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On June 8, 2023, members of THE LINK Trails Coalition and Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape Partnership boarded a bus to visit three sections of the Jordan Creek Greenway.
A Jordan Creek Greenway Feasibility Study completed in 2013 proposed a 14-mile multi-use trail to connect Trexler Nature Preserve with the City of Allentown. The goal of our tour was to explore gaps and connections currently within the trail ten years later.
Attendees of the event included Whitehall Township, South Whitehall Township, North Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, Appalachian Mountain Club, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Lehigh County Conservation District, Penn State Extension, Upper Macungie Township Commission, Northampton County, and Palmer Township.
Our tour began in the LEED-certified Trexler Environmental Center at Trexler Nature Preserve. Here, Bob Stiffler, Director of Parks for Lehigh County, provided updates using a digital map.
Bob explained that Lehigh County is still in the engineering phase of the Greenway at Trexler Nature Preserve, where severe slopes have presented specific challenges.
Notably, Lehigh County was the first landowner to begin initial construction on the Jordan Creek Greenway, with the installment of trail at Jordan Creek Parkway in Whitehall Township.
Next, we visit Chris Strohler, Long Range Planner in South Whitehall Township. Seven miles of the proposed 14-mile trail will connect the east and west borders of the Township. A recently opened trail 0.85 miles long allows you to travel from Wehr Mill Road to Route 309 and includes a beautiful boardwalk over wetland and flood plain.
South Whitehall Township staff are now working on the design and permitting of a nearly 1-mile-long trail through Covered Bridge Park. This section will connect to the new ‘boardwalk section’ and traverse through the park along the Jordan Creek. A trailhead and parking amenities will provide access for trail enthusiasts. Additionally, the Township is working to acquire easements to provide an additional one mile of trail, headed towards Cedar Crest Boulevard.
Our last stop took us to the southern terminus of the Jordan Creek Greenway, located at the intersection of Jordan St. and Turner St
Rick Holtzman, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation, Mandy Tolino, Director of Parks for City of Allentown and Chris Stanford, contracted Project Manager from Michael Baker, International led a guided walk along the greenway from Turner St. to Gordon St. We took note of the pedestrian scale lighting, custom trail signing, ADA ramp upgrades, and trail crossing at Gordon St., which will include flashing beacon signals.
The City of Allentown completed construction in 2022 on a 1.9-mile-long section of the Jordan Creek Greenway for walking and bicycling between Turner Street and MacArthur Road. The trail connects Jordan Park West, Jordan Park, and Jordan Meadows park to Center City Allentown. The trail includes approximately 1.6 miles of off-road shared use path and 0.3 miles of shared roadway and sidewalk improvements. The shared roadway section along North Meadow Street from Tilghman Street to Sumner Avenue includes shared lane pavement markings, regulatory and directional signage, and sidewalk reconstruction.
Bike or walk along the Jordan Creek Greenway for 3.5 miles from Jordan Meadows to Jordan Creek Parkway. Along the way you will discover community gardens, a disc golf course, mountain biking trails, and plenty of picnic areas.
Explore the “boardwalk” section of Jordan Creek Greenway in South Whitehall, along the 0.85 miles of trail accessible from Covered Bridge Park.
Or, traverse the destination trails located at Trexler Nature Preserve. The preserve boasts 20 miles of trails for hikers all abilities, including the 1.2 mile Covered Bridge Trail that’s complaint with American with Disabilities Act, the 1 mile Elk Viewing Trail, and the 8.5 mile Trexler Border Trail which follows the perimeter of the entire preserve.
Jordan Creek Greenway is one 13 multi-use trails that make up THE LINK Trail Network. Visit our interactive map of THE LINK Trail Network to quickly find trail and trailhead details for your next adventure!
The Jordan Creek Greenway is a regional conservation initiative connecting communities, natural landscapes, and open space through the heart of Lehigh County. An estimated 14-mile, multi-use trail is planned to connect the City of Allentown to Trexler Nature Preserve, through local parks and natural areas along the Jordan Creek corridor. This continuous greenway is designed to preserve the natural resources of the corridor while providing recreational and environmental benefits to the community. Activities on and along the greenway include hiking, biking, fishing, disc golf, and wildlife viewing.
Written by Brit Kondravy, Conservation Coordinator
Brit serves as the Local Lead for Lehigh Valley Greenways – one of Pennsylvania’s eight Conservation Landscapes – and manages the LVG Mini Grant Program. In her role she is able to promote conservation and recreation through place-based partnerships throughout the five-county Corridor.