Greatest Hubby Ever and I bike the Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail
The Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail rides very differently than most Rails to Trails. Maybe because it’s really a canal trail and not a railroad bed. Here’s all the info. you need to plan your trip to Easton PA to enjoy the trail!
Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail prep work.
GHE (Greatest Hubby Ever) researched the trail and decided we should start our ride in Easton, PA. We made reservations at the Lafeyette Bed and Breakfast. We planned to arrive on Thursday night, ride on Friday and head to the Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA before we headed home on Saturday.
We arrived in Easton, PA about 7 p.m. Our BnB was a charming manor decorated in Victorian style. We had a spacious room and bath. The breakfast area was in a charming little sunroom. We headed to a local watering hole for dinner called the College Hill Tavern. We walked there right from our BnB and we chose to sit outside because it was such a nice evening. The food was traditional bar fare, but it was tasty. We also watched a pre-season football game on a rather unique “outdoor” TV! After dinner, we decided to walk around town for a bit and ended up on the campus of Lafeyette College. What a quaint campus it was.
Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail Day 1
We awoke in the morning with a goal to be on the trail by 9 a.m so we headed downstairs for breakfast. It already smelled great before we got down the stairs. The owner, Laura, and some helpers greeted us with fresh fruit and homemade bread and muffins. We each had the choice of an omelette or steel cut oatmeal. I had the oatmeal and GHE had the omelette. They were both REALLY good.
After breakfast, we headed for the trail. We only had to drive a few miles into town and parked in the park/trail access. This was no ordinary Rails to Trails because it’s not a railroad bed, but a canal trail that runs alongside the Delaware river. It was used in the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s to transport coal throughout the state. Mules hauled barges up and down the canals to deliver the coal where it needed to go. The bike trail is where the mules once traveled along the canal banks.
The trail is a bit narrower in some places than we are used to and the rain had been heavy the week before. There were a few places where we actually had to bike through running water to get where we were going. Thankfully, it wasn’t deep or our ride would have ended before it got started. We did have some wet sneakers to deal with! There was also one place where we had to carry our bikes up a set of steps and back down, but our bikes are light so it wasn’t a problem.
The view of the Delaware river was spectacular and I liked reading the history of the canals posted along the trail. GHE and I did our usual, riding 15 miles out and 15 miles back which totaled up to a 30 mile ride for the day. Unlike our last ride on the Great Allegheny Passage, this was a totally flat trail out and back (canal, remember?).
We only had a snack on the trail so by the time we finished riding, got back to our room, showered and rested a bit, we were very hungry. We checked out the listing of places to eat in downtown Easton and picked Stoke for our late lunch. Stoke specialized in coal fired pizza so that’s what we had. When you order, you get your own personal size pizza. We each ordered a house salad. I had a Margarita pizza while GHE ordered the meat lover’s pie. We also enjoyed some craft beer and a signature cocktail called Sunrise over Chianti. Sangiovese and Tequila; Who knew those could taste great together?
Downtown Easton is laid out like almost every small town in PA. A square that’s really a traffic circle with a cute little park in the center and streets with shops and restaurants branching out to the North, South, East and West. We browsed around for a bit and then headed to the park for some people watching. There were many families in town who had come to visit The Crayola Experience. This is a museum/activity center for kids centering around Crayola crayons. We had some fun taking pictures outside the creatively painted exterior of the building.
It was almost dark when we decided to stop at Bank Street Creamery for some ice cream. This was a cute little place tucked away in an alley. It looked like no one had any trouble finding it though! I had homemade peach ice cream in a sugar cone. We ate it outside on the sidewalk at colorfully painted iron tables while little twinkly lights shone above us. A great way to end our day.
Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail Day 2
The plan was to ride to a trailhead near Bethlehem and the Musikfest, then ride our bikes the short distance to avoid traffic and parking. Unfortunately, PA rainy summer 2018 got in the way. We woke up to thunderstorms and driving rain, so those plans had to be scrapped. Instead, we slept in a little later, then enjoyed the best Belgian waffles I ever had (honestly). Since the weather was not on our side, we loaded our bikes onto the car and headed home early, but the weekend was still a total success!
Total Miles: 30 (15 out and back)
Essential Gear: Saris Bones 2 bike rack This bike rack allowed us to take GHE’s car and get lots better gas mileage on our trip to Easton
Wildlife Seen: Squirells and rabbits and a beautiful Great Blue Heron on the Delaware river!
Have questions about planning a trip to this trail? Comment below!