In the future, cyclists, backpackers and sojourners will be able to trek more than 140 miles from Philadelphia to Mountain Top, Luzerne County, and through the Lehigh Valley, and a new round of state funds will make it possible.

State Rep. Jeanne McNeill announced Monday the state granted $1.65 million to help connect parts of the Delaware and Lehigh (D&L) trail. The money will be used to connect 60 miles of trail north of North Catasauqua to 70 miles of trail starting at Allentown’s Canal Park and south toward Philly.

The connections on the Delaware & Lehigh (D&L) trail are projected to take three to five years to finish. When completed the trail will extend from Mountain Top in Luzerne County to Bristol in Bucks County.

“The D&L Trail is an unbelievable asset for the greater Lehigh Valley to give residents increased opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation,” McNeill said. “This funding will help close a major gap in the trail and improve the quality of life for the residents of the communities in the area.”

The Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc., announced in November it was allocated $7 million to complete the trails. Monday’s announcement confirmed the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources secured the money for the project, Claire Widermuth Sadler, executive director for the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc. said.

Here’s a breakdown of the funding:

  • The City of Allentown received $650,000 to develop 1.1 miles of trail from the existing D&L trail at Bradford Street to the Allentown-Hanover Township border.
  • Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc. received $960,000 to develop 0.75 miles of trail in Catasauqua Borough from Race Street to the North Catasauqua border.
  • Hanover Township received $693,700 to build 0.5 miles of trail from the Hanover Township-Allentown border to Route
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