A link to Hawley’s past is just footsteps from The Settlers Inn. Plan a visit to D&H Canal Park at Lock 31 during your next stay to uncover the area’s storied past.
On the Trail
D&H Canal Park is a living history park located one mile from The Settlers Inn. Walk through the garden and beyond Grant’s Woods to access the Hawley Trail. The woodland path traverses the former D&H Canal along the Lackawaxen River to the 16-acre park. Owned and operated by the Wayne County Historical Society, D&H Canal Park at Lock 31 preserves a former canal lock still mostly intact, a one-mile towpath and an 1820s era homestead. The site is the only preserved canal lock in Pennsylvania. Several interpretive signs relate the history and development of the D H Canal system. The scenic park is also a beautiful place to watch wildlife or have a picnic.
Signs of the Times
Visitors may also tour the Daniels Farmhouse. The structure dates to 1820 and through the years served as a private home, inn and canal store. Preservation work continues on the inside to restore the home to its canal days appearance, but visitors may see the space and shop the canal store. The park also features a replica of a canal boat. Measuring 14 x 90 feet, it’s built to the exact dimensions of the largest vessel to ever travel the D&H Canal. The structure features six bays that would have been used to house coal and was capable of carrying 140 tons. In a pavilion below the boat there is a permanent exhibit showing the typical interior cabin on a canal boat. The canal boat is moored to an actual D&H granite snubbing post, which retains the grooves worn from years of use.
The D&H Canal was an engineering marvel in its time. From 1828 to 1898 it conveyed Anthracite coal from the mines in nearby Carbondale and beyond to market in New York City. The 108-mile canal system carried its freight to Kingston, NY where it was loaded in ships and sailed down the Hudson River to New York. At its peak there were 1,300 boats operating on the canal. When the D & H Canal closed, the land was sold piecemeal. D&H Canal Park is one of the best-preserved sections of locks and towpath along the historic route.
Link to the Past
Each August the park hosts a Canal Festival. Day-long festivities include living history demonstrations, guided tours, music and vendors. D H Canal Park is open year-round, dawn to dusk. Take some time to explore Hawley’s unique heritage during your stay. A visit to D&H Canal Park is an easy stroll offering a glimpse of history and unspoiled natural spaces.