Purchases of our 2024 PA Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book

2024 PA Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book Purchase Options


Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct: A Bridge that Shaped a Nation in a Beautiful Location

One spot that I have been trying to get to for many years is Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct, in the most northeastern corner of the state, where the border of the Delaware River actually leads into New York State instead of New Jersey. This is a beautiful part of the state. 

Note the trough setup on the bridge, showing how the canal would have flowed across the bridge.

When we visited in June, the roadsides and cliffs were covered in Mountain Laurel. We were passing through the area en route to New England, and stopping here and the Hudson Valley en route. 

A demonstration of what the canal right-of-way looked like

We stumbled upon Monticello, NY and the original Woodstock location, which was completely unexpected and a pleasant surprise, with a giant rainbow in complete view over the Woodstock location. It is incredible just how much American history from all eras sat along this route. 

Anyways, back to the bridge. This bridge is stunning. It was an early project for Roebling, prior to him designing the stunning Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. It was built for canal use in 1847, but when that dried up (get the pun?) in 1898, the 535 foot span was converted to vehicular use. It is the oldest remaining wire suspension bridge in the world. This lifespan is aided through both preservation attention, and a design that has barriers to prevent ice floe damage, and also allowed for the preservation of business for logging companies of the day that would float logs down the river. Previous bridges would create a literal "logjam"  for that business, with logs getting caught on the bridge. The ice floe barriers prevented this. 

Most bridges that were used for canals ended up used like this for a little bit and then got demolished, or they sat derelict and were removed. This solid and sturdy bridge ended up being converted to pedestrian and vehicular use, and then was restored when recognition for its historic importance was realized. 

Note the top of the suspension bridge.

It remains the primary vehicular corridor across the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New York and a central focus for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreation River Corridor of PA and NY. The old bridge, and surrounding old structures are really neat to see, along with the rugged topography and natural wooded setting. This would definitely be a lovely place to spend a few days to slow down and recharge. 

As I walked down to the riverbank to get a view of the bridge crossing the river, a deer was standing there grazing on overgrowth. It is tough to see the deer in this spot, since I walked down with only my wide angle lens. The river pleasantly flows through this spot and it is easy to see how this is a canoeing, kayaking, and tubing destination. 

I expected this to be a beautiful spot, but even with those high expectations, they were still exceeded. The natural beauty of this overall region is really something special. The bridge is located within 30 minutes of Lake Wallenpaupack and Promised Land State Park, and within 40-50 minutes of most points within the Poconos, and within 40 minutes of Monticello, NY and the original Woodstock site. If you are crossing into New England on I-84, you need to detour and check out this spot. Highly worth it. Stop and have a picnic lunch during a road trip to refresh. On the PA side of the bridge, the small town of Lackawaxen has a few small businesses, and the Zane Grey Museum covers the early part of the writer's life as he grew up and started young adulthood in this small town. 

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