Slate Heritage Trail

3.32 Miles

Trail Description

This rails to trail project was officially initiated by a committee of the Northern Lehigh Historical Society, Inc. in April 2001. The Slate Heritage Trail project is utilizing, as much as possible, the former Lehigh Valley Railroad right-of-way from the Norfolk Southern property in lower Slatington to the Slatedale Fire Company's athletic fields. The rail line was opened in 1874 to transport freight and finished slate products from the burgeoning slate quarrying operations in the northern Lehigh County area to a junction in Slatington with the Lehigh Valley Railroad’s mainline. The trail is opening up an area of the Northern Lehigh community containing hidden natural beauty and historic significance. Strolling, hiking, jogging, bicycling, fishing and bird watching along scenic Trout Creek are just some of the activities providing fun and recreation for area families and visitors to the Lehigh Valley. The trailhead in Slatington is located near the midpoint of the developing Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, and the Slate Heritage Trail will connect with the D & L National Heritage Corridor at this point. The Slate Heritage Trail is a community project, locally initiated and planned by volunteers interested in the improvement of the Northern Lehigh area, and the preservation of the natural and historic resources for the benefit of all families in the region. The goal is to link this effort to the following communities and organizations: the Borough of Slatington, Washington Township, the Borough of Walnutport, the Northern Lehigh Historical Society, Future Focus, the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, the Walnutport Canal Association, the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, and other groups and organizations interested in a cooperative arrangement for the mutual benefit of all involved. Grading and paving of the Slatington portion of the Slate Heritage Trail have been completed, as has construction of a full-sized covered bridge and the refurbishing of an existing railroad bridge. The bridges carry the Trail over Trout Creek. Six unique slate benches, constructed of slate blocks quarried in Slatedale, were placed along the Slatington portion of the Trail in 2005, the project of a local Eagle Scout.

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