Dating back to the historical canal-building era of the early and mid-1800s, the D&L Trail: Delaware Canal Towpath was once trod by teams of mules pulling cargo-laden boats. The canal system helped transform this region of Pennsylvania into a center of the Industrial Revolution by transporting tons of goods to New York and Philadelphia from local mills. In 1940 the canal system became a state park. Today the 59-mile towpath, located in Delaware Canal State Park is a popular section of the 165-mile D&L Trail, the longest publicly owned trail in PA, and the spine of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
The crushed stone towpath begins in Easton at the D&L Trail: Forks of the Delaware Trailhead located at S. Delaware Dr./SR 611 and continues to Jefferson Avenue in Bristol. Bikers, walkers, runners and cross country skiers are welcome on the trail, but cyclists should note that the route does contain bumpy sections with exposed tree roots, and the trail is prone to flood damage. Visitors should check the official D&L Trail map for any notices about closures before departure.
In addition, it is possible to connect with the nearly 70-mile Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail at several points to create trail loops. The D&L Trail: Delaware Canal Towpath is also part of the East Coast Greenway from Morrisville to Bristol and provides a link to several additional Circuit trails. From the intersection of the Delaware and Lehigh canals in Easton, the D&L Trail extends over 100 miles north to Wilkes-Barre, PA.
Photos: Courtesy of Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor