Breaking News & Updates
Parks Closed Until April 30; Parking Lots and Trails Accessible
March 23, 2020
DCNR Extending Closure of State Park and Forest Facilities Statewide, Open Spaces will Remain Accessible as Part of COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that all facilities at state parks and forests in Pennsylvania will be closed until April 30 to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The public will still be able to access trails, lakes, forests, roads, and parking areas for passive and dispersed recreation, such as hiking.
Dunn noted this includes campgrounds, cabins and all overnight accommodations. Anyone with reservations in this time period will be contacted, and full refunds will be made.
“During the past week we’ve seen many people hiking trails and heading to the outdoors as a way to get exercise and relieve stress,” Dunn said. “We remind everyone that it’s OK to go outside, but we should still be practicing social distancing to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“This means we should spread out for outdoor activities – if you visit a public place and the parking lot or trailhead is crowded, try another spot, or head back to your neighborhood to take a walk if that’s possible,” Dunn said.
Closed DCNR facilities include:
- Park and forest offices and visitor centers
- Campgrounds, cabins and all forms of overnight accommodations
- All reservable facilities
- Public programs, events, and trainings are canceled through April 30
The best advice to slow the spread of the coronavirus is to stay home. If you are looking to be outdoors, stay as close to home as possible including your backyard, neighborhood, or local park or trail unless they are crowded (check first to make sure they are open, as some local parks are closed).
Visitors can help keep state parks and forest lands safe and clean by following these practices:
- Avoid crowded parking lots and trailheads
- Use the bathroom before you visit
- Bring a bag and carry out your trash
- Clean up after pets
- Avoid activities that put you at greater risk of injury, as there is limited staff to assist
To help avoid exposure to COVID-19 and still enjoy the outdoors:
- Don’t hike or recreate in groups – go with those under the same roof, and adhere to social distancing (stay 6 feet apart)
- Take hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, and nose
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
- If you are sick, stay home
Pennsylvania has 121 state parks, and 20 forest districts.
Parks Closed Until March 31; Towpath and Parking Lots Accessible
March 17, 2020
Pennsylvania State Parks Facilities will be closed for 14 days effective Tuesday, March 17 to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As part of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, all buildings at the parks, including park offices and restrooms, will be closed, and all events and public educational programs will be canceled. The public will still be able to access trails, lakes, rivers, forests, roads, and parking areas for passive and dispersed recreation, such as hiking. All overnight and day use rental facilities will be closed. While these park facilities are closed, state park rangers and park managers will continue to work to ensure security and that public safety is protected.
Delaware Canal State Park Closed Between March 15 and March 29
March 14, 2020
From the Delaware Canal State Park Manager:
Delaware Canal State Park will be closed for 14 days effective Sunday, March 15th to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. ( The towpath trail may be used.) As part of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, all of the parking lots and buildings at the parks, including park offices and restrooms, will be closed, and all events and public educational programs will be canceled. While this park is closed, state park rangers and park managers will continue to work to ensure security and that public safety is protected. The towpath trail may be used during this time.
From the Friends of the Delaware Canal:
As part of the Park, the Locktender’s House in New Hope will also be closed. We will be working remotely, so don’t hesitate to e-mail email@example.com. You may also call 215-862-2021, but a response could take a bit longer. Both the Friends’ Lunch and Walk scheduled for March 28th and Canal Clean-Up Day scheduled for April 4th have been canceled.
Nockamixon Cliff Closure
Beginning February 1, a significant portion of the Nockamixon Cliffs area of the park will be closed to all activity, including ice climbing. As in previous years, the closure is in effect for the protection of endangered species. Visitors to the area may still park in the roadside lots and use the towpath. Closed areas are posted with signage.
The annual practice of closing the cliff area between February 1 and July 31 began in 2016. The Nockamixon Cliffs are a designated Natural Area and are home to unique and rare sub-alpine vegetation and other species. Protecting the cliffs ensures the future viability of the area, so recreational activities like rock climbing are prohibited.
Ice climbing is allowed when conditions permit, outside of the closure time, because fragile vegetation is protected under the ice from human activity. During the closure, some established climbing routes on either end of the closed area will remain open, including “Dead Deer Gully” and “45 MPH”.
If you have any questions, please call the Delaware Canal State Park office at 610-982-5560.
Towpath Closures at Scudder Falls Bridge Project Now Intermittent
November 20, 2019
INTERMITTENT TRAIL CLOSURE: The towpath may be closed in the area of I-95/I-295, Scudder Falls Bridge, intermittently through end of December 2019. Closures may occur between 6am-5pm Monday through Friday; the trail will be open on weekends. The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) will be demolishing the existing bridge over the canal during these closures. For additional information please visit the DRJTBC website at www.drjtbc.org/project/
Towpath to be Closed at Scudder’s Falls Bridge Project
Wednesday, November 6
24/7 TRAIL CLOSURE: The towpath is closed in the area of I-95/I-295, Scudder Falls Bridge, beginning Wednesday November 6 and lasting roughly 2 weeks. Contractors for the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) working on the interstate bridge will be demolishing the old span over the Canal, which will require day and night closure of the towpath below. This section WILL be closed over the weekend of November 9 and 10, and possibly November 16 and 17. We will update this closure notice once the work is complete and the trail is reopened. For additional information please visit the DRJTBC website at www.drjtbc.org/project/
Notice of Planned Maintenance Drawdown of the Canal
September 20, 2019
From the Delaware Canal State Park – Devin Buzard, Park Manager
Delaware Canal State Park is planning for a maintenance drawdown of the canal beginning on October 7, 2019. The canal will be drawn down in multiple sections of the park to perform preventive maintenance, inspections, and to complete several large repair projects.
Work associated with this drawdown will take place at Lock 22/23 (Theodore Roosevelt Recreation Area) in Raubsville, Fry’s Run Aqueduct in Williams Township, Tinicum Aqueduct in Tinicum Township, Thompson Neely Historic Camelback Bridge in the Bowman’s Hill area, and Canal prisim repair near Airport Road in Bristol Towship.
Due to this drawdown and the low river levels in New Hope, large stretches of the canal will have low water levels until water can be reintroduced where possible as projects are completed. Sections of the canal from New Hope south are dependent on higher river levels for re-watering and may take longer to refill. Currently, water levels in the southern portion of the canal are extremely low, and, in some areas, non-existent due to the lack of water at the New Hope inlet.
Drawdown of the canal must take place between July 15 and October 15 due to the regulations established by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to protect the imperiled eastern redbelly turtle. During the drawdown period, park staff will be on site to remove and relocate any fish and other species of concern to a safe location should they become stranded in a section of canal with low water. Public assistance in locating stranded fish is appreciated.
If you have any questions or would like additional information about the planned drawdown of the canal, please contact the park office at 610-982-5560 for assistance.
Water Levels Low from New Hope South to Bristol
September 4, 2019
The level of the Delaware River has dropped below the level of the New Hope inlet, which is located near the developing River House at Odette’s site. When this happens the Canal is water starved, since the primary water supply for the entire southern end of the Canal is the New Hope inlet.
July 24, 2019
The towpath has been re-opened from Mile 31 on the north end of Lumberville to Mile 32.3 on the south end of Point Pleasant. Repair work to the stone wall between the Delaware River and the Canal is now complete.
Towpath Closed from the north end of Lumberville to the south end of Point Pleasant
July 16, 2019
The towpath has been closed from Mile 31 on the north end of Lumberville to Mile 32.3 on the south end of Point Pleasant. The closure is due to repair work being done on the stone wall between the Delaware River and the Canal.