Another Hike In The Heat: This Time Along The Lehigh Canal In Walnutport
I knew it was going to be another hot day last Sunday. Temperatures in the 90’s were predicted I decided to hike along the Lehigh Canal in Walnutport. I had hiked here a few times now, on the southern portion of the canal trail. I only hiked the northern trail once in the Spring.
It is now mushroom season here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Most of the woods where I gather aspen scaber bolete mushrooms near my home have recently been lost to industrial development. I thought the woods on this trail might be a good place to find some of these bolete mushrooms.
I arrived in Walnutport, located about 30 miles south of my home in Hazle Township, around 8 a.m. It was sunny and already near 80 degrees. There is a small park at the start of the canal trail and I stopped to enjoy the beautiful flowers.
As I walked on the trail, situated between the old Lehigh Canal in Walnutport and the Lehigh River the Blue Mountain appeared in the distance. I was surprised to find almost no water birds, dragonflies or other insects along the shores of the canal. Unlike the canals in my favorite nature preserve, the PPL Wetlands in Salem Township, the waters in this canal had no duck weed growing on the surface. I am thinking this was the reason for the sparsity of wildlife activity on the trail.
Further on the trail were the pine and birch trees that I observed on my first hike here in May. These are the trees the bolete mushroom I was searching for grow. However, the undergrowth was to thick and there wasn’t a bolete mushroom to be found,
After about a 1 1/2 I came to one of the remaining locks from the canal built in the 1820’s. So much history. I have a few blog post on the history of the canal and you can search for them in my blog archives.
Seeing this view of the famous and historic gap took me back in time, and I reflected on Benjamin Franklin. Yes the Benjamin Franklin. He left Philadelphia and hiked up the Lehigh River from Bethlehem to build a fort to protect settlers who were attacked by Native Americans. . He arrived, and saw this same view on January 16 1756. Well maybe he didn’t see this view that day, it was raining. But he did walk near this same trail on his way to build Fort Allen in the what is now Weissport. Here is a link to some more information on his visit. Benjamin Franklin 1756 Hike
After taking a break from the heat under some trees while taking in the view I began my 2 mile walk back. It was hot. This didn’t stop a number of people from using the trail. I saw a couple of dozen of folks, hiking, biking or walking their dogs on my return hike. On my walk I finally saw a great blue heron, but it flew off as soon as it saw me.
to the Lehigh River. I rested along the river and made returned to my car having got my five mile hike in. I was a little disappointed having now found many “red top’ or aspen scaber mushrooms but it was still a nice day to explore the Lehigh Canal despite the heat.Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike at the Lehigh Canal in Walnutport. Walnutport Hike July 26 2020.
Whenever the sun is shining, I feel obligated to play outside!”