Directions & Tour Info

UNION CANAL TUNNEL PARK

Park located at 25th & Union Canal Drive, Lebanon, PA (North of Lebanon Valley Mall).

ATTENTION GPS or Google Maps Users:  Google Maps directions will take you to the NORTH SIDE of the Park.  The Boat rides are on the SOUTH SIDE, near the park entrance.  Please plug in the intersection of N. 25th St. and Union Canal Drive, Lebanon, PA  17046.  Click here for Directions.

Park Hours:  Park open year-round from dawn to dusk.  Pets are welcomed but must remain leashed at all times.

 

A Message from the Captain:

From the Captain’s Log Book:

UNION CANAL TUNNEL PARK IMPROVEMENTS BEFORE THE BLIZZARD

 

There was much activity at the Park at the end 2015 and early 2016.  Volunteers from 3 different organizations descended on the Park to do clean-up work around the parking lot, repair picnic tables, repair benches, build a roof over the garage entrance and remove unwanted trees and shrubbery trimming.

 

In December a group of 20 people from Habitat for Humanity (H4H) and the Friends worked a total of 271 hours and repaired 22 picnic tables, 11 telephone benches, 12 concrete benches and built a roof over the entrance door to the garage in 3 long work days.  A great team effort and we can’t thank Stephanie Zimmerer enough for offering the H4H workers to help us.  Without them we did not have enough people or talent to do this work. We still have benches to repair on the north side and along Tunnel Hill Rd, termite damage to the footbridge and vandalism to the bulletin board at the south side parking lot to do fix.  It never ends, but spring is almost here.  Please thank Tom Ehrhart, Joe Clark, Roy Hoglund, Mike Eschenfelder, Les Zackey, Ira Landis, John Kearney and Cal Gingrich from H4H and Friends: David Smith, Glenn Beidler, Jim Logan, Ed Dannels, Vince Tricamo, Barb Parr, Gretchen Rohland, Jim Rinehart, and Marty Brandt.  Forgive me if I missed any names.

 

While the construction crew was busy in the pavilion, a crew of 8 volunteers from the PA Crossroads group raked all the leaves and fallen tree branches from the towpath and around the parking lot.  They removed 10 trailer loads of green waste making the entrance and parking area very nice looking.

 

Pete Silldorff, Fritz Heilman, Chuck Wertz, Marty Brandt and Ed Dannels began work improving the view from the Tunnel Hill Road parking lot to the Canal above the South Portal.  If you didn’t know there was a canal at the bottom of the hill, you couldn’t prove it by looking.  The goal is to make a “vista view point” so visitors can see the Canal from Tunnel Hill Road and then walk the path and trails down the hill to the water’s edge.   So we started removing scrub trees, overgrown shrubs, bushes with large sharp thorns, cutting the downed trees and then moving all the debris.    Give this group more time and some nice weather then come enjoy the view.

 

In addition this same crew with help from Dennis Strausser and Jim Logan also trimmed many, many trees and shrubs on the North side of the Park, nearly filling the parking lot with debris.  Special thanks to the North Lebanon Township crew and equipment for removing all the green waste.

If you consider helping, please come to the Canal for a complimentary tour and learn about volunteer opportunities.  I would be happy to answer any and all questions.  Contact me via email: martybrandt@comcast.net or phone 717-867-1352.  Once you cruise down the canal you will understand why we keep coming back.

Submitted on behalf of our volunteers,

Marty Brandt

 

Canal Narrated Tours

Each Sunday, June through October 12:30 – 4:30PM.  $8/Adult, $4/Child (ages 6 – 18).  Children under age of 6 ride FREE.  Weather Permitting.  The Union Canal Tunnel Park is maintained entirely by volunteers, and that includes the captains and the rest of the crew also. We are facing some problems at the moment because we do not have enough certified captains right now to pilot the canal boats every Sunday and to adhere to our regular schedule. Since the beginning of this Summer season, several of our boat captains has been having health issues, and scheduling has been very difficult—and oftentimes we do not know if the rides are available until the last minute. We are in the process of recruiting new boat captains, but to get the volunteers trained and properly licensed will take some time.  Please call ahead to check if the boats are running 717-272-1473.

Union Canal Tunnel Park

Located at North 25th Street and Union Canal Drive, Lebanon

 

Narrated Canal Tours – Sundays May through October 12:30-4:30 PM. Weather permitting

 

EVENTS at Union Canal Tunnel Park

 

Union Canal Days

May 21 – 10 to 6

May 22 – 11 to 5

 

Take a narrated tour through the oldest transportation tunnel in the United States during the 27th Annual Union Canal Days.

 

Check out the exhibitors and vendors, visit the antique dealers, or purchase your spring garden plants at the flower booth. Bid on a keepsake at the Silent Auction table or enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the many picnic tables throughout the park.

 

There will be free musical entertainment provided by Jeff McGaw, Jerry Haines, and our Medieval villagers who will also be demonstrating sword fighting.

 

To further support the park there will be a chicken BBQ dinner on Saturday from 4:30 to 6:00. The dinner will be served in the Haak Pavilion just south of the parking lot. Take-outs are available as well. Dinner/take out tickets must be purchased in advance by calling 272-1473.

 

For more information on this and other exciting events at the Union Canal Tunnel Park please follow us on Facebook or visit our link atwww.lebanoncountyhistoricalsociety.org.

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Private Group Rides

Group rides can be arranged for most days two weeks in advance. Please call 717-867-1352 to make your reservation.

 To Follow the Latest Updates on the progress of the Canal Boat Repair, please “Like” the Friends of the UCTP Facebook Page!

 

Friends of the Union Canal Tunnel Park (FUCTP)

In April, 1950, the Lebanon County Historical Society purchased the Union Canal Tunnel, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 1, 1974. Throughout the years, many volunteers have donated their services at the Tunnel, together with county donated manpower, to maintain and prepare it as a recreational site open to the public.

The Union Canal Tunnel Park, located at 25th Street and Union Canal Drive, was dedicated by the Lebanon County Historical Society on October 9, 1988. The Union Canal Tunnel was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior on April 19, 1994. The Park is maintained by a group of volunteers know as Friends of the Union Canal Tunnel Park.

On September 9, 2006, the North section of the Park, located across Tunnel Hill Road, was dedicated and opened to the public. Together with the original property, the Union Canal Tunnel Park is comprised of 110 acres of recreational open space.The Park is open year-round from dawn to dusk, with picnic tables and pavilion, benches, and several marked walking trails. There is no admission charge.

Narrated boat rides on the canal and through the tunnel are available for a nominal fee every Sunday, as weather permits, during the months of June through October, from 12:30 to 4:30 PM. Enjoy a leisurely boat ride while learning some of the history of the Lebanon Valley. Private groups can make reservations for rides at other times by calling 717-272-1473. The Park is also available for class reunions, family gatherings, and weddings. For group reservations or more information,  e-mail office@lchsociety.org or call the Historical Society office 717-272-1473.