On Monday, I told you about two of the best places to run in Lehigh Valley. Today, in part two of my “best places to run in Lehigh Valley” series, I will reveal my third favorite running spot along with some honorable mentions.
Ironton Rail Trail
The Ironton Rail Trail (IRT) follows the rail bed of the old Ironton Railroad, which was abandoned in 1984, through areas of Whitehall Township. The 9.2 mile trail (a 5.5-mile loop with a 3.7-mile spur) follows the Coplay Creek eastward through the 110-acre Whitehall Parkway to where the creek flows into the Lehigh River. The mostly macadam trail alternates between quiet park-like areas and relics from the region’s industrial past – primarily the remains of early cement plants that helped make Lehigh Valley the nation’s cement capital. In fact, you’ll pass Saylor Park, where the country’s first Portland cement was manufactured in the early 1800s.
An now for the honorable mentions.
Trexler Park, Allentown: Perfect for a brisk walk or short run. Not a lot of distance, but it’s scenic and quiet.
Palmer Township Bike Path: Currently 7.8 miles, with more on the way. Connects with the Lehigh Canal towpath at its southern reaches.
Nor-Bath Rail Trail: Linear trail of about five miles between Northampton and Bath. Mostly crushed stone with trees along both sides for shade. Mostly flat, except for the mile heading east out of Northampton.
Of course, all the trails I’ve mentioned are suitable for bicycles. The crushed stone of Lehigh Parkway, Canal Towpath and Nor-Bath Trail call for a mountain bike, while most of the other trails can be navigated easily with a hybrid or cruiser. Trexler Park allows bicycles on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Moreover, plans are in the works for an expansion and interconnection of Allentown’s trails, a feasibility study for the Jordan Creek Greenway, which would link eight municipalities with 42 miles of trail, and a new trail along Bushkill creek in Easton. So as wonderful as Lehigh Valley already is for runners, it only promises to get better.
This post was written by Lehigh Valley InSite guest blogger Michael Drabenstott, who also writes the Beyond Scrapple blog.