Trail Blog #4
Written by: Jay Marsden
The focus of my blog posts so far has been to uncover hidden secrets along the D&L Trail. The “gems” if you will, surrounding the Trail in the handsome towns of our corridor. For this entry, however, I will focus a bit more on the trial itself for multiple reasons. Number one being that there really isn’t much in the towns of this neck of the woods but also because it’s time to hit some important trail etiquette points.
The Cove Road and River Drive trailheads are just four miles apart but in terms of accessibility the Cove Road parking area is much larger and more secluded from nearby Route 145. With this said, both of these outposts are nestled amid quite a few private residences and private roads, just like most of the trails within the area. The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) standardized some basic rules of the road… I mean trail. These rules are best communicated by their popular sign seen below.
I think it’s safe to say that most of us who love the trail would not be as keen if trail users were trespassing on our personal property, littering or using our “utilitrees.” So don’t forget the golden rule and always respect thy neighbor, especially here because the trail is a beautiful and peaceful place.
Speaking of peaceful places, during the past few weeks that I have been interning here with the D&L, I have come to appreciate so many different aspect of our local history that I never quite understood. One of these things is how relevant historic preservation can be within today’s society and looking into the future. Why tear down and rebuild when restoring is a simpler and so much more beautiful? I’ve also learned that preservation can appear in more different ways that I ever imagined. For example, it appears rail-banking occurs on a substantial amount of our trail. If you don’t already know, rail-banking is the process of reusing railways in an alternative means and allowing a railroad to “bank” a corridor for future use if necessary. This allows trails to be laid, like our trail near the Cove Road trailhead, but rather than completely destroying the railroad system within our country that was once so vital, the tracks and ties are simply uprooted and smoothed over. The land and the trestles that may once again become valuable in the future are left in place until the day comes when they are needed again. For now, they hold a different value for the public as recreational trails.
Preservation and conservation are a big part of what we here at the D&L preach in every project we tackle. It takes a lot of work to maintain our corridor, not to mention the 165 mile long trail and believe me; we need all the help we can get. There are many opportunities to help out and be a part of this amazing region we work so hard to preserve rather than recreate so I ask you to consider becoming a member of the D&L, or join the trail patrol, or even consider becoming a trail tender (these people do some amazing work). Below I’ll place the links to all three opportunities because we’d love it if you could be apart of something beautiful.
Both the Cove Road and River Drive trailheads are directly off of route 145 and they provide access to an asset of the area that can be used by anybody. Whether you’re a seasoned runner (training for the D&L Marathon, which runs through this area) or a hopeful 5ker, the trail is as forgiving a place as any to train or kick start the new you. Also, this section of the trail is completely connected so if you do choose to head towards the south you’ll be able to swing right past Northampton toward Allentown. Then it’s a straight shot into the beautiful historic district of Bethlehem, my next stop!
But remember, it can get hotter than you think in these summer months so don’t forget to pack extra water and stay hydrated!