The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Weekend in South Central Pennsylvania – Union Canal

This blog post continues details of our extended weekend vacation (August 5-8) in South Central Pennsylvania. The first day of our vacation was mainly a driving event. We drove 5 1/2 hours from our home in Warren, PA, to our hotel in Jonestown, PA. On the second day of our weekend vacation (August 6) we took a stroll alongside Union Canal in Lebanon and visited the quaint village of Mt. Gretna. This blog post provides details and photographs of the Union Canal. My next “Weekend in South Central Pennsylvania” blog post will provide details and photographs from our visit to Mt. Gretna.

The Union Canal Tunnel Park is located in Lebanon, PA. The park’s 109 acres of meadows and woods surround the Union Canal and the tunnel through which it flows. We entered the park on the south side at Union Canal Drive and 25th Street.

We walked alongside the canal on the towpath once trodden by mules to, and up over, the tunnel.

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The towpath once trodden by mules.

The Union Canal connected the waters of the Susquehanna River at Middletown with those of the Schuylkill Navigation Company two miles below Reading. Work on the canal began in May 1825. The canal was finished in June 1827.
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Approaching the Union Canal tunnel
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The 610 foot tunnel is the oldest transportation tunnel in the United States. The tunnel was cut through solid rock.

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We walked over the top of the ridge expecting to see the other side of the tunnel. We didn’t see the other side of the tunnel.

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The canal tunnel is directly below the bushes seen on the far side of this parking lot.

We climbed down the ridge, on the opposite side of the canal, and made our way back to the southern entrance of the park.

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Boat rides on the canal and through the tunnel are available every Sunday during the months of June through October. Because our visit was on a Friday, we didn’t have the opportunity unfortunately to go on a boat ride.

9 Responses to “Weekend in South Central Pennsylvania – Union Canal”

  1. Becky K.

    I've heard of the Union Canal but I have never been there. It looks like a very lovely place. Too bad the boats weren't running.Becky K.

    Reply
  2. Corker2

    Hello there, LindaI've enjoyed your Post on the old Union Canal. It looks pretty much the same as the old canal's around here, except for the Tunnel. Looks to me like an interesting place to visit. You and Bob were only about 1.5 hrs. away from me.Those old canal barge's are interesting to see. There is only one around here that is left over from day's gone by. If you would have gone on further, up towards Allentown there is one old barge that is still working. Still pulled along by a mule. It, also, was part of the old Union Canal.A great Post and thanks for sharing.Les

    Reply
  3. Peggy

    Linda, thank you for sharing with us your wonderful weekend getaway trip to South/Central Penn. I have put it on my “must visit list”… seems like a great place to do a short trip to play tourist. I must add I envy you and Bob getting away on what seems to be a great many road trips but at least we all get to enjoy the sights afterwards!

    Reply

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