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Delaware & Lehigh canal path-ride reports wanted

Old 04-19-16, 01:56 PM
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Delaware & Lehigh canal path-ride reports wanted

Hi All,
I'm wondering if anyone here has ridden the Delaware & Lehigh canal path in north eastern Pennsylvania. Some friends & I are planning a 3 day tour over Memorial Day weekend. The plan is to park at the Appalachian trail head at Slatington PA, and get on the D&L for a 40 mile ride to Hickory Run State Park, and return the same way a day or 2 later. If you have any relevant info about trail surface or anything else that is good to know, it would be much appreciated. There are a bunch of touring newbies in the group & I'm the only mechanic among us, so I'd like to go into it with as much info up front as possible. Thanks very much!
~scroungetech
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Old 04-21-16, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by scroungetech
Hi All,
I'm wondering if anyone here has ridden the Delaware & Lehigh canal path in north eastern Pennsylvania. Some friends & I are planning a 3 day tour over Memorial Day weekend. The plan is to park at the Appalachian trail head at Slatington PA, and get on the D&L for a 40 mile ride to Hickory Run State Park, and return the same way a day or 2 later. If you have any relevant info about trail surface or anything else that is good to know, it would be much appreciated. There are a bunch of touring newbies in the group & I'm the only mechanic among us, so I'd like to go into it with as much info up front as possible. Thanks very much!
~scroungetech
Sounds like you are planning to head north to Jim Thorpe and then pick up the Lehigh Gorge Trail to White Haven and then head to Hickory Run. If that is the case, I don't believe you can, as yet, get to JT without some road riding, unless my info is out of date and the planned bridge that bypasses the bottleneck at the south end of JT has been completed. One you get to JT, the Lehigh Gorge Trail is mostly crushed limestone. It was in good shape when I rode it last spring. You can now get to the trail directly from the parking lot north of the old CNJ passenger station in town. Go into the lot, make a left and ride up stream along the railroad. The trail will become self-evident. You then bear right cross the river on a bridge that is shared with the railroad and continue north to the Glen Onoko trailhead.

Hickory Run S.P. is on the other side of the river from the trail, and there is no way to reach it without some road riding. You can cross the river at Tannery and take PA 534. That road has some ups and downs and twists and turns, although I cannot remember how many of them are before the campground entrance. Note that there are no services close to the park. Everything is in White Haven. If you continue on the trail past Tannery you will end up in a small strip mall in town where there is a liquor store, a decent grocery store and a good pizza place, among other things. You can get supplies there and double back on the trail to Tannery to cross over to PA 534. Another option is to cross the river at White Haven on PA 940 and make an immediate right on River Rd, which will take you to PA 534. I have never gone that way so I don't know what it's like.

I would definitely make a reservation at Hickory Run for that weekend. Indeed. I just checked availability. There are only 83 sites left out of 393, and Memorial Day is still more than a month away. (All of the sites with electricity are booked.) I also recommend the hike/walk to the boulder field. Not sure if you can ride all the way there. Check the park rules about bikes on trails.

Last edited by indyfabz; 04-21-16 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 04-21-16, 07:17 AM
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BTW...I will heading to French Creek S.P. tomorrow, Red Run Campground on Martin Church Rd. near Fivepointville on Saturday and then back to Philly on Sunday. Is that out your way?
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Old 04-24-16, 03:09 PM
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I'm located in Lancaster county, but the rest of the group is from nearer to Philly. Sorry I just saw yr post now or would've replied sooner. If you're ever nearby again, get in touch.
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Old 04-24-16, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by scroungetech
I'm located in Lancaster county, but the rest of the group is from nearer to Philly. Sorry I just saw yr post now or would've replied sooner. If you're ever nearby again, get in touch.
Grist Mill Rd. near Red Run this morning:

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Old 04-24-16, 06:51 PM
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Go to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy - Creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and building healthier places for healthier people. | Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

They have all the info you need.
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Old 04-25-16, 06:46 AM
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The trail has it's own web site, and most of it is not a former rail right of way.

OP: Groundbreaking for the bridge is slated for this spring:

2016 Bike for the Bridge to Support Construction of Jim Thorpe Pedestrian Bridge - Carbon County Chamber

Here is the current issue illustrated well:

Jim Thorpe - Pedestrian Bridge - Delaware & Lehigh - Delaware & Lehigh

You cannot yet get across the river into Jim Thorpe, which means you have to take U.S. 209 from Lehighton. That road is no joke. Several steep ups and downs, and people don't often obey the speed limits. Coming out of Jim Thorpe to Lehighton you have a ruling grade of 9%. It's steep enough and long enough to have a slow lane. Unless you want to tackle this section you should consider parking in town or at the Glen Onoko trail head. Don't know if you can make multi-day parking arrangements a the municipal lot by the train station. Another option is to park on the street on other side of the river. It's mostly residential over there, and you can ride to the trail head.
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Old 04-25-16, 07:01 AM
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Despite the name of the organization, railstotrails.com is not restricted to former rail rights-of-way. They have information on all sorts of multi-use trails across the USA, many of which are not former rail lines. Here is a direct link to the page on their website with information about the D&L Canal trail:

D & L Trail - Delaware Canal Towpath | Pennsylvania Trails | TrailLink.com
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