In a previous “Fun Day Trips” post we told readers about the Nockamixon Cliffs, a natural wonder along the Delaware River just south of Kintnersville, Bucks County.
Heading further south along the Pennsylvania side of the river are many other recreation areas, beauty spots, historic sites and communities to visit and enjoy within the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
One of them is the village of Erwinna, which is located just off River Road and Headquarters Road along the D&L canal in Tinicum Township.
Today the village is little more than a cluster of well-maintained homes and a post office, however in the 19th century it was a center of industry, as signs along the canal explain.
Erwinna was so named in honor of Arthur Erwin, who founded the settlement after serving heroically in the Revolutionary War, according to a canal trail marker provided by the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, the Tinicum Civic Association and other groups associated with historic preservation in the area.
The History of Erwinna
The marker notes that Erwinna was visited by the founder of the Du Pont chemical dynasty in 1801. Although Victor Du Pont ultimately established his gunpowder manufacturing operation near Wilmington, Del., it explains that “the town might have become a manufacturing center” had Erwin known what he was planning to develop.
In the 1830s, following the construction of the Delaware Canal, Erwinna became “an important boat building yard,” the marker states. Later, “as canal commerce slowed, wealthy, prominent residents of New York and Philadelphia chose to relocate to the quaint village, which offered an increasingly rare, small town atmosphere,” it states.
Today, Erwinna retains that atmosphere, and remains a popular location for trail users to stop and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
Nearby are several other points of interest along or near the river, including Tinicum Park, the village of Frenchtown, N.J., and Sand Castle Winery, to name just a few.
Note: Some sections of the D&L Canal in Bucks County are currently undergoing rehabilitation. For updates about trail obstructions and construction-related closures, visit DelawareAndLehigh.org.
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