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Union Canal Towpath Trail
Union Canal Creek
 
 
Union Canal Points of Interest
 

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Union Canal Trail 

 

Union Canal Trail section

Union Canal Bicycle & Walking Trail

The Union Canal Bicycle & Walking Trail is a 4.5-mile-long crushed stone path that follows the Tulpehocken Creek between Stonecliffe Recreation Area and Reber’s Bridge Road. Designated as a National Recreation Trail, the Union Canal Trail provides a link to multiple Berks County Parks including Stonecliffe Recreation Area, the Berks Leisure Area, Red Bridge Park, Gring’s Mill Recreation Area, and the Berks County Heritage Center. At Stonecliffe Recreation Area, the Union Canal Trail connects to the Schuylkill River Trail and at Reber’s Bridge Road, a 1.8 mile connector trail, links the Union Canal path to the Blue Marsh Lake Trail System.

Union Canal Creek view
Union Canal Bicycle & Walking Trail History

The Union Canal Trail follows portions of the original towpath of the Union Canal which operated from 1828-1885. The Canal stretched approximately 80 miles following the Tulpehocken Creek west, connecting Reading on Schuylkill River to Middletown, Pennsylvania on the Susquehanna River. The Canal struggled financially throughout much of its existence in part due to competition with the larger and more efficient Schuylkill Navigation System (Canal). Today, many remnants and reminders of the canal’s construction and operation are still present along the Union Canal Trail including the original canal prism visible for much of the trail’s length. Along the path, numbered markers identify historical or cultural features of interest and are further explained in our Union Canal Bicycle & Walking Trail Map brochure.

Union Canal Bicycle & Walking Trail Amenities and Access

Trail access and parking are available at all County Parks along the trail. The Trail is open daily, year-round. Hours vary by season and are posted at each Park. Please be aware that given the Union Canal Trail’s natural setting and gravel stone base, limited winter maintenance occurs, however the trail provides winter recreational opportunities from snowshoeing to cross country skiing. Year-round restrooms are available at the Berks County Heritage Center and Gring’s Mill Recreation Area. Seasonal restrooms (Spring to Fall) are available at Stonecliffe Recreation Area, Red Bridge Park, and the Berks Leisure Area. Please note that pets are NOT permitted on the Union Canal Bicycle & Walking Trail or in any connected Berks County Parks along the trail. Click here for more information on Park Rules and Hours.