National Canal Museum
& Hugh Moore Historical Park
Please note: The National Canal Museum has reopened using CDC guidelines for safety and social distancing. Masks are required. Hours are 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Wednesday - Sunday. The Josiah White II canal boat rides will remain closed until further notice, but meet & greets with the mules are happening. Please visit their website for further details.
Learn about America’s Canal Age. The National Canal Museum is dedicated to telling the story of America’s historic towpath canals. The museum occupies the first floor of the Elaine and Peter Emrick Technology Center in Hugh Moore Park, a 520-acre City of Easton park nestled between the Lehigh Canal and Lehigh River.
The National Canal Museum interprets the history and culture of canals as well as the science and technology behind their building, through exhibits and hands-on activities.
The museum has an outstanding collection of scale model canal boats and tools used in the boat-building business. There is also a water table where visitors young and old can build their own canal system, and exhibits interpreting canal life and canal-related industries.
It also orients visitors to the Park's historic role and keystone environment location in the National Park Service's Heritage Corridor. The story is more sharply focused, digs deeper, and now is told next to the canal and in the context of the Park, one of the first industrial sites in America and a crucible of the Industrial Revolution.
In the Welcome Center, located on the banks of the Lehigh Canal and the Josiah White II Canal Boat Dock, guests can purchase ice cream, cold drinks, and other snacks. Guests are also invited to rent paddle boats, kayaks, and bicycles for use in the canal and on the D&L Trail.
The Canal Museum
Learn something new today. The museum’s collections reflect the material culture and document the history of America’s canals and navigable rivers, as well as canal-related industries in Lehigh Valley.
The museum’s holdings include 3,753 artifacts; 3,890 reels of film, video cassettes and audio (oral history) tapes; 52,782 slides, photographs and negative images; 31,824 engineering drawings; a library of more than 13,483 volumes; 736 linear feet of manuscript materials; and 261 rolls of microfilm.
Among the museum’s archival holdings are rare film footage of canal life, historic photographs, canal maps, captain’s logs, a complete set of the Army Corps of Engineers’ annual reports to Congress, and engineering plans for 15 towpath canals east of the Mississippi River.
New Exhibit: "Where Creativity Flows"
The 2020 special exhibit marks a shift for the National Canal Museum, as this beloved history museum debuts its first art exhibition. “Where Creativity Flows” displays instances of canals in art and popular culture celebrating the many ways our historic canals defined the region through art, books and even movies.
The museum has collaborated with numerous institutions, private collectors, and living artists to bring together an excitingly diverse body of work inspired by our region’s canals. The work of local artists past and present, including Gustav Grunewald, Fred Bees, and Joseph Skrapits, will be on display alongside clips and memorabilia films like both the 1935 and 1955 remake of “The Farmer Takes a Wife” and tributes to public art murals. The juxtaposition of these varied mediums of art are connected by none other than the canals that jumpstarted the American Industrial Revolution. Support for the exhibition was received from the County of Northampton’s Hotel Tax Program, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and Mauch Chunk Trust.
Canal Rides *Rides are not operating at this time, but Meet & Greets and outdoor programming is happening.
Visitors will be able to walk along the towpath with the mules and learn about canals and the job of a mule driver from our knowledgeable crew members. There will also be “Meet the Mules” opportunities those same days from 1:30pm to 4:00pm. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, a crew member will also give 30-minute talks aboard the docked Josiah White II on why we have canals in our area and what life was like as a “canaller”.
When Rides Resume
Take a journey through time. The 48-ton Josiah White II canal boat plies the waters of old Section 8 of the Lehigh Canal in Hugh Moore Park. Trained and authentically-dressed crew interpret the story of the anthracite canals and the people who worked and lived on them. Two mules – Hank and George – tow the boat on a 45-minute trip from the National Canal Museum to the Locktender’s House and back.
Canal boat tours are 45 minutes long and leave the dock at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Hours are weekends: June 3 to June 11; Wednesday to Sunday: June 14 until October 1; and weekends: October 7 to October 29. The boat does not sail on Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission rates are $12 for adults; seniors and military $11; children 3 - 15 years old $9; and children under 3 are free. It includes a canal boat ride and National Canal Museum admission. Group and charter rates available.
- Free Parking:
- Parking On-site:
- Group Friendly (10+):
- Gift Shop: