Towpath Closure Update
August 25, 2020
SOUTH OF FRY’S RUN (MILE 52): [NEW] The towpath between Fry’s Run/Kleinhan’s Aqueduct and Mueller’s General Store is temporarily closed while contractors make repairs to a portion of the towpath which subsided after Tropical Storm Isaias. The closure is expected to last through Friday Aug 28. This advisory will be updated when work is complete.
Canal News – Summer 2020
Another Camelback Bridge Project Crossed Off the To-Do List
Extensive repair work on the historic camelback bridge that crosses the Delaware Canal in the northern section of Washington Crossing Historic Park has been completed. To preserve one the canal’s most iconic and well-used structures, the Friends raised $78,000 in private contributions to fund the project. Thank you!
The work was completed by camelback bridge restoration expert Randall Myer of R-Shell Exteriors, Lancaster, PA. Myer and his assistant Jane Martin arrived on site in late January. The weather was cooperative, but the pandemic wasn’t. They were drawn off the job by the COVID-19 restrictions, and then returned to the project in May when construction activities were allowed.
After elevating, then stabilizing the bridge on cribbing, the main floor beams, posts, cross bracing, X braces, roof boards, and many deck boards were replaced with appropriate timber. The bridge then received its coatings of signature barn red stain. The final inspection by representatives from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Friends took place on June 3.
The Thompson-Neely Camelback Bridge is one of only six along the 58.9-mile-long canal that still retains its authentic structure. The camelback design was used on the Delaware Canal because it has a slight hump in the middle allowing clear passage of canal boats underneath. Today they are picturesque and useful reminders of the canal’s colorful past.
The Friends of the Delaware Canal’s quest to restore and preserve the six remaining camelbacks began in 2002. Since then, five of the six have been restored. Their quest continues.
Friends’ volunteers undertake maintenance projects each year to keep the already restored bridges in good condition. The Upper Black Eddy Ready Response Team (UBERRT) will be restaining Hazzard’s Camelback Bridge this summer, and the Canal Action Team (CAT) will be applying their stain brushes to the Goat Farm Camelback Bridge, as well as cutting back vegetation that tries its best to engulf the bridge approaches.
The sixth bridge, Spahr’s Camelback Bridge in Upper Black Eddy, is a victim of earthquake damage and extensive deterioration. Its restoration is a major undertaking and remains a goal.
We are very grateful to the many generous contributors to this project, who love the camelback bridges and ensure their preservation. With special thanks to the Goodfellow Fund, Judy and Joe Franlin, Barbara and Peter Sperry, and Susan Taylor.
Park Manager’s Report
by Devin Buzard
As you may have already gleaned from other articles in this issue of Canal News, we are nearing a predictable end to several large-scale construction projects along the northern end of the Canal.
These much needed replacements and repairs necessitated the dewatering of the Canal. The bypass gate that feeds Lehigh River water into the Canal was closed last fall. The waterway is essentially without water, but when it can be found in sporadic stretches, its source is stormwater runoff or local streams that flow directly into the Canal.
While there have been setbacks with recent events and the temporary cessation of some work, I am still optimistic that we will be able to introduce water once again as early as August.
As spring transitions into summer, I am finding it is difficult to predict what the next few months will bring. You will see an increase in boom mowing (long reach) along the banks as summer continues. We recently replaced this critical piece of machinery that was lost to a roll-over accident last year.
And, despite being faced with so much recent uncertainty, I have been inspired to see that the good work of the Friends has not faltered over the past few months. Most notably, I witnessed the fulfillment of a primary mission of the Friends – the restoration of an authentic camelback bridge in the skilled hands of an expert craftsman.
While there could be no large ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Thompson-Neely Camelback Bridge when the project was completed, I know that one would have been well-attended. A repair of this scale only exists with many supporters. I appreciate the Friend’s commitment to preserving our historic structures and proud to know that this bridge will go on to bear the footsteps of future generations.
Out on the towpath, I am sure you have noticed the increase in visitation and may have even personally witnessed a new user, who is still unfamiliar with trail etiquette. While the increase in traffic may at times be frustrating, it is important to remember that this influx of recreational users truly indicates the importance of our public lands that you, as Friends of the Delaware Canal, already know and support. While this trend in visitation may not last forever, it is my hope that the appreciation for places like the Delaware Canal will not fade.
The Friends heartily thank all the Delaware Canal State Park staff for keeping the towpath and waterway open during these extremely challenging times!
Calendar of Events
COVID-19 has sucked the certainty out of the Friends’ plans for 2020. You already know more than you’d like about the hazards of gathering in groups and being in enclosed spaces,
so we won’t belabor the reasons why our organization has decided to cancel some of our traditional events and reconfigure others.
The Friends of the Delaware Canal is a Pennsylvania State Parks friends organization. As such, we must and want to comply with the directives
that are issued by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Those directives are based on the Center for Disease Control and Department of Health guidelines.
When you receive this newsletter, the Counties of Bucks and Northampton may be in the Green Phase, “the new normal.” At this point, the Friends’ “new normal” means that we will plan on having walks, but the number of participants will be limited to 20 people, who will social distance and wear masks. Reservations will be required. And, yes, we will have a sound amplification system, so there won’t be the need to huddle together to hear.
Canal Action Team (CAT) projects, such as bridge painting and vegetation removal, will go forward with precautions in place. The number of volunteers on each project will be limited to five, the work will take place outdoors, and no contact with the general public made. We would dearly love to take on some small group clean-up activities to make up for missing the Friends’ annual Canal Clean-Up Day, but there is just too much poison ivy growing on the banks to risk it. (And now you know why our annual cleanup is scheduled in very early April.)
Later this year, it may be possible to have some programs, such as photo shows or presentations by speakers, but it will depend upon how well COVID-19 is tamed. Plans are being made for virtual alternates, if need be. We will not be having our Paddle the Canal events in partnership with the State Park Educators this summer and fall. The need to sanitize the kayaks, paddles, and PFDs and be in close proximity during instruction and launching has ruled paddling out.
Our practice of carpooling people from the starting and finishing points of the Friends’ annual 58.9-mile long Canal Walk has complicated the decision about whether or not the Walk will be held this year.
Unfortunately, Faces and Places–A Celebration of the Arts and History Along the Delaware Canal has been canceled. Nearly all of the event arrangements for the Friends’ major fundraiser must be made well in advance, so the cancellation became inevitable. Plans are already underway for Faces and Places 2021.
Meanwhile, as the way forward becomes clear, we will let you know the what, where, and whens about upcoming activities. If you’ve provided your e-mail address, you will receive announcements via Constant Contact. The events will be posted on the www.fodc.org and listed on the Friends’ Facebook page.
It’s been very strange to be without events and activities since early March. We very much miss seeing you, and hope to be able to change that, at least somewhat, soon.
THE FRIENDS HAVE A BUTTON
You can get yours absolutely free at the Locktender’s House in New Hope or at a Friends’ event.
Many thanks to Board member Jeff Connell for being our button benefactor!
SMILING AT THE LOCKTENDER’S HOUSE
Even though the interior of the little museum at Locktender’s House at Lock 11 in New Hope is currently closed to visitors because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the Friends are still
sharing the Canal’s stories.
On weekends, Susan Schneider, our Locktender’s House guide, sits on the front porch. Decked out in her long skirt, homespun blouse, and mask, she has been greeting visitors and providing
them with information about the many aspects of the towpath and waterway.
The Construction Countdown
3 – 2 – 1 – Done
Completion is in sight for three major Canal construction projects. (Please knock on wood. This is no time to jinx anything.)
The northern end of the Canal from Easton to New Hope has been essentially dewatered since last fall. The bypass gate that supplies water from the Lehigh River was closed to allow work to begin on three projects during the winter/early spring. The timing of the dewatering was dictated by the restrictions concerning the habitat of the red belly turtle, a PA threatened species.
The three projects are:
• The replacement of the northern drop gate on Groundhog Lock aka Locks 22/23 in Raubsville
• The replacement of the Fry’s Run aka Kleinhans Aqueduct in Williams Township
• The repair of the berm bank blowout and structural damage at the Tinicum Aqueduct (The steel trough that conveys water over Tinicum Creek is not being replaced as part of this project.)
The first estimate for the completion of the three projects was May 2020, but then came the obstacles. Access agreement issues, problems with bids, a tree falling on a big piece of equipment, and, of course, COVID-19 shutdowns.
Now, in June, it almost seems miraculous to be able to report that all three projects are expected to be completed by early fall, at the latest, thanks to the diligence of DCNR and the contractors. We hope that there are no additional delays to be encountered due to material availability or personnel shortages due to COVID-19.
From North to South:
The massive timber drop gate for Groundhog Lock is being built in the shop of Methods and Materials Building Company of Gilbertsville, PA. (This is the same company that constructed the drop gate and miter gates for the Lock 11 rehabilitation.) The Delaware Canal State Park maintenance staff has cleaned out the gate chamber and is in the process of replacing the timbers on which the gate will rest. When the new gate arrives, the Park staff will install it. The project is anticipated to be finished in August at a cost of $44,000.
On August 11, 2018, three inches of rain fell in less than an hour turning Fry’s Run in Williams Township into a torrent heading to the Delaware River. The Fry’s Run aka Kleinhans Aqueduct stood in its way and lost the fight. Parts of the aqueduct and its supporting structure were torn away. As an interim measure to maintain water f low in the Canal, DCNR installed two pipes where the aqueduct had been. Last winter, Loftus Construction of Cinnaminson, NJ began work on the new aqueduct. In mid-June, the $780,000 project was 99% complete.
The northern berm bank and canal prism at the Tinicum Aqueduct were also victims of torrential rains. Tinicum Creek raged in June of 2017, collapsing the earthen structures at the aqueduct, but the steel trough and its pedestrian bridge remained intact.To keep water flowing southward, DCNR installed a temporary channel. Concurrently, an engineering consultant was engaged to develop plans to restore and strengthen the earthen structures, repair the leaks in the aqueduct’s stone abutments, reinforce its stone pier in the Creek, replace the deteriorated footbridge, and refinish the steel trough.
Clearwater Construction of New Cumberland, PA began the many-faceted, $1.045M job late last winter. Work is currently progressing and expected to be completed in July.
The completion of these three major projects holds the key to rewatering the Canal from Easton to New Hope. It really can’t come soon enough, but the progress that’s been made in spite of all the obstacles this year has been impressive.
Refreshing the Stories
The Friends is very proud of its significant role in sharing the Delaware Canal’s history Our organization has been involved in the placement of nearly all the interpretive signs that can be found from Easton to Bristol. We both create new signs and improve and replace existing ones when needed.
Late last winter, six sign panels that had been suffering from wear and defacement were replaced through a partnership between the Friends and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Trail Towns Amenity Grant Program.
New panels, “Where the Water Flows and “A Modern Timber Aqueduct” were installed at either end of the Tohickon Aqueduct in Point Pleasant. The “Canal Boat Graveyard” panel was replaced in Tullytown, and the kiosk at the Black Rock Road Picnic Area in Lower Makefield received three new generic interpretive signs. Clear, crisp text and photos await your visit.
Tending the Canal
The Friends’ Canal Tender volunteers watch over and care for their sections of the towpath and waterway year-round. The Delaware Canal is so much better for their efforts.
- Bill Low, who is a Co-Tender with Aodan and Linda Peacock for the Phillips’ Mill to Centre Bridge section
- Eileen Killeen and volunteers from Yardley Friends Meeting will be adding the Woodside Road to Mt. Eyre Road stretch to their tending territory.
Many thanks to our retiring Tenders
- Alex Castner and sons Will and James for tending the Wheatsheaf Road to the Conrail Tunnel section
- Bob Ketler: Woodside Road to Mt. Eyre
- John Manocchio: Lock 11 to Rabbit Run
- Ricki Fisher: Bridge Street to Rabbit Run
- Marge Copenhaver: Phillips’ Mill to Centre Bridge
- Annette Heinz and the “Housewives of Rolling Hills”: Lock 17 to Uhlerstown Covered Bridge
TENDERS ARE NEEDED for these sections, which can be divided into stretches of any length:
- Bristol Borough: Riverfront Park to Lagoon Park
- Bristol Borough: Lagoon Park to Green Lane
- Bristol Twp: Green Lane to Edgely Road
- Bristol Twp/Tullytown.: Edgely Road to Levittown Shopping Center (Arby’s)
- Falls Twp.: Mill Creek Road to Wheatsheaf Road
- Falls Twp.: Wheatsheaf Road toTyburn Road
- Falls Twp.: Tyburn Road to Railroad Obstruction
- New Hope: Bridge Street to the Rabbit Run Bridge in New Hope
- Tinicum Twp: Lock 17 to the Uhlerstown Covered Bridge In Tinicum Township
Can you help? Find out more at fodc.org/help-the-canal/canal-tenders/
SHARE THE TOWPATH TRAIL, PLEASE
On a recent weekday morning, we witnessed a scene that is all too common these days. A man, focused on his phone screen, was oblivious to a bicyclist who was coming up
behind him on the towpath, and this in spite of her several calls of “On your left” and finally resorting to “Hey, dude.” The man just
continued up the middle of the towpath, and the bicyclist swerved around him narrowly avoiding a fall into the water.
The moral of this story? We all need to be mindful when using the Canal towpath.
During this time of COVID-19, the towpath is experiencing an unprecedented surge in visitation. Many of the bicyclists and walkers have never been to the Delaware Canal State Park before.
These extraordinary circumstances mean that we need to heighten our awareness of whom and what is on the towpath. The extra dividend in this is that we will be more likely to spot the wildflowers and the wildlife. The sight of a dozen turtles lined up on a log is worth a pause.
Be prepared to wear a mask and social distance.
If you are close to other walkers, runners, or bicyclists, please be ready to put on a mask. The CDC guidelines suggest that all persons, when possible, should maintain at least six feet of distance. This separation often is not possible on the sometimes very narrow towpath. Wearing a mask is the best solution, and it signals that you care about others.
Ride your bicycle with care.
Bicycle tires rolling on the red argillite towpath don’t create much noise, and walkers can be taken by surprise. Cyclists need to make their approaches known by using a bell, calling “on your left,” or simply saying hello to signal the intention to pass. Be mindful of low bridge clearances and limited lines of sight, and be prepared to walk a bicycle under these structures when necessary. And slow down when passing a walker or other cyclist. It is just common courtesy.
Be a good steward of the Delaware Canal State Park.
Keep the towpath clean for all to enjoy. If you take a bottle of water with you, remember to take it home. Please don’t leave used masks and gloves behind. Most restroom facilities are now open for public use, so take care to keep them clean, too.
Just be nice.
If you are traveling in a group, be sure not to block the path for others. Bicycle riders should yield to pedestrians and hikers should yield to equestrians.
The Canal towpath connects many towns, large and small, to an inspiring natural resource. It can be a beautiful day in the neighborhood for all, if we just be mindful.
WELCOME NEW FRIENDS
Carol & Dan Achord
Paul & Christine Angulo
Sandra & Tom Lavis
Tamie & Douglas Logan
Patricia & Tim Merkel
Paul & Casey Pane
Pipes Reinstalled at Fry’s Run
Monday, August 27, 2018
The temporary pipes have been reinstalled at the Fry’s Run Aqueduct and Lehigh River is again flowing south. Thanks DCNR for the quick action!
Update on the Fry’s Run aka Kleinhans Aqueduct Situation
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
From Josh Swartley, Delaware Canal State Park Manager —-
On Saturday, August 11, 2018 Williams Township (Northampton County) experience torrential downpours and flash flooding. As a result of this flooding Fry’s Run overflowed its banks, sending a wall of water into Kleinhans Aqueduct. The flash flooding damage the aqueduct and the temporary bypass that carries water along the canal. The aqueduct wall on the west side was completely blown off and washed down the canal. The temporary bypass, that conveys water through the canal, was washed away. Currently, water is being diverted out of the canal at Theodore Roosevelt Recreation Area (TRRA) until repairs can be made to the aqueduct. The area between TRRA and Durham will have no flow until repairs can be made. The Durham pump has been turned on, so the area south of Durham will have a minimal amount of water on a short term, temporary basis. Over the next several days, we will be working on installing another temporary bypass over the aqueduct and hope to have water flowing through the area by the end of next week.
Local Flooding Damages Fry’s Run Aqueduct
August 13, 2018
On Saturday, August 11th, it RAINED in the upper stretches of the Canal causing local flooding. Fry’s Run near Raubsville rose to a level higher than the canal aqueduct, and the tremendous force of the water against the temporary pipes, which were carrying the Canal’s water over the Run, were ripped out of place – as well as stone walls and some River bank.
The result is that most of the water coming south from Easton is pouring out the west side of what remains of the aqueduct structure. Water levels have dropped from Groundhog Lock south.
Hope to know more soon about the way forward. This turn of events is especially sad since
DCNR took great pains to install the pipes so that the Canal could be watered until the structurally deficient aqueduct was replaced. Fortunately, the plans for the new aqueduct are finished, so the replacement process is underway.
Canal News – Summer 2016
Canal News – Summer 2016
The days of May were glorious along the Delaware Canal. In Easton, the abundant water being fed from the Lehigh River filled the Canal all the way south to the Virginia Forrest Recreation Area, 1.3 miles north of Centre Bridge. (At this location, the water had to be released into the Delaware River so that the Redfield Bridge replacement construction site was not inundated.)
A new, more efficient pump, purchased by the Friends and New Hope for Our Canal, supplied River water into the Canal filling the Centre Bridge to Lock 11 section in New Hope nicely.
After extensive culvert cleanouts in the southern end, the Delaware River water flowing into the Canal through the New Hope inlet filled the Canal so high that its water was overflowing the coffer dam at the Lagoon in Bristol Borough.
The key word is “filled.” The many sections that typically have had water were brimful. New to the watering scene were Smithtown, Point Pleasant, Devil’s Half Acre, and Lumberville – communities that haven’t seen consistently high water since 2004. The Canal levels from Morrisville to Bristol Borough were also uncommonly high.
Only 1-1/2 miles of dry-ish Canal prism prevented the achievement of our goal of a “fully watered Canal.” So tantalizingly close.
Then came the discovery of a leak in the Kleinhans Aqueduct, which spans Fry’s Run, seven miles south of Easton. The DNCR engineers confirmed that a previously identified issue with several of the structure’s steel beams had become an immediate problem.
Much to DCNR’s credit, it quickly moved forward with the installation of two 60″ diameter pipes and associated coffer dams that allow Canal water to continue to flow through the aqueduct structure without exacerbating the structural problem.
The amount of water coming through the pipes is impressive, but the flow volume through the aqueduct has been reduced. The use of the two pipes, rather than the full rectangular aqueduct structure, has limited the Canal flow to an amount that reached only as far as the north end of Point Pleasant. A donor paid the electricity bill for a week-long experiment to determine whether a boost from the 6,000 gallon per minute Durham pump would push water farther south. The boost seems to have produced a low level of water extending to the northern end of Lumberville, but a final determination of the effect is still in progress. The cost of operating the Durham pump is $180+ per day, so careful evaluation of cost and benefits is necessary.
The Kleinhans Aqueduct pipes are a temporary fix. Replacement or substantial repair of the aqueduct, which fortunately is the shortest one on the Canal, is the permanent solution. Replacement or repair is the only way to get a significant flow of “free” Lehigh River water flowing through Point Pleasant, Lumberville, Centre Bridge and New Hope again. DCNR has included the project in its 2016-2017 budget.
Another remedy may be the diversion of water form the Point Pleasant Pumping Station into the Canal at the southern end of the village. DCNR and DC21 have been working on an agreement with the Forest Park Water Authority to allow this diversion, which was first tried more than 15 years ago.
Now on to the Canal from New Hope to Bristol. The prolonged lack of rain has caused the Delaware River to drop below the level of the canal inlet located behind the former Odette’s in New Hope. This inlet supplies Delaware River water into the Canal and is the only significant water source for the southern 25 miles of the Canal from New Hope to Bristol. When the River drops below the inlet level, the Canal drops.
In earlier issues of Canal News, you have read about the Friends’ investigation into the installation of an Archimedes Screw pump near the inlet location. This investigation continues, but, meanwhile , the feasibility of installing at 6,000 gallon per minute centrifugal pump at the inlet location is also being pursued as a quicker fix to the need for water augmentation.
Another consequence of the dry weather is that evaporation and tree and vegetation absorption are outrunning the Centre Bridge pump’s ability to keep its section reasonably full.
The best and easiest cure for the water woes from New Hope to Bristol is moderate rainfall. Rain dances by all are most welcome.
Bi-State Construction is making good progress with the replacement of the Redfield Bridge just north of Centre Bridge. The project extended beyond its anticipated duration because the east abutment had to be replaced rather than repaired. The project’s completion will be happy news to the bikers and walkers who use this popular Centre Bridge/Lumberville/Bulls Island/Stockton/Centre Bridge canal loop trail.
Additional project updates are included in the Park Manager’s Report. For the latest information, check the Breaking News page.
The Delaware Canal does present its challenges, but we have come so far and the magnitude of the challenges continues to decrease. We always keep on trying during trying times because the glorious days of May have proven that the canal is more than worth our efforts.
Park Manager’s Report
It is truly an honor for me to be named the new Park Manager at the Delaware Canal State Park Complex. I am looking forward to working with the staff, the local communities, and multiple partners seeking to improve the park. This is an excellent opportunity , and I am looking forward to the new challenge in my career.
I began my career with the Bureau of State Parks in 1994 working as a semi-skilled laborer at Neshaminy State Park. I have held positions as a semi-skilled laborer, intern, and DCNR Ranger at several state parks and as a Park Manager trainee at the Park Region 4 Office. In 2005, I was named the Assistant Park Manager at the Hickory Run State Park Complex, and in 2007, I was named as the Park Manager of Neshaminy State Park.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in Recreation from Lock Haven University and will be moving to the Pipersville area with my wife and three children.
We currently have two projects in progress – the culvert replacement on Airport Road in Bristol Township and the Redfield Bridge replacement in Solebury Township. Also, in 2016, a large wall repair will be taking place at Mile Post 21 in Upper Makefield Township. We are anticipating that the replacement of the Phillips’ Mill Bridge and Lower Limeport Bridge, both in Solebury Township, will take place later this year or early in 2017. Also in 2017, we are planning for several projects. They include the tunnel through the railroad embankment just south of Morrisville and a large capital project to replace 12 bridges and culverts along the Canal.
In New Hope, the Bureau has been developing conceptual plans for the relocation of Odette’s and the development of an enhanced visitor services area located by the old mule barge concession.
Finally, work is progressing by PADOT to improve the towpath crossing at Green Lane and Route 13 in Bristol Township. The pedestrian crossing should be completed by the end of the year.
Enjoy the Canal!
Better and Better
More than 350 people turned out this spring for the Friends’ annual Canal Clean-Up Day. Thirty-two coordinators organized coverage of all 58.9 miles of the towpath and waterway. Most of the trash picking and brush clearing took place on showery Saturday, April 2, but some Canal Tenders and other groups chose other days with Falls Township Boy Scout Troop 46 finishing off the effort on May 7.
THANK YOU ALL!
We were especially pleased to have several new coordinators step up to carry on their predecessors’ traditions of successful group clean-ups – Pam Can in New Hope Borough, Mayor Dave Rivella in Morrisville, and Ed Armstrong of GOAL (Greenbelt Overhaul Alliance of Levittown.)
The very good news is that the Canal Clean-Up Day volunteers say that they find the Canal cleaner every year. In a May 11th Letter to the Editor to the Bucks County Courier Times, Friends’ member Joe Linus of Washington Crossing wrote, “I annually volunteer to clear trash from the Delaware Canal towpath. I am always amazed at how little trash we find. This year, I and four others could not fill even half a trash bag.”
Another validation of “the cleaner the Canal is, the cleaner it stays.”
The High Work
The Locktender’s House in New Hope is a “bank building” set into the canal bank at Lock 11. It rises three stories high on its South Main Street side, and two stories up on its towpath side. This spring three slates fell from the house roof on the towpath side, and the copper gutter on the Main Street side was miserably clogged.
To the rescue came Jeffrey DeFrehn, Sr. and Jeffrey DeFrehn, Jr. of DeFrehn Roofing of Langhorne. They offered to fix the slate roof and clean the gutter at no charge because “we love historic buildings and want to help those who work to preserve them.” We are so thankful to the DeFrehns for this very necessary help. Jeffrey DeFrehn has been in the roofing business for over 40 years, and he and his team handle roofing projects from historic buildings to new construction expertly and efficiently.
Ducks, Ducks, and More Ducks
This year’s Delaware Canal Festival has evolved into a series of summer-long events.
On June 17 the Delaware Canal Festival kicked off in Historic Bristol Borough. Lagoon Park and the green at Grundy Mill were filled with people who bought their dinner at a variety of food tracks and then stayed for the fun. The local Irish folk band, The River Drivers, set the rhythm for a parade of decorated boats and paddleboard exercisers who plied the calm waters of the Lagoon. Kids and adults decorated ducks for the big contest, played games, visited the tables of community groups, and sat relaxing on a perfect summer evening.
The Delaware Canal Festival will arrive in downtown New Hope on Saturday, July 30. From noon to 4 p.m. come see plein air artists at work along the towpath, Civil War re-enactors at the Parry Mansion, and performers from the Bucks County Folk Song Society at Ferry Street Landing. There will be duck decorating at the Locktender’s House, a scavenger hunt, a guided walking tour of the Canal and an Instagram contest.
And there will be more duck decorating at the Delaware Canal Festival in Morrisville on Saturday, September 10. The State Park educators will be offering the opportunities to paddle kayaks in the Canal, and there will be plenty of good music, food, and fun, too.
Don’t miss out on the rest of the ducky Canal Festival season!
Welcome, New Friends
Paul and Roberta Butler
Michael and Alberta Duncan
David and Mindy Emerson
Sue Ann Rainey Gillen
Gale Griffiths and Laurie Sauter
J. Brian Stalter
Paul and Donna King Trenchard
Canal Walk 2016
October 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29
Break in your hiking shoes because the Friends are embarking on their 29th annual 58.0-mile-long Canal Walk this fall. Conducted over five successive Saturdays, the Walk is starting at the Forks of the Delaware in Easton and ending at Waterfront Park in Historic Bristol Borough.
Join in one or all of this year’s walks. The full Canal Walk 2016 itinerary will appear in the fall issue of Canal News and on-line at www.fodc.org. We hope that this is your year to take part in the challenge, the camaraderie, and the fun.
Memories of Canal Walks Past
“I’m thankful that I walked the entire length of the Canal back in the ’90’s. I have the stock certificate framed and hung on my bedroom wall to remind me of the thrill I had taking the walks, and I still recall them when we ride along River Road where the towpath is visible. I feel so proud and happy that I took the walks.”
Friends of the Delaware Canal member ever since her first Canal Walk
New Canal Tenders Step Up to the Task
Annette Heintz and “The Housewifes of Rolling Hills” have adopted the Uhlerstown to Lock 17 section in Tinicum Township.
Sheree Cote and Tom Lurz are taking care of the Mountainside Inn to Lock 12 section in Plumstead and Solebury Townships.
Monica Hemmers and Steve Heimann are back at work on the Lock 12 to Virginia Forest Recreation Area section in Solebury Township.
Ricki Fisher is covering the Rabbit Run Bridge to Bridge Street section in New Hope.
The work of our Canal Tenders truly makes a difference, and we’re grateful to have these new volunteers. We also thank the people who have taken care of these areas in the past – Joe Cloran, Sally Getchell, Nan Kirstein, and Bill Rorer.
You can be a Canal Tender, too!
Here are the sections of the Canal that need adoption:
- Railroad Obstruction to Tyburn Road (Morrisville to Falls Township) – 1.1 miles
- Tyburn Road to Wheatsheaf Road (Falls Township) – .6 mile
- Levittown Shopping Center to Green Lane (Bristol Township) – 1.9 miles
- Green Lane to the Bristol Lagon (Bristol Borough) – 1 mile
- Beaver Street to Riverfront Park (Bristol Borough) – .8 mile.
Only 5.9 miles of the Canal’s 58.9 mile length remain orphans – just 10%. Please help to bring our orphan rate down to 9%.
A Few Glitches in Rewatering Process
April 20, 2016
The amount of water reaching the Virginia Forrest Recreation Area north of Centre Bridge has diminished due to several circumstances.
- Debris, brush, yard waste, etc. continues to accumulate at the locks and stop gates on the route south from Easton. These accumulations hinder the water flow and must be laboriously cleaned out by the Park staff. The staff tackles clean-out nearly every day.
- The structural problems that were known about Fry’s Run Aqueduct south of Easton have blossomed into a leak. The Park engineers have developed a short term plan for keeping water fully flowing, which may be implemented as quickly as April 25-26. They also have an intermediate plan. The Fry’s Run Aqueduct is the shortest one on the Canal, just 25 feet long, so solutions easier to accomplish.
The water level in the southern end of the Canal from Green Lane to the Bristol Lagoon is also lower because the Park staff is repairing some holes that developed around a culvert that runs underneath the Canal.