columbia, Montour
Length: 6.2 miles
Trail end points: River Dr (less than a mile east of Clinic Rd in Danville) and Rupert Dr (near Catawissa Boat Club in Montour Twp)
Trail surfaces: Dirt, Grass
Trail category: Canal
ID: 10222682

North Branch Canal Trail Description

Notice: The North Branch Canal Trail is currently closed between trail miles 3.5-4.1 due to an ongoing legal dispute. Do not enter this area. The other sections of the trail remain open for use. 

Designed to still preserve and protect the natural environment, sections of the trail may be difficult to navigate, be narrower in some places, and be affected by rain and storms. 

Following the former North Branch Canal towpath, this natural-surface trail meanders through woods and meadows. Paralleling the Susquehanna River, the 6.2-mile route occasionally offer scenic views of the water.

There is a variety of wildlife and vegetation to observe. Remnants of the canal, which was operational from 1831 to 1901, can still be found along the way. Follow the mowed-grass and dirt trail through fields of wildflowers that stretch to the tree line with dark blue-green mountains in the distance, under the woodland canopy, and along steep ridges. 

The average width of the trail is 5 feet, but some portions are only 4 feet wide. Sections of the trail have steep drops of up to 20ft on one or both sides of the trail. At mile 2.71, a streambed crosses the trail. Although it is dry for most of the year, please exercise caution as high water levels make it impassable. 

Trail mileages are posted on signs every 0.1 mile, beginning at mile marker 0.1 and continuing through mile marker 6.2 near the Catawissa Boat Club in Montour Township, in Columbia County.

Wide tire bicycles, like mountain bikes, are highly recommended. Encountering tree roots is not uncommon. Pets are allowed provided they remain on their leashes. Horses and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.

The North Branch Canal Trail is managed by the Montour Area Recreation Commission.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the North Branch Canal Trail Trailhead, located at the western end of the route. Heading east out of Danville, E Market Street turns into River Road. Less than a mile from the intersection with Clinic Road and just before the railroad tracks cross the road, there is a small gravel pull-off with a bench and a small sign. This is the parking area for the trailhead. There is also parking at nearby boat launch further west of the trailhead on River Drive.

Visit the TrailLink map for exact locations and detailed directions.



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