The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (DLNHC) joined Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Senator Pat Browne as they announced a combined $7 million investment in the D&L Trail through the Lehigh Valley.
Upon completion of the route through Luzerne County, the D&L Trail will connect Wilkes-Barre to Bristol for over 165 miles, making it the longest multi-use trail in Pennsylvania.
Browne secured $2 million in funding as part of the 2022-23 state budget, and PA DCNR has committed $3 million to the canal side to close trail gaps in Catasauqua, N. Hanover Township and Allentown. In addition to this, PA DCNR has also awarded Lehigh County a $2 million grant to be matched by county funds for land acquisition assistance for the future development of the D&L Trail on the west side of the river which contains a rail trail.
“Expanding the D&L Trail goes a long way toward DCNR’s goal of increasing trail access for all Pennsylvanians and closing trail gaps,” Dunn said. “The Lehigh Valley is a heavily populated area where we are seeing more and more people calling for outdoor recreation opportunities. We expect to see increased activity on this essential multi-use trail that connects communities across the region. … Watch for a possible announcement in January.
This investment will help connect two major sections of the D&L Trail along the east side of the Lehigh River, creating 140 miles of continuous open trail through the five counties that make up the National Heritage Corridor.
This announcement follows a groundbreaking ceremony in September for 1.5 new miles (mile marker 80 to 81.5) of D&L Trail, also in the Lehigh Valley Gap.
This is a monumental announcement that literally paves the way to connect D&L Trail from Mountaintop in Luzerne County to Bristol in Bucks County, taking it through the heart of Allentown,” said Claire Sadler, Executive Director of the DLNHC. “Our work is impossible without the support of critical partners whose efforts and expertise help create these vital links across the corridor.