Another Hike On The Scenic And Historic Walnutport Canal Spur Trail
I decided to hike on the Walnutport Canal Spur Trail in Lehigh County again on Sunday. It was cloudy and a cold 32 degrees at my home in Luzerne County. The radar showed some rain was moving in from the northwest. So I headed 35 miles southeast to Walnutport hoping to stay ahead of the rain. There were clouds when I arrived at the trailhead along the Lehigh River but it was a warmer 42 degrees.
I left my Jeep and walked down to the Lehigh River. It’s waters were brown and raging from the recent heavy rains. I left the river and walked to the Walnutport Canal Spur of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Trail. It follows the old Lehigh Canal for about 4 miles in the town of Walnutport. The trailhead splits the trail in half. One can hike north where you have a great view of the Lehigh Gap. I followed the trail south for about 2 1/4 miles where it ends along the Lehigh River.
Soon after I began my walkup on the trail I saw a couple of downy woodpeckers on a tree trunk. They were both males
and I don’t think they liked each other. One kept trying tried to drive the other away. I saw a female on the branches above them and I am sure she was the reason for their rowdy Sunday morning behavior.
Near the female woodpecker was a female house finch also watching the woodpecker fight.
There were many Canada geese and
mallard ducks swimming on the canal. They are feed by the local folk and are pretty much domestic.
this male common merganser on the river.
I walked back up to the canal trail and walked past the remains of the old railroad that ran over the Lehigh Canal. I had earlier blogs on hikes at this trail with more historical information and you can find them in the archives on my blog website.
and came to one another of the remaining stone locks from the Lehigh Canal. After this lock, the waters of the canal flow into a wetlands. I had seen dozens of mallard and wood ducks on my last hike and I hoped to see, and photograph, them on this hike.
And I saw wood ducks, three pairs of them but they saw me first and were flying away before I could aim my camera. I did see some our usual year long resident birds as I walked along the trail. There was a small flock of black-capped chickadees fluttering in the trees along the river, this one took a good look at me as I walked past,
The Walnutport Spur Trail ended where the Bertsch Creek flowed into the Lehigh River. The were some breaks in the clouds as began my return hike. I saw a few more wood ducks, a kingfisher and a couple of great blue herons but all of these birds were to fast for me to aim my camera.
I did see some more black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice and American robins on my return hike.
I also saw this bird. I thought is was a song sparrow when I took the photos. However when I got home, and edited the photo I learned it was a Louisiana waterthrush. This was a “lifer” for me. I learned it was a warbler and they are quite common on fast moving streams in our Commonwealth.
I found a lot of colorful birds here in this small park including a small flock of American goldfinches,
and a few eastern bluebirds.
a common grackle. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds I saw on the Walnutport Canal Spur trail. Walnutport birds April 11 2022.
The clouds became more threatening as I finished my five mile hike. I was disappointed I wasn’t able to photograph the wood ducks but I was pleased with the photos I was able to capture of the birds I saw on my hike. It was another great day hiking in the woodlands of Penn’s Woods.
On the ride home I drove into a snow squall as I neared my home in Hazle Township, And, when I got home, I was even more pleased with my decision to head south and hike on the Walnutport Canal Spur Trail, there was a half inch of snow on my deck. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my five mile hike. Walnutport hike April 11 2022.
Blessed be the Lord for the beauty of summer and spring, for the air, the water, the verdure, and the song of birds. Carl Linnaeus