Spring Sunshine Along The Lehigh Canal In Walnutport.

Spring Sunshine Along The Lehigh Canal In Walnutport.

Walnutport Hike Lehigh Canal (4 of 34)
Previous Post
Next Post

The weather forecast finally called for some sunshine on Sunday. Many of the past weekends were cloudy and rainy. I decided to take advantage of the  Spring sunshine and hike along the Lehigh Canal in Walnutport. 

This would only be my third hike on the trail along the old canal but I think it has already become one of my favorites. I arrived in Walnutport under clear blue skies and plenty of Spring sunshine. 

In addition to the beautiful scenery along the waters of the old canal the trail appears to  be a great place to observe some wildlife living  along the river and canal.

As I began my walk I encountered a small flock of white-throated sparrows fluttering in some shrubbery near the houses along the  canal.  There are some houses, and a visitor center   adjoining the canal on  the first half mile or so of the trail. 

One of them  the historic locktenders house,  is a beautiful stone building that was built n 1828. 

The scenic trail  followed the canal  under towering ancient trees, including this old oak. 

As I was taking this picture a large bird, I am pretty sure it was an osprey landed on one of its branches. It saw me too and immediately took off again. Of course behind the branches and out of focus for my camera. 

There were signs of spring everywhere.

The trees were beginning to bloom as were many wildflowers. It was early and the hundreds of trout lilies along the trail were still closed. These pretty flowers close at night. There were also many patches of skunk cabbage  all along the trail between the canal and the Lehigh  River. I love their green leaves and how the were illuminated in the spring sunshine. 

Like last week,  fishermen lined the canals in the morning sun. About 1 1/4 miles down the trail the canal flowed out of a lock and into a wetland. It was here I hoped to see some water fowl, song birds and other critters in the woodlands along the trail. 

And I did see a lot of birds anyway. First I heard the beautiful song of a tufted-tit mouse and was able to capture a photograph of this year round resident here in Pennsylvania. 

There were also a lot of cardinals singing their songs from the treetops along the trail. 

The trail is located between the river and the wetlands and there were flocks of newly arrived tree swallows swooping over the ponds  looking for insects. This one took a break on a tree branch. 

I kept hearing the wood ducks and kingfishers in the distance. And as usual they were pretty good at eluding me. However this kingfisher landed on a branch over the river just long enough for me to get a photo  some distance away.  It’s not the best photo but I just wanted to prove they really do exist. 

Although the wood ducks eluded me, I  did find some mallard ducks swimming in one of the ponds along the trail.

What surprised me was they were all males. Not a female among the six ducks I saw. 

The males can be identified, as most male birds can, by their brilliantly colored heads. 

I followed the trail, scanning both the wetlands and the river for birds and wildlife until I reached  its end, where the waters of the old canal enter the Lehigh River.  I was out about 2 1/2 miles from  where I  started. 

The April sun warmed the cool morning air. Temperatures were in the upper 30’s when I began my hike.  It was a pleasant hike back .The warmer temperatures  brought out large numbers of turtles who climbed atop rocks and logs to enjoy the sun. 

On my walk back I saw two migratory birds this, I believe, a  yellow-rumped warbler,

and this little fellow a ruby- crowned kinglet. 

Cowbirds were fluttering  high in the tree tops and

there also were a number of song sparrows

singing their songs in the morning sunshine. 

Along the trail I found the the trout lilies had opened their flowers.  They close up at night and in cold weather.

These fragile flowers are only in bloom for a few days each year and I love seeing them in the Spring sunshine. 

There were are a lot of wild oats growing in certain areas along the trail. 

Near my car I finally saw a woodpecker. I was hearing them  all along the trails but finally saw one. Here is a link to a gallery in my website with some more photographs of the birds I saw on my hike. Walnutport hike birds April 19 2020.

I wished I  had the time, and energy, to cross  the bridge over the Lehigh River and explore the other side of the river, on the D & L Trail. But this I shall do on another day. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk along the trail Walnutport hike March 19 2020.  


Awake, thou wintry earth –

Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn




This is my first post