Northampton – Hanover Canal Park
Before leaving Northampton, take a free tour of the Saylor Park and Cement Industry Museum. This museum, featuring nine giant kilns built in 1892, is dedicated to the Lehigh Valley’s contribution to the development of the cement industry. This region was once one of the world’s largest cement producers.
The land in this area is made of chalk, shale, clay and limestone – the perfect combination of minerals for cement production – which makes for a unique landscape. This part of the trail also offers views of the Lehigh River.
This 3.3 mile dirt path has a smooth surface for riding, but has many obstacles and is not completed. Although many local hikers pass through this area safely, it may be best to avoid bringing your dog along through this area.
Hanover Canal Park – Allentown
Stop for a rest at Hanover Canal Park’s beautiful gazebo and fountain before heading towards Allentown. This 2.9 mile stretch of trail is currently incomplete, but once finished will provide excellent views of the city. To get to Allentown, you must follow city streets.
While in the city of Allentown, make your way towards Easton Area High School and take a stroll down the Lehigh Canal Towpath Trail. This asphalt pathway meanders along the Lehigh River, with views of forests, farmlands, and houses, and will be an easy walk for you and Fido.
Before leaving, visit one of the many museums, concert halls, parks or covered bridges located within the city.
Allentown – Bethlehem
The trail between the two largest cities on the trail is about 4 miles long. It is a quiet dirt path that is smooth and easy to pass on foot or bike. Experience views of the Lehigh River on one side of the trail and a trout-filled canal along the other.
The city of Bethlehem is filled with historical landmarks and contains 6 National Historic Districts. The Bethlehem Department of Parks and Private Property oversees more than 40 recreational areas within the city. There are a multitude of activities for you and your pet including nature trails, fishing, boating, cross-country skiing, and hiking.
After a day of activity in this beautiful city, make your way to the Sand Island Trailhead to enjoy the picnic areas, tennis courts, and boat launch.
Bethlehem – Freemansburg
Leave the Sand Island Trailhead in Bethlehem and make your way towards Freemansburg. On your way down this dirt path, take in the sights of the now abandoned Bethlehem Steel plant. The trail surface is smooth for most of the way, and makes for an easy walk or mountain bike ride. Towards Freemansburg, the trail gets a little rocky, but plans for improving the trail will be underway soon.
Freemansburg – Hugh Moore Park
Before leaving, visit the Freemansburg Canal Education Center and Lock 44 Complex. Here, a restored barn, gristmill, and coal yard originally built in 1829, were brought back to life using the original building techniques and took 10 years to complete.
This 6.2 mile section of the trail was restored by volunteer members of the Old Freemansburg Association. It is completed but has recently received damage from flooding, and some parts of the trail have been washed away. It is passable on foot as long as you use caution, but bikes will probably not make it through. You may want to steer clear of this section whilst traveling with Fido until it can be restored.
If you are adventurous enough to take this unimproved trail towards Hugh Moore Park, you will not be disappointed. This isolated dirt path boasts views of the Lehigh River and abundant songbirds. There are scattered remains of canals and you will pass Island Park and a large dam along the way.
Once you reach the Bethlehem Boat Club, the trail ends for a short time. To continue, head north a short distance to a gravel access road; leading you to the Route 33 boat access. A bit further, you will reach the Palmer Township Bike Path, which runs along an abandoned railroad bed all the way to Riverside Park. From here, cross the 25th Street Bridge into Hugh Moore Park in the city of Easton.
Hugh Moore Park – Forks of the Delaware
Hugh Moore Park is home to the offices of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and the National Canal Museum, which are located inside Emrick Technology Center
This 2.3 mile stretch of canal towpath is smooth and easy to navigate on foot or bike. There are historical landmarks and locks to be seen along the path. The trail ends on the border of New Jersey. Here the Lehigh and Delaware canals and rivers meet, creating spectacular water views. This area was called the “Forks of the Delaware” by the Leni Lenape Indians.
Easton is full of historical significance. It was designed by William Penn, and the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence outside of Philadelphia took place here in 1776, right in the center of town. While in town, visit the country’s oldest open-air market, and pick up some snacks for you and your pooch.
Forks of the Delaware – Wy Hit Tuk Park
This 2.4 mile length of trail leaving Easton is currently closed due to tremendous flood damage. This canal towpath is part of the Delaware Canal State Park. The Delaware Canal State Park includes a 60 mile path (Wy Hit Tuk Park) that runs along the Delaware River between Easton and Bristol. There are more than 10 river islands, a 90 acre pond, beautiful fields and historic towns along this route. The park is full of amenities for the outdoor enthusiast and dog owner throughout the year including boating, rafting, fishing, hunting, hiking, biking and cross-country skiing.
Wy Hit Tuk Park – Ground Hog Lock
Another section of the trail that falls within the Delaware Canal State Park, this 3.4 mile section has some areas that have been damaged by floods. These areas are closed to bikes, but can be passed on foot with caution.