Going for the silver
In 1988, the United States Congress designated the area from Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, to Bristol, Bucks County, as the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
On Aug. 8, leaders of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and the National Canal Museum signed an agreement to merge the two nonprofits to tell the story, "Where America was Built."
"It is time to celebrate all we have done and who we are," said Elissa Garofalo, D&L President-Executive Director.
Next year, the D&L Heritage Corridor will mark its 25th anniversary with many events and programs along the corridor and in communities along the trail.
"Today, we enter a new era with a new alignment, and a thoughtfully-crafted plan for the 'new normal,'" Garofalo said.
National Canal Museum Executive Director, Dr. Tom Stoneback, cited the corridor as a region "where geology met geography and genius.
"Anthracite coal was carried from mine to market on the Delaware and Lehigh canals," Stoneback said. "It was the fuel that triggered the mass production of high-quality iron in the 1840's, which launched America's Industrial Revolution."
The new organization is headquartered at Emrick Center, Hugh Moore Park, Easton.
"Make no mistake, neither organization will abandon its central mission; in fact, together we will expand them," Stoneback said.
Already, more than 2,200 have taken part in the walking and bicycling program, "Get Your Tail on the Trail," a partnership with St. Luke's University Health Network.
Other programs include "Art on the Trail," "Summer with Finn" and "Tales of the Towpath."
On board the Josiah White II, the National Canal Museum canal boat, there's "Conversations on the Canal."
The mules, Hank and George, will continue to provide the power to pull the boat.
The Lehigh Valley is approximately in the middle of the corridor, which follows the Lehigh and Delaware rivers, and which played an important part in the Industrial Revolution of the mid-1800s.
The corridor passes through three areas: the Wyoming Valley, Lehigh Valley and Delaware Valley. Visitors can explore the corridor while enjoying its beauty and the cultural heritage of the region. You may enjoy the attractions of the corridor by car, boat, bike or on foot.
My wife, Bev, and I use the trail and rivers for fishing, kayaking hiking, biking and walking with our Springer Spaniel, Blue. Dogs must be on a leash and owners must carry a bag for a dog's "duty." The sections between Cementon and Bowmanstown are those we frequent the most.
The 165-mile-long Dela-ware and Lehigh Trail, which is more than 82 per cent (135 miles) complete, passes through five counties, extending from the anthracite coal regions of Carbon and Luzerne counties to the river port of Bristol. A few sections of the trail are under negotiation for purchase and others are being constructed.
"D&L Trail, Towns & Culture, The Stone Coal Way," by Tom Shealey is a great resource. The guide includes corridor history, photographs, maps and destination information.
D&L trail information: delawareandlehigh.org, 610-923-3548
If you have not been on the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor trail lately, fall is a perfect time to do so.
That's the way I see it!
To schedule programs, hikes and birthday parties: 610-767-4043; comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
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© 2013 Bud Cole