Saucon Rail Trail and Lost River Caverns
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:West Water Street, Hellertown, PA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Trail, free; Lost River Caverns: adults, $11; children ages 3 to 12, $7
Contact:
Bathrooms: at Upper Saucon Township Community Park; portable toilet at Water Street Park
Water/Snacks: Water fountain near Upper Saucon Township Community Park restroom
Map:

Walk or bike an easy creekside trail, then explore an underground cave.

Saucon Rail Trail and Lost River Caverns
Photo by: Susan Charkes

The Saucon Rail Trail, a 4.5-mile trail between Water Street Park in Hellertown and Upper Saucon Township Community Park, is a wide, crushed-stone trail good for bikes (with thick tires), strollers, and easy walking.

The trail parallels the tree-shaded Saucon Creek, offering a rural landscape for much of its length. A good starting point is the Hellertown trailhead at Water Street Park, which features walking trails, a playground, picnic tables, and a volleyball court.

Combine the hike or bike ride with a visit to the Lost River Caverns in Hellertown, a short distance uphill from Water Street Park. A 40-minute, family-oriented guided tour of the cave explores the underground labyrinth, where water is still dripping from the limestone.

Afterward, you can pick up the Saucon Rail Trail on the eastern edge of Water Street Park and head south for a pleasant, easy bike ride or walk.  Posts every quarter-mile along the way indicate how far you’ve come, but with a twist: They refer to the mileage of the old rail line from its terminus in Philadelphia, so you have to calculate. The Water Street trailhead is mile 53.

At Walnut Street, a half-mile from your Water Street start, the trail passes the Hellertown Historical Society’s museum. The museum consists of a restored barn, house, and gristmill depicting early American industrial and home life. (Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 9 to 11:30 a.m. and by appointment.) Also here is the moved and restored 1860 “Pony Bridge,” a castiron truss bridge; crossing it is a fun diversion for kids (even though it now just crosses land).

At Upper Saucon Township Community Park, at the other end of the trail, you’ll find picnic tables, playing fields, 2 miles of walking paths, basketball courts, and a tot lot. In winter, the trail is open for cross-country skiing.

Remember: Dogs must be leashed. The trail will soon be extended another 2 miles to Coopersburg.

Plan B:

In nearby Bethlehem, bike or walk on the D&L Trail, a converted towpath along the Lehigh Canal. Sand Island Park is a good place to gain access to the trail.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Walk up Water Street to Hellertown, where you’ll find many shops and restaurants.



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