Wednesday, May 6, 2015

25th annual Delaware Canal Walk to start Saturday

More than 1,000 participants have walked the 58.9-mile towpath route from Easton to Bristol since historian and author Will Rivinus started the event in 1987.

25th annual Delaware Canal Walk to start Saturday

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Will Rivinus starts the second Canal Walk, in 1988, by blowing a conch shell horn. This tradition honors the 19th century canal boat captains, who blew conch shell horns to alert locktenders of their approach. (Friends of the Delaware Canal)
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In 1987, historian Will Rivinus came up with the idea of leading a tour of the 58.9-mile Delaware Canal, where mule-drawn boats once transported coal and other goods from Easton to Bristol.

Rivinus, author of Guide to the Delaware Canal 60 Miles of Fun and Adventure, divided the route along the towpath into segments of roughly 12 miles and led groups on five successive Saturdays.

That first Canal Walk was a hit, and the Friends of the Delaware Canal have conducted one every year since, even when flood damage shortened the tour. More than 1,000 people have participated in the walk over the years.

Starting Saturday, Oct. 6, the non-profit group will offer their 25th annual Canal Walk, beginning at Wy-Hit-Tuk Park in Easton. It will end Nov. 3 at Riverfront Park in Bristol Borough.

This year’s walk, which is free, will be 56.6-miles, because last year’s storms washed away some of the towpath south of Easton.

As in past years, Susan Taylor, executive director of Friends, and historians and conservationists will lead the walks, telling about the canal and sites of historic and environmental significance along the route. 

The five segments of Canal Walk 2012 are:

Oct. 6Wy-Hit-Tuk County Park in Easton to Indian Rock Inn on Route 32, north of Upper Black Eddy. 10.7 miles.

Oct.  13Indian Rock Inn to the Kinsman Co. on Route 32 in Point Pleasant.  13.2 miles.

Oct.  20Point Pleasant to the Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve south of New Hope. 10.5 miles.

Oct. 27Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve to the Black Rock Road Picnic Area in Yardley. 9.9 miles.

Nov. 3Black Rock Road Picnic Area to Riverfront Park next to Mill Street in Bristol Borough. 12.3 miles. 

The walks begin at 9 a.m., and participants can walk on any or all of the Saturdays.   Sturdy walking shoes are recommended, because some of the towpath terrain is rough.

Bring a light lunch and beverage each day except Oct. 27, when a free 25th anniversary picnic lunch will be provided.

Carpooling will provide rides back to the starting point.

Donations can be made to the Friends of the Delaware Canal, which works to preserve, improve and interpret the canal and its surroundings.    

For information about the walk and other Friends’ activities, call 215-862-2021, e-mail,  visit or Friends of the Delaware Canal on Facebook. 



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About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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