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Emmaus High School announces schedule changes due to flooding 2 days ago. Mike Nester for 69 News. Bomb squad investigates after K-9 hits on cabinet in Lehigh Co. The Upper Grand Section of the Lehigh Canal was destroyed by severe flooding in the midth century and was eventually replaced by railroads. Naturalist and painter John James Audubon visited the Lehigh Gorge in and spent over a month painting the birds of the area.

At this time the gorge was largely untouched by human hands, but Audubon could see that this was not to last. The demand for lumber was intense during the mid-to-late 19th century and the forests of much of Pennsylvania were stripped bare. Lehigh Gorge was no exception, its old-growth forests of white pine and hemlock were harvested and sent down the Lehigh River. The wood was used for lumber and the bark was used in tanneries to make leather. By most of the saleable timber had been clear-cut,with many acres of dried treetops and other wooden debris left on the ground.


That same year a spark from a passing coal-fired steam locomotive ignited a massive forest fire that burned the debris, the remaining standing timber , the sawmills , and their lumber stockpiles. This forest fire brought about the end of the lumber era in the Lehigh Gorge. Lehigh Gorge was a resort area for a brief time at the turn of the 20th century.

Railroads operated tourist lines that led to a resort area at Glen Onoko. The resort hotel there had 47 rooms, tennis courts , a dance pavilion, and trails that led to the scenic Glen Onoko Falls. This area was very popular with people seeking to get away from the polluted cities in the northeastern United States. The hotel and surrounding forests were destroyed by fire in the s and the Lehigh Gorge area was largely forgotten until the s.

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The abandonment of the main line of the Central Railroad of New Jersey through the Gorge in provided the necessary real estate for the trail. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased this right of way from the Reading Company, leading to the establishment of Lehigh Gorge State Park in The primary recreational use of Lehigh Gorge State Park is on the whitewater of the gorge.

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The park is also open to hunting and fishing. Rafting is very popular in Lehigh Gorge State Park. The conditions are controlled by the amount of rainfall in the area and by the amount of water released from the Francis E.

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Walter Dam at White Haven by the U. Army Corps of Engineers. All boaters must wear life jackets that are in compliance with the rules and regulations of the United States Coast Guard.

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Several licensed commercial outfitters currently operate on the Lehigh River. This first white water rafting outfitter to operate on the Lehigh River was Whitewater Challengers , founded in Bicycle rentals and shuttle service are available. In the winter, the trail is open for cross-country skiing. In addition to the Lehigh Gorge Trail, there are 7 miles of hiking-only trails. These hiking-only trails are neither marked, signed, nor mapped. Hunting is permitted in much of Lehigh Gorge State Park. Hunters must follow the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Common game species are ruffed grouse , squirrels , turkey , white-tailed deer , black bear and rabbits.