LEHIGH CANAL SOUTH:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: April 21, 2012
Length: D&L Trail (Allentown-Bethlehem); 3.8 miles
D&L Trail (Bethlehem-Hugh Moore Park); 9.7 miles
On-road access to South Bethlehem Greenway; 1.1 miles
Difficulty: D&L Trail (Allentown-Bethlehem); Easy. Flat stone-dust towpath.
D&L Trail (Bethlehem-Hugh Moore Park); Easy. Flat stone-dust towpath & a section of the paved Palmer Township Bike Path.
To Start from Lehigh Canal Park; From I-78 take exit 57 to Lehigh St north. Cross the Little Lehigh River and turn right on Martin Luther King Jr Drive. Turn right on Union St and cross over the Lehigh River. Turn left on Albert St and follow around heading south along the RR tracks. Turn right on E Walnut St and cross over the RR tracks. Travel alongside the old D&L Canal, cross underneath a RR bridge and turn right into the Lehigh Canal Park. Make an immediate left to reach the trailhead parking lot.
The D&L Trail follows the 165-mile route that anthracite coal took from mine to market. It winds through northern mountains and along the banks of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers through northeast Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley and through Bucks County. The D&L Trail passes through towns, industrial powerhouses and along remnants of the Lehigh & Delaware Canals. Some sections of the trail run along the old towpaths and other sections travel along old rail trails. The plan is to create a continuous stone-dust trail, however, at present some sections still utilize a natural hard packed dirt & grass surface, while a few sections are still undeveloped. See D&L Trail Map below for individual segments. For another segment I've visited along the D&L Trail, See; D&L Trail; Lehigh Gorge SP . For finished segments I have not yet visited but provide information, See; D&L Trail; Lehigh Canal Towpath , D&L Trail; East Penn-Northampton. For more information visit; D&L TRAIL .
Starting from Lehigh Canal Park; The stone-dust D&L Trail travels along the old towpath between the canal and the Lehigh River. Active RR tracks run along the opposite side of the canal and enter a large freight yard. Trail starts out isolated and wooded. After leaving sight of the RR tracks you'll pass by old Lock 41 at 2.8 miles. Informational signs are located along the trail. You pass by the River St parking lot & boat launch at 3.8 miles where you can find a map board next to the boat launch. Warning low RR bridge ahead. Next you'll pass below the Hill to Hill Bridge (Route 378) before coming to Main St after 4 miles.
Note; You can access the South Bethlehem Greenway on-road from here. Turn left on Main St and cross the canal and RR tracks. Travel past the old RR Station & Freight House to your right, cross W Lehigh St and turn left on Spring St. Travel underneath the Hill to Hill Bridge and up Spring St. Turn right on 2nd Ave, then an immediate right along an old on-ramp. This will bring you up to the bridge. Turn right and follow the pedestrian path over the bridge to South Bethlehem. Just after crossing the bridge and Brighton St look right to spot the old Lehigh Valley RR building. Continue to a double cross-light and travel left across the road to a sidewalk that leads down an access ramp to W 3rd St (look left to spot the old Bethlehem-St Luke's Union Station). Head left along 3rd St (you'll spot the old rail bed across the street which has not yet been developed) to S New St and turn right to reach the South Bethlehem Greenway trailhead after 1.1 miles.
Continue along the D&L Trail down alongside the canal passing by the old Ice House and coming to another Lock where I believe Monocacy Creek crosses (the canal bridged the creek). Your now in Sand Island Park. The canal trail continues across the creek, but to reach it you must continue alongside the creek to an iron bridge. Travel over this bridge to rejoin the D&L Trail.
Note; The Sand Island Trail continues past the iron bridge and through the park (a restroom is located just up this trail). We looped back along this trail.
The trail travels alongside the canal and creek, then travels underneath the New Street Bridge. This section is forested along both banks. At 4.6 miles you'll come to the northern end of Sand Island where the creek enters the Lehigh River.
Note; A bridge to your right takes you back over to Sand Island where you may loop back to the D&L Trail along the Sand Island Trail to the Lock. The path splits but both will return you to the Lock after passing by a restroom.
Just past this bridge is a path leading down alongside the river with picnic tables. This is as far as I traveled.
The wooded trail continues following the towpath between the river and canal, traveling underneath several bridges which have access via stairs only. When you reach Freeman Island in the middle of the river there is an access trail out to Lockhouse Rd which connects to Main St in Freemansburg. The trail then continues along the remnants of the canal (trail may be earthen along this section) with another access trail out to Wilson Ave in Easton. Very isolated. Continue east until you come to the Bethlehem Boat Club property, just west of the Route 33 bridge. At that point, trail users must head north for a dozen yards or so to reach a gravel access road. Following the access road east will bring users to the Route. 33 boat access. Continue east to reach the paved Palmer Township Bike Path, which runs on a former railroad bed.
Note; The trail utilizes part of the PALMER TOWNSHIP BIKE PATH just before Hugh Moore Park.
The trail continues on this bed until reaching Riverside Park. Currently, trail users should use Lehigh Drive to access the Glendon River Bridge (not the 25th Street Bridge) and cross into Hugh Moore Park.
Note; Check out D&L Trail; Lehigh Canal Towpath for the final section out to the forks of the Delaware River.
CLICK HERE FOR D&L TRAIL MAPS
CLICK HERE FOR PALMER TOWNSHIP BIKE PATH
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT