Long Distance Trails  –  The Lehigh and New England Railroad





The Lehigh and New England Railroad:

While this rail line, abandoned mostly in 1962 is not yet a trail, certain sections are. It would make an excellent trail, though much of it would no longer be possible. Presented here is a description of the rail bed as it exists, with hopes that it may one day be an official trail. Sections that are open to public are noted such. Otherwise, please do not trespass.

Attempt was made to keep the mileage as accurate as possible on the rail bed.

Delaware River to Lehigh River

0.00 Our mileage begins in Portland PA, at the former west end of a trestle that once carried the LNE across the Delaware. The right of way crosses through a yard and onto a fill above a tributary. It is obviously used by people in the town as a walking path to connect with Market Street area. It is necessary to turn onto parallel roads to walk the right of way today.

0.25 Near the intersection of Northampton Street and Main Street, the former railroad station is now a garage. A spur track once connected in this area to the Lackawanna Railroad near it's Portland Station.

The rail bed continues across through an open field, with an old school house on the hillside to the left. It then enters a cut in the woods, and remains clear.

0.50 Reach Boulder Road after a cut. An set of steps lead to what was probably a home above on the right. Directly across is a through style girder bridge that carried the LNE across Jacoby Creek, but it is blocked off, and the rail bed goes through yards. It continues on the side of Jacoby Creek, recognizably.

0.66 Reach a former bridge site for the road. Only abutments remain, to the right of the rail bed. Jacoby Creek Road is on the other side.

0.80 The rail bed crosses Middle Village Road. Ahead, it parallels Jacoby Creek Road.

0.90 The rail bed leaves Jacoby Creek Road and crosses Jacoby Creek on an old bridge that is now only I Beams.

1.05 An old quarry road joins the rail bed from the right. Ahead, a former connector track once connected the LNE with the Bangor and Portland Railroad.

1.50 The rail bed borders the Mt. Bethel Fens Preserve on the left.

1.60 another quarry road entrance from the right. The rail bed remains clear.

1.80 The rail bed crosses Million Dollar Highway on an angle. It immediately crosses a tributary on a culvert. It is badly overgrown here.

2.07 The rail bed crosses Sand Pit Road. It continues badly overgrown on the other side, and is posted. What may be an old trolley right of way parallels.

2.35 The rail bed crosses Heiden Road. It then passes through a cut just south of Lake Poco.

2.68 The rail bed passes under utility lines

3.06 The rail bed passes along the edge of a private yard near a wood pile before reaching Beach Lane near Echo Lake, a private community. It continues through woods on the other side.

3.45 After a nice section of woods, the rail bed crosses Totts Gap Road. Ahead, there is a woods road that appears to have been built on the right of way. It is misleading because the rail bed is actually to the left. The path descends to the rail bed after a short while. This is apparently water company property.

3.73 The rail bed passes another utility right of way. A dirt drive parallels the rail bed, which is in a cut below to the north.

4.25 Reach East Shore Drive. This road was build over the railroad right of way, so this section can be hiked and incorporated with Minsi Lake Wilderness Area trails. To the left is the site of East Bangor Junction. The East Bangor Branch of the LNE broke off to connect with the Bangor and  Portland line further south. It is described at the end.

4.38 Cross a tributary, part of Martins Creek. Note an abandoned bridge below which may have been a trolley, as it resembles the right of way seen back near Sand Pit Road.

4.43 Reach Lake Minsi Drive. A bridge would have crossed the road here. Hikers must walk right on  the road where the rail bed continues ahead as a private driveway to a house.

4.67 Another house built over the rail bed.

4.75 The rail bed re-enters public land. It is clear ahead.

4.96 Cross Lake Minsi Drive. Debris has been placed over the rail bed. It is clear ahead, as part of the Elevated Trail from Bear Swamp Archery Complex.

5.20 The rail bed is now the boundary of public land to the north. It becomes badly overgrown, and ahead it has been purged to allow for wetlands to drain to the north.

5.60 The rail bed passes beneath a utility line clearing. It then crosses an old bridge over a tributary with a few ties remaining. An ATV path leads to Lake Minsi Drive.

5.70 The rail bed passes through a farm area just before crossing Lake Minsi Drive again. On the other side, a home was built over the rail bed. Fields skirt the south side.

5.85 End of the yard and field, the rail bed enters woods.

6.10 Open area to the right of the rail bed with a home. It crosses a small bridge before the next road, and is nice and clear.

6.37 The rail bed crosses Fox Gap Road. It continues through woods on the other side.

6.52 The rail bed reaches an open field where there is little evidence of it's existence. It skirts a small line of trees, then turns slightly to the right, which does not seem right until the rail bed is obvious again.

6.65 The rail bed enters a tree line parallel with Minsi Lake Drive.

6.77 The rail bed crosses the entrance to a garden center.

6.87 The rail bed crosses PA Rt 191. It then runs along side West Bangor Road.

6.97 The rail bed crosses Shooktown Road. Ahead, a pile of debris was piled over a section that was once nice and clear.

7.15 A land owner along West Bangor Road has incorporated the rail bed into landscaping in his yard. After the end of the yard, it continues very clear with a pleasant cinder surface.

7.43 The rail bed crosses a driveway known as Country Lane and continues clear and easy to follow.

7.67 The rail bed crosses a driveway

7.95 The rail bed crosses Garibaldi Ave. It continues clear on the other side.

8.03 A former junction site with the LNE right of way south to Bangor was here, but it is unclear.

8.25 Reach Bangor Junction Road. The former westbound connector track of the same LNE branch connected here. Until recently, this right of way could be walked into Roseto where a small park is built over part of it, but that has changed.

8.50 Pass beneath utility lines

9.00 The rail bed passes near to homes.

9.10 Ball field to the north of the rail bed. Clear right of way continues.

9.24 Rail bed reaches North Franklin Street. Ahead, it can be quite built over as it enters Pen Argyl. It crosses Nottle Ave ahead, followed by Vine Street, Davey, Arch, and Ridge St. at 9.70.

9.70 Ridge Street. The rail bed continues through a church property but is not passable beyond.

9.85 The rail bed reaches the end of Moyer Street and skirts a parking lot to Westbrook Ave. It then crosses Schank Ave, Robinson, Harding, Lobb, and Heller Aves.

10.30 The rail bed is on a school property. A junction with a Lackawanna Railroad branch was apparently in this area, having broken off of the Martins Creek Branch near Ackermanville. Much of that line is also clear, but on private land to the south.

10.65 After leaving the mowed school yard, the right of way enters woods and can be overgrown to reach Speer Ave. The LNE split in two in this area. The main line was the through route to the right, while the line to the left made connections with other lines from the south. This mileage will keep with the northern route.

11.30 Many clear paths are in this area, probably all of which were tracks. The round house still stands to the south, but is reportedly targeted to become a new shopping center.

11.70 An industry blocks the rail bed.

12.20 An access road and ATV path parallel both lead to Rt 115 in Wind Gap where the rail bed crossed.

12.56 The rail bed reaches 8th Street after skirting the rear of homes from Rt 115. It continues on 8th Street.

12.75 The road and rail bed together cross Rt 33

12.18 Former junction site; A spur line of the LNE known as the Saylorsburg Branch broke off from here and went through Wind Gap to service an ice house. It is amazing that such lengths were gone to for ice. The right of way is clear until it reaches Rt 33, which obliterated much of it.

13.25 Side road to left.

13.35 8th Street pretty much ends, but the rail bed continues through State Game Lands #168 and can be hiked.

14.13 The rail bed crosses a utility right of way. The right of way leads up hill to the Appalachian Trail. The rail bed continues through a massieve expanse of woods.

15.23 There is a split in the rail bed here. The railroad reportedly built in the wrong area around 1886, and was forced to move to where it actually had permission, further down hill. The later route is to the left, and is not a through route, but the original one to the right leads to the dead end of Old Grade Road.

15.48 Dead end of Old Grade Road. Follow the road.

16.75 Old Grade Road turns to the left, while the old rail bed continues ahead over private land. The private land ahead reportedly still has a section of rails in place. To continue, it is necessary for hikers to turn left on Old Grade Road, then right on Katellen Road to resume on the rail bed through State Game Lands 168. This mileage continues as if this obstacle did not exist. Do not trespass.

16.92 The rail bed crosses Katellen Road and re-enters State Game Lands 168.

17.13 The rail bed crosses a utility right of way, near an intersection of utility rights of way. The rail line is the Game Lands boundary.

17.33 The right of way crosses onto private land for a short time, and is the access driveway beyond.

17.41 The rail bed, now a driveway, makes up the border of state game lands.

17.61 The rail bed reaches the end of Ridge Road. It is private land ahead. Those wishing to hike it will have to bushwhack up onto the ridge to get around a piece of private land.

17.65 The rail bed resumes as the boundary to state game lands.

17.86 This point may have been another re-routed section of the L&NE. Ahead, another right of way remains as the game lands boundary. The later and more obvious route turns away from SGL and onto private lands to the south.

18.30 The rail bed reaches Benders Drive. This is the near site of Bender's Junction. The southern route of the LNE, which broke away in the Wind Gap/Pen Argyl area returns, and another branch breaks off to the south, and leads to Bath PA, passing the Chapman quarries. The main route continued parallel with Benders Drive.

18.67 The rail bed crossed Benders Drive and paralleled closely.

18.77 Right of way Crosses access driveway

18.90 Rail bed passes a pond on the right

19.01 The rail bed crosses Skunk Road. Ahead, it passes along the rear of a farm area with lots of stuff sitting around. It is then joined and used by a driveway. Metrotrails did some exploring in this area in April of 2006, and a young girl living in the house was good enough to chat with us about the history. She told us of the earlier route up the mountain a bit from where we were. Her home a short distance away inadvertantly benefitted from the existence of this old right of way, she said. During times of heavy rain, the rail line cut acted as a diversion for the water coming down the mountain. While some had their basements flood out, theirs was fine due to the rail bed catching the run off.

19.74 The rail bed crosses Smith Gap Road. The road leads to the right up Blue Mountain to the AT. It becomes dirt after a short distance. The rail bed ahead passes through private yards before entering the woods. Most of it is not accessible from here to Lehigh Gap.

20.37 Rail bed crosses a driveway after crossing private yards.

20.90 The rail bed crosses Oak Ridge Lane. It is obliterated ahead through yards.

20.96 Tu Peek Ave is built over the rail bed.

21.18 Rail bed crosses and parallels Delps Road

21.42 Cross Delps Road at an intersection and bend. Game Lands Road is to the right, and leads to Delps Trail and parking, access to Appalachian Trail. The rail bed runs right along the edge of Delps Road westbound from here.

21.98 The rail bed and Delps Road diverge. Rail bed is on private land. Do not trespass.

22.04 Rail bed crosses a driveway

22.17 Driveway crossing

22.27 The rail bed is joined briefly by another driveway

22.44 The rail bed crosses Line Road and is clear ahead, but private land.

22.70 Utility line crossing

22.86 Rail bed crosses North Mink Road. It goes through a yard along a driveway ahead and is posted.

23.34 A dirt road leads into State Game Lands 168 to the right of the rail bed.

23.95 The rail bed crosses Cottonwood Road. It is obliterated into yards on the other side.

24.37 The rail bed goes through a private farm area and is used as the driveway

24.52 Rail bed crosses Cottonwood Road again and passes through more yards.

24.85 Rail bed crosses a driveway. Nearest parallel road is Bayberry and Rt 946.

24.98 Rail bed obliterated at another driveway

25.36 Rail bed crosses Nectarine Road, and is obliterated along the side. It then turns south.

25.60 Rail bed crosses Rt 946 in Danielsville

25.78 Ball fields to the left of the right of way may be public land.

26.00 Rail bed reaches Blue Mountain Drive. Ahead, the rail bed has been developed over and is barely recognizable. There was also a junction here, where a southern branch made a sweeping route to the south of Walnutport and crossed the Lehigh River. Very little of this line remains, save for the piers across the Lehigh.

26.13 Unrecognizable former crossing of Mary Drive.

26.34 The rail bed becomes clear once again, and is used by ATVs at a utility line right of way. It is clear only a short distance and then obliterated again.

26.74 Unrecognizable crossing of Camphor Road. It crosses another development road ahead.

26.90 The rail bed reaches an open field, but has been farmed completely out of existence. It is then obliterated by development.

27.07 Ironically, there is no recognizable trace of the rail bed at the crossing of Heritage Lane.

27.16 The rail bed crosses Rt 946. On the east side a new house is built over it, and on the west it is clear but recognizable only to those looking for it.

27.46 Building on the rail bed at the end of Pine Drive.

27.56 After crossing another yard, the rail bed crosses Zimmer Drive East, part of  Mountainview Mobile Home community.

27.70 The rail bed crosses Zimmer Drive West. It is not recognizable due to the trailers in the area.

28.00 Rail bed crosses Oak Road, and is not developed over.

28.19 The rail bed crosses Quince Road. Ahead, Myrtle Road appears to have been constructed over it.

28.45 Pecan Road turns right at a four way intersection. The rail bed leaves the roads here and goes through trees ahead. It then skirts more yards.

28.97 The rail bed crosses Rt 248. It has been pretty much obliterated on the west side, but is recognizable to the east. It closely parallels Poplar Drive through open field and a yard.

29.28 The rail bed crosses Poplar Drive at the intersection with Butternut Road. It then parallels Butternut Road shortly before turning away on the left.

29.66 The rail bed is joined by a gravel drive.

29.75 Rail bed crosses Alder Drive. It runs too close to homes to follow through here as well.

30.06 Rail bed reaches a farm drive as well as a home.

30.50 The rail bed crosses a driveway after curving back to the north. It then heads through woods, skirts more yards, and passes through an overgrown field.

31.15 After the rail bed makes it's way onto a fill, it reaches the site of a former bridge over Rt 248. On the other side, a parking access road to the Appalachian Trail and State Game Lands 168 lead up to and follow the rail bed.

31.22 Game lands road resumes on rail bed at parking area. Large rocks block the rail bed ahead.

31.30 The rail bed narrows as it leaves the parking area.

31.33 The Appalachian Trail, which joined from the left, now leaves to the right to ascend the Inferno, the east side of Lehigh Gap and probably the most scenic section of the Appalachian Trail in PA. The area ahead was denuded of trees due to the zinc smelting in nearby Palmerton. While tragic, it offers superb views unlike anywhere else in the NY/Philadelphia metropolitan area. The rail bed ahead is also the route of Winter Trail.

31.58 Reach the former east end of the Lehigh Gap Trestle. One can only imagine how amazing this bridge must have been, spanning the entire length of Lehigh Gap at it's center point. Obviously, hikers will have to circumvent this problem area. The best way of doing so is to backtrack along the rail bed, follow the Appalachian Trail across, then turn right into Lehigh Gap Nature Center. LNE Trail, named for the same former rail line, leads hikers on a foot path up to the other side of the trestle site, and continues on the rail bed on the other side.

A spur line of the L&NE continues, and is the route of the Winter Trail.

31.80 West end of the former Lehigh Gap Trestle. The rail bed west of here is LNE Trail of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.

32.00 The rail bed in this area is subject to many washouts, and might be difficult for those who suffer from vertigo. The Devil's Pulpit, a dramatic rock outcrop, is visible just above here.

32.56 A side trail to the right leads down to the D&L Trail, and to the left the Charcoal Trail ascends the ridge to connect with North Trail on the top. The rail bed continues along quite clearly for some distance, and passes two homes on the right. There is an access to

35.00 The rail bed crosses Kittatinny Road.

From Delaware River to Paulins Kill Valley Trail

0.00 At the end of Columbia Street, near the intersection with Washington Street was the NJ side of the LNE trestle over the Delaware. Abutments remain, as well as a pier on the NJ side. There is a river access at the old trestle site. It continued northeast, but it is obliterated by Rt 80. Almost all remnants here are destroyed. To follow it, it would be necessary to turn left on Decatur Street and cross Rt 80 near the TA Truckstop, then turn right on Simpson Road to the entrance of the Knowlton Twp. road department.

0.25 The rail bed is now the access road to the municipal road department.

0.50 At the end of the road department lot, a cell tower has been built over the rail bed. It is very overgrown here and almost impassable. The state of NJ owns the right of way beyond this point, and the township plans to open it as a trail from Simpson Road to Tunnel Park to the east.

0.56 The rail bed becomes walkable and rather clear near an adjacent farm access. The rail bed is state park land.

0.87 The rail bed crosses Stark Road. The section ahead is planned to become a trail. Money from Warren County's Municipal and Charitable Trust Conservancy funded the preservation of this piece out to Rt 94.

1.50 Reach Rt 94 at the corner of Bruglar Road. Ahead, the rail bed is on private land. It crossed this intersection at a diagonal. It would be fantastic if this last section could be acquired, for it would formally connect with Paulins Kill Valley Trail at Hainesburg Junction. Land owners are very vocal against anyone walking through. To the left, just before reaching Rt 94, is the right of way of tracks that once passed beneath the Lackawanna Cutoff layed during construction of that line in 1909. The LNE originally planned to construct it's own line parallel with NYS&W rather than use trackage rights, but the tracks were never constructed beyond the Cutoff.

1.75 Nice through style truss bridge over the Paulins Kill. The rail bed continues on private land.

2.04 Former site of Hainesburg Junction. The telegraph office ruins are to the right. Another old building is to the left. From here to Swartswood Junction, the Lehigh and New England had trackage rights over the New York, Susquehanna and Western. For this section, refer to Paulins Kill Valley Trail in Long Distance Trails.

Swartswood Junction North

0.00 The mileage will begin at the ruins of the former telegraph office, not just a pile of rubble along the Paulins Kill Valley Trail where the switch once existed. Lehigh and New England then broke away to the left heading northeast after having trackage rigths over the New York, Susquehanna, and Western from Hainesburg Junction. The turn off can be obscure with the overgrowth. For some distance north, the LNE right of way is now state park land, and is under development as a new rail trail. We are proud to offer the first guide to this new section. Please refer to the Kittatinny Valley State Park office for updates, as there may be land owner issues and such that we at Metrotrails are unaware of.

0.20 The rail bed crosses Junction Road and closely parallels it. It can be somewhat overgrown.

0.64 The rail bed crosses over Parson Road on a culvert

1.28 The rail bed paralles a field on the left

1.58 The rail bed crosses a farm lane at grade

2.16 Cross a cleared utility right of way

2.50 Cross Old Halsey Road. The rail bed comes close to the Paulins Kill River ahead. Former bridge site can be seen below on the left.

2.84 Cross Old Stage Coach Road.

3.12 Bales Mill Pond is on the left of the right of way

3.85 Cross County Rt 655. Possible future parking area.

4.05 The rail bed enters thick woods

4.97 Augusta. The rail bed crosses the Sussex Branch Trail, formerly part of the Lackawanna Railroad system. A popular loop hike of just over 13 miles can be made using the LNE, Sussex Branch, and Paulins Kill Valley Trails.

5.00 The LNE rail bed crosses Augusta Hill Road. Stuff may be parked and stored on the rail bed in the next section. It then crosses the Paulins Kill on a through style girder bridge, undecked.

5.10 The rail bed crosses Rt 206. It can be obscure. It is followed by a gas line, which is at times the only clue of it's existence to the north. The rail bed on the other side remains somewhat open for a bit. There is a small undecked bridge in this vicinity over a small tributary. Much of the LNE north of Augusta has undecked bridges, with ties in very poor condition. They may not be suitable to cross.

5.75 The rail bed skirts an industrial area on the left.

6.21 The rail bed crosses Northrup Road. Some resources show the rail bed within Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge ahead.

6.82 The rail bed crosses Linn Smith Road.

7.12 Cross a small creek on a tie bridge

7.74 Cross Armstrong Road

8.84 Cross Papackating Brook on an undecked tie bridge

8.90 Cross County Rt 565 There is an apparent private property on the rail bed ahead, however Pellettown Road turns right ahead, and then crosses the rail bed with an insignificant detour. The rail bed then skirts the edge of someone's property with a house to enter more woods.

9.05 Another crossing of Papackating Brook on a deck girder bridge with sticks placed between ties for traction.

9.46 An ATV path joins on the left and follows the rail bed.

9.69 If it were not for the ATV path straight across, the rail bed would be unrecognizable here. It passes through a wide open field. All grading seems to have been farmed out of existence, but the path continues.

9.85 The rail bed resumes the more common course through the farms: in a line of trees.

10.04 Cross Roy Road. The rail bed then crosses a small tie bridge over a tributary to the Papackating Brook.

10.23 Another ATV path joins from the right. The rail bed enters a long section of deep woods.

11.44 Cross a cleared utility right of way

11.50 The railroad crossed Papackating Brook on a through style girder bridge. This bridge is in poor condition because the center pier has begun to sink into the tributary. It now sits on a weird angle, leaning to the right.

11.70 Come out of woods and continue through a line of trees parallel with fields.

11.98 Cross a farm lane

12.65 The rail bed crosses County Rt 565, next to a road bridge over the Pepackating Brook. There are lovely pastoral views from the road bridge, and often cows.

13.80 The rail bed crosses a very interesting through style girder bridge over the Papackating Brook. This one is unique because it has a slight curve to it, as well as a pedestrian walkway on the east side. Just beyond, a spur track broke off to the left to the town of Sussex. It continues about a half mile to Brookside Ave, but it may be private property.

13.90 Pass beneath Rt 23. An access road then comes in from the left, and leads toward the Sussex A&P.

14.07 Reach the former crossing of another railroad; the Hanford Branch of the New York, Susquehanna, and Western. This one is unlikely to ever become a through trail, but sections of it are opened as such including Duck Pond Trail in Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge, Hamburg Mountain WMA in Ogdensburg, and a short section of the Appalachian Trail to the north.

14.30 ATV path crossing

14.42 Small tributary crossing. The rail bed ahead passes through both formerly cultivated fields and woods.

15.63 Reach the Wallkill River. The bridge over the river has been long since removed, and the rail bed on the other side can be quite overgrown. While this is on a proposed list of rail trails, this section is not open and probably will not be for some time. Mileage descriptions will continue from this point despite the missing bridge.

15.78 Another missing bridge from a small tributary. Beavers have dammed the site and there is a massieve impoundment to the right of the rail bed, a former sod farm.

16.36 Another missing bridge. Beavers have dammed the area between the two abutments, which would be the only reasonable way to cross. The rest of the rail bed as acting as an impoundment. Expansive wetlands continue to the east. On the north side, there is a foot bridge out onto the westlands, but no other pieces. It leads nowhere.

17.94 Fields appear to the left of the rail bed. Soon there are fields on both sides.

18.20 The rail bed crosses Kelly Road. From here to Basset Bridge Road, it is officially trail, known as Timberdoodle Trail. Map: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/wallkillriver/PDF/tdt_low_res.pdf

19.00 The rail bed crosses County Rt 665, Bassets Bridge Road. It continues through private land to the north, a quarry property. Turning left leads to Owen Station Road, and right leads back to the rail bed.

19.69 The rail bed crosses Owens Station Road and re-enters Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge

20.15 A field opens up to the left, a former sod farm.

20.39 The rail bed from here is now part of the Liberty Loop Trail, as well as the Appalachian Trail. The southbound AT turns left on an old farm road, and northbound it follows the LNE from here. After a short distance, the AT turns away on the right on it's way up Pochuck Mountain. The Liberty Loop Trail continues on the LNE ahead. Map: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/wallkillriver/PDF/llt_low.pdf

20.94 The LNE leaves NJ to enter NY.

21.22 The LNE crosses Oil City Road, where the Liberty Loop Trail turns left. Metrotrails has not done much exploring of the old LNE right of way north of Oil City Road. Some of it has been absorbed into current roads. Please refer back to this page for updates.