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Things to Do , Hiking & Biking , Sports & Outdoors

Sights & Stops Along the Northern D&L Trail

Explore Cool Trail Towns, Majestic Mountains & Everything In Between

Discover history, culture and adventure along the D&L Trail, a 165-mile trail that stretches from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol, Pennsylvania. Here in NEPA, over 40 miles of the trail are already open and completed, and plans are in the works to keep developing and expanding it.

This multi-purpose trail is mainly smooth and flat—perfect for walking, running, biking and even cross-country skiing. But be sure carve out time for some side trips. The sightseeing is endless with spectacular waterfalls, fascinating historic sites and charming small towns.

The trail is preserved and maintained by the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, a nonprofit based in Easton, Pennsylvania. Before you hit the trail, visit their website for an interactive map, trip guides and other helpful resources.


Wilkes-Barre & Mountain Top


D & L Black Diamond Trailhead, White Haven


The adventure begins right here.

The northernmost part of the D&L Trail begins in Luzerne County. Currently, there are short sections of the trail at Seven Tubs Nature Area and Mountain Top. The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is working to connect the sections and eventually create a northern terminus in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

The trail picks up again at the Black Diamond Trailhead in Wright Township. From here on out, the trail is a continuous path through NEPA and into the Lehigh Valley. Just note that this stretch can be narrow and rocky in some parts, and there is a road crossing.


The Lehigh Gorge


Bridge on the Lehigh Gorge Trail


Peaceful waterfalls, historic ruins and the roaring Lehigh River welcome you to the Poconos.

After the Black Diamond section, you’ll come to a 26-mile, uninterrupted stretch from White Haven to Jim Thorpe. This part of the trail is sometimes called the Lehigh Gorge Trail since it passes through Lehigh Gorge State Park.

The trail meanders through the dense forests, following the mighty rapids of the Lehigh River. For some waterfall views, stop at Buttermilk Falls and Luke’s Falls. They’re located right along the trail near the Rockport access point.

The trail follows the old canal paths and railways, so you’ll spot plenty of relics from NEPA’s industrial era. Pull off at historic sites like the ruins of the Lehigh Tannery and the towering stone walls of the canal locks. Or take a walk down Turn Hole Tunnel, an abandoned railroad tunnel near the Glen Onoko parking area that leads to an overlook of the river.

Biking is the best option if you want to see it all. The trail is made of crushed stone with an ever-so-slight downgrade if you’re heading southbound (your legs will thank you). No worries if you don’t have a bike. Local bike outfitters offer rentals and shuttle services, whether you want to tackle all 26 miles or just do a portion.

Downtown Jim Thorpe

West Broadway, Downtown Jim Thorpe


The Victorian buildings and artsy vibe make this town feel like a scene out of a fantasy novel.

Jim Thorpe lies right outside of Lehigh Gorge State Park. Hop off your bike and stretch your legs, because this historic town is definitely worth the stop. Countless websites and magazines have ranked it among the most beautiful towns in America.

With the stunning architecture and rolling mountains, you can almost convince yourself  that you’re in a European village. Explore the local restaurants and boutique shops along Broadway and Race Street, or catch a train ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. You can easily make a vacation out of your trail adventures with a stay at a luxurious bed and breakfast.

Weissport & Lehighton

Fall Colors Near Lehighton


The journey continues along the old towpaths.

The canal is still filled with water on this section of the D&L Trail, and historical buildings line the way. Stop and take a rest at Lehigh Canal Park to soak up some of the best views.

Two shorter trails branch off of the main trail for a little side trip. The Lehighton Spur will lead you toward downtown shops and businesses, while the Parryville Spur keeps following the canal until it reaches the river.

The Hofford Mill in Weissport is the perfect place to rest and refuel. This silk-mill-turned-entertainment-center includes a restaurant, bar, coffee shop and axe throwing facility just minutes from the trail. It’s also home to City House, a boutique hostel that makes a convenient and affordable base camp for hikers and bikers.


Bowmanstown & Palmerton


Trail Markers from the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor


We’ve reached the edge of NEPA, but there’s still so much more to see.

Bowmanstown and Palmerton are the last towns on the trail before you leave NEPA and cross over in the Lehigh Valley. Take a rest in Riverview Park, or head into downtown Palmerton to explore local shops and restaurants.

Really, we’ve only covered the beginning of an awesome adventure. Keep going, and the D&L Trail will eventually take you all the way to Bucks County, passing through cities like Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and New Hope along the way. In fact, Pocono Biking offers multi-day bike tours on the trail so you can explore NEPA and beyond.

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