Canal Tunnel Park & Boat Rides Info
Union Canal Tunnel Park
Park located at 25th & Union Canal Drive, Lebanon, PA (North of Lebanon Valley Mall). Park open year-round from dawn to dusk. Pets are welcomed but must remain leashed at all times.
The previously scheduled July 4th boat rides at the Union Canal Tunnel Park will go on ahead as planned, however the PA Fish and Boat Commission has informed us that we are not in compliance with their current regulations. Therefore, the boat rides will cease as of July 5th and will not resume until all the requirements of the PA Fish and Boat Commission have been met.
***UPDATED NOVEMBER 7TH, 2013
Status of the Canal Boats
The two boats that are used to give rides at the Tunnel Park must undergo repairs in order to meet United States Coast Guard (USCG) requirements as specified by the PA Fish and Boat Commission. The first goal is to have the Meily certified and in the water for Union Canal Days in May of 2014. The second goal is to repair or replace the Leiby and have a second certified boat in the water for Scare Affair 2014, or sooner if possible.
The Friends of the Union Canal Tunnel Park and the Historical Society have retained a consultant who is an authorized USCG boat builder. He will supervise the boat repairs and construction of a new boat if the Leiby is to be replaced. He is also coordinating phased inspections by the local marine surveyor during the repair process. After the satisfactory completion of all the repairs, the surveyor will make certification to the Fish and Boat Commission that the boats are in compliance with the equipment and vessel construction CFRs required by the USCG, the American Boat and Yacht Council recommendations and the National Fire Protection Association standards. After the Fish and Boat Commission receives his certification, boat rides can be resumed.
The Leiby is the older of the two boats and may be ready for replacement due to age and the results of recent stability tests that restrict it to a total capacity of 18 passengers and crew. In that regard a new boat design is being prepared by a professional design company so that an accurate cost estimate for a new boat can be obtained. Only then can an informed decision be made regarding repair or replacement of the Leiby.
Both boats were pulled out of the water on the 16th of October with the help of a crane from Bamberger’s Crane Service of Lebanon. Rick French was also on hand to assist. A special thank you to both gentlemen who took valuable time and resources away from their business to remove the boats from the water and get the Meily in the maintenance shed!
Preliminary repairs to the Meily are scheduled to begin on the 24th of October. Volunteers working under the direct supervision of the consultant will perform the repairs. Contact Marty Brandt (717 679-8954) or Dave Ravegum (570 345-2340) if you would like to help.
Boat Rides on the Union Canal
Each Sunday, June through October 12:30 – 4:30PM. $6/Adult, $3/Child. Children under age of 6 ride FREE. Weather Permitting.
Union Canal Days
May 18th and 19th, 2013. [More Info»]
July 4th Special Rides
4:30 – 9PM. Free ice cream for each rider, plus reduced fares. Stay to watch the fireworks from the Park!
Halloween Scare Affair
October 17, 18, and 19, 6-9PM. With rides through the “Tunnel of Darkness”, games for children and great food. [More Info»]
Private Group Rides
Group rides can be arranged for most days two weeks in advance. Please call 717-272-6949 to make your reservation.
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 4:30PM. 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 717-272-6949. The Park is also available for class reunions, family gatherings, and weddings. For group reservations or more information, call the Historical Society office.
Public Service Announcement: April 1, 2012
It has come to the attention of the Board of Trustees of the Lebanon County Historical Society that dogs have been let loose to run at the Union Canal Park even though signs have been in place to have dogs-on-a-leash. Please be kindly advised from here on, all dogs must be leashed. Due to some events of unacceptable interaction between owners’ dogs and the public we have received notice from some individuals and our insurance carrier to put into effect a no-tolerance policy of dogs unleashed. If after 30 days from this notice, this notice is not followed, we will have to exclude pets from the Union Canal Park. Please obey the signs so everyone can enjoy the park!
To report unleashed dogs, or any other illegal activites, please contact the North Lebanon Township Police: 717-273-8141