Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) is a multi-use trail spanning 165 miles running through Lehigh Valley. This historic transportation route crosses railroads, canals, rivers, and trails. The Lehigh Valley section of the trail is approximately 48 miles and spans the Central region.
The Central Region of the D&L
Travel the D&L Trail between Jim Thorpe and Easton and you’ll notice a distinct change in the land’s character. Mines, breakers, patch towns, and other signs of the coal industry are replaced by covered bridges, mid-18th-century German villages, elegant Victorian houses, and the rolling fields of Pennsylvania German farms.
Lehigh Valley produced the literal building blocks of our nation; slate, zinc, and limestone for cement were processed here, while iron and steel fueled local economies and impacted industrialization around the world.
Distinct industrial and cultural communities like Walnutport and Slatington resulted from the influx of laborers on the Lehigh Canal and railroads. A bit farther south, the region’s three largest cities – Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton – became the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution, due in part to the strategic significance of Lehigh and Delaware Canals.
Lehigh Valley’s unique combination of towns, cities, and farmland continues to shape the region. Today, the D&L Trail follows the canals in linking communities, economies, and landscapes of Lehigh Valley to its northern and southern counterparts.
National Canal Museum
The National Canal Museum is the only museum in the country dedicated to telling the story of America’s historic towpath canals. The museum features hands-on exhibits that educate and entertain parents and children alike. Visitors can practice harnessing a mule and learn how to steer a canal boat! View exhibitions about the men, women, and children who lived and worked on the canals, and discover how they used simple machines like levers and pulleys to make their job easier.