This trail is a very popular tourist destination. The trail runs along the Lehigh River for 25 miles from White Haven, PA to Jim Thorpe, PA. On a weekend in the summer or fall you may find hundreds tourists doing a one way trip down hill on rental bikes. Rafters on the river can number in the thousands on a summer weekend. In contrast, in the spring or late fall it is possible to ride 20 or more miles on a weekday without seeing another soul. Either way it is a great ride, one of my favorites.
When I ride this trail I think of the trip in sections. The first is White Haven to Rockport, then Rockport to Penn Haven and finally Penn Haven to Jim Thorpe.. Each of these is about a third of the whole trail. There is access at both ends, White Haven and Jim Thorpe. The is also access and pit toilets at Rockport. The only access at Penn Haven is for official vehicles from DCNR or the railroad. Glen Onoko has access, pit toilets and great hiking trails. Glen Onoko is a couple miles north of Jim Thorpe.
There are many seasonal waterfalls along the trail that flow only in early spring. A couple of year round falls are near Rockport. Buttermilk Falls is on the trail about a quarter mile north of Rockport. Luke's Falls is located on the trail about a quarter mile south of Rockport. Glen Onoko has some of the best falls in the state but they require a bit of a hike up from the trail. If you opt to explore Glen Onoko be aware that the trail is difficult and can be dangerous especially when wet. Be sure to wear proper footware.
Also in Glen Onoko check out the abandoned rail tunnel that extends from the rockface overlooking the river to the parking lot. You will need a light for this.
The Lehigh Gorge section of the D&L Trail is the #6 trail of the top 10 trails in Pennsylvania according to the rails-to-trails conservancy. The whole D&L Trail is #9 on the conservancy's list of the top 10 trails for American history. The specific sites mentioned are south of the gorge.
Related posts: Safely Cycling the Lehigh Gorge,
Here is a video from my YouTube channel: Lehigh Gorge 2020
Here is the elevation profile. The highest elevation is White Haven on the north end. It is a gradual downhill all the way to Jim Thorpe.
|White Haven to Rockport|
|Rockport to Penn Haven|
|Penn Haven to Jim Thorpe|