(Last Updated On: )
view of trail at Delaware Canal State Park in Pennsylvania

View of trail at Delaware Canal State Park. Photo: Bradford Van Arnum, Wikimedia

Located just a 30 minute drive from Philadelphia, Delaware Canal State Park is the perfect place to reconnect with nature – without having to travel too far from the city.

A stunning 830-acre public recreation space, the park’s main drawcard is the gorgeous Delaware Canal. Which runs parallel to the Delaware River between Easton and Bristol.

Incorporating a captivating landscape that includes green spaces, lush wetlands, jagged bluffs and river islands, this Pennsylvania state park offers excellent opportunities for fishing, boating, hiking, biking, hunting and picnicking.

While there is no overnight accommodation directly onsite, don’t let this stop you from going to the park. Within 30 miles of it, there are plenty of campgrounds in the surrounding area in which you can choose to stay at for a few nights.

Activities

A big draw of this park is that visitors can partake in a range of outdoor recreational activities.

Here is a small selection of some of the many things you can do during your time there.

Boating at Delaware Canal State Park

Motorboating enthusiasts will be pleased to read that unlimited horsepower motors are allowed on the Delaware River. As a result, you will find several boat launches along the river.

While they are not permitted on the 50-acre Giving Pond, electric motors are. Other vessels you can take to the water also include kayaking, canoeing and SUP.

Whilst on the water, all motorboats must display a current and valid boating registration.

Similarly, non-powered watercraft must display a boat registration. Or a launch permit from either Pennsylvania state parks or the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Fishing at Delaware Canal State Park

If you are into fishing then you will love the opportunity the park presents you to cast a line in the sparkling waters of the Delaware River, the Delaware Canal and the gorgeous, 50-acre Giving Pond.

Between them, you will be able to catch a range of species including American shad, smallmouth bass, striped bass and walleye.

To fish at any of these places you will need a valid state licence. You will also need to respect the laws and regulations of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Trails at Delaware Canal State Park

You will definitely want to bring your hiking boots with you to the park, as it is home to some 60 miles of trails.

Split between two trails of markedly different lengths, the shorter Giving Pond Trail is a 1.3 km loop trail that is set aside for hiking.

The longer Delaware Canal Towpath extends for 59 miles, running from Easton to Bristol. It is a haven for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and horseback riders.

Both of these trails showcase the park’s exceptional natural scenery. Be sure to take plenty of water with you and wear appropriate footwear.

Picknicking at Delaware Canal State Park

While visiting the park many people enjoy picnicking among its beautiful surroundings.

If this is something you would like to do, you’ll find several picnic spots at different access areas throughout it, as well as the Giving Pond Recreation Area.

Birding at Delaware Canal State Park

With over 150 species of birds calling the park home, Delaware Canal State Park is a very popular spot for birdwatchers.

While many breeds of birds reside in the park all year round, some use it as a resting place during their annual migration.

At any given time, some of the birds you can see in the park include bald eagles, heron, osprey and double-crested cormorants.

Nature & Wildlife

Boasting an enchanting mix of green spaces, cliff faces, river islands and shallow waters, the park is home to an abundance of wildlife.

Some of the species of flora you might see include a white-tailed deer, beavers, deer, rabbits, foxes opossum, otters, woodchucks and muskrats.

Others include turtles, squirrels, salamanders, snakes, bats, woodchucks, voles, skunks, mice, frogs, toads and rats.

Winter Activities at Delaware Canal State Park

When the snow comes in the thick of winter, the park turns into a popular spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

This takes place on the 60-mile-long Delaware Canal towpath, which is a National Recreation Trail that runs from Easton to Bristol.

Hunting at Delaware Canal State Park

Hunting at Delaware Canal State Park can only take place during the designated season.

It is also restricted to archery deer hunting only – as all other styles of hunting and trapping are not permitted.

Over at the Giving Pond Recreation Area some 150 acres have been set aside for this pastime.

As with all state parks in Pennsylvania, you will need to abide by the rules and regulations of the DCNR and Pennsylvania Game Commission, if you want to hunt here.

Pets at Delaware Canal State Park

Pets are welcome in the park, although dogs must remain on a leash and also be cleaned up afterwards.

Some restrictions may apply, so to ascertain what they are, you might want to contact the park’s main office.

Camping at Delaware Canal State Park

Unfortunately, Delaware Canal State Park has no overnight facilities for the visitor.

However, within 30 miles of it you will find a number of different campgrounds, at various other state parks, which you can stay at.

This includes Benjamin Rush State Park in Philadelphia County, Big Pocono State Park in Monroe County, Nockamixon State Park in Bucks County and Fort Washington State Park in Montgomery County.

Between them, all of these state parks offer a range of accommodation options that include everything from RV and trailer sites with full hookups, and primitive tent sites, to rustic cabins, and organized group camping.

The nearby towns of Milford and Frenchtown also have plenty of motel and B&B accommodation too, as does the city of Philadelphia.

Park Location

Delaware Canal State Park
11 Lodi Hill Rd
Upper Black Eddy, PA 18972
Phone: 610.982.5560

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video with some information about the Towpath trail at Delaware Canal State Park: