Thursday, May 28, 2020

Nor-Bath Trail Getting a Makeover

On Monday, I told you about the Lehigh Valley's best kept secret, a 10-mile trail extending from Cementon to Slatington. Comments from readers tell me there's some great fishing spots along the way, and that you can continue from Slatington all the way up to the Black Diamond Trailhead. That's about 15 miles shy of Wilkes-Barre. Michael Drabenstott, who chairs the Delaware and Lehigh Trail Board, tells me his group is working hard to get there. He's also working at connecting Northampton to Allentown along both sides of the river.

"The entire trail is a hidden diamond that many are just discovering because of the coronavirus," says Pathfinder, an avid cyclist.

This story is about another trail, a 5.9-mile stretch extending from Bath (at Jacksonville Park) to Clear Springs Drive in Northampton. From there, you can dart through Northampton's streets and hook up to the D and L Trail. This connecting trail isp; called The NorBath Trail. It's named after the Northampton and Bath Railroad, which once operated there.

Northampton County purchased this trail from the railroad when it ceased operations. I've been on it many times, and used to do some of my long runs there when I trained for marathons. No river runs alongside this trail, but there are picturesque farmlands along both sides. As I ramble along, I can hear the cracks of bats and eventually see kids playing baseball and softball at Bicentennial Park. I often paused to watch for an inning. It seems there are tournaments every weekend. It's also a great spot for basketball, and is frequented by many high school and college athletes whom I regularly defeat. In my dreams.

There are also monthly orgies in one of the pavilions. OK, I'm dreaming again.

The Nor-Bath Trail is the only County-owned trail within the network of over 300-miles of land and water trails throughout Northampton County.

Starting today, the County plans to make some improvements on a 2.5 mile stretch between Weaversville and Jacksonville Roads. This includes trail resurfacing, safety improvements, landscaping and fencing. From time to time, it will be necessary to close portions. It will take three to four weeks to complete this work.

Northampton County provided $300,000 to match a 2018 grant from PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Community Conservation and Partnership Program.

“The Nor-Bath Trail is a valuable resource for Northampton County,” says Lamont McClure. “It’s important that we improve and preserve this trail for future generations.”

“The investment in our parks, trails and open spaces continue to add value to our County and region. We are grateful to have elected officials in place that see the importance of these investments,” said Bryan Cope, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation.

14 comments:

pathfinder said...

I am glad to see work being done on this this trail. I have biked it several times in the past. The biggest problem I have with this trail is the motorist do not heed the trail crossing signs on Weaversville Rd & Airport Rd. Anyone crossing these roads become a target. I hope Norco upgrades these crossings to make them safer maybe by installing user activated warning lights like the D&L has at PA 895 in Bowmanstown.

Anonymous said...

We now have come to realize how wise it was to invest in nature trails and the like. We need to do more of the same in the future. When all else fails..nature is there to show us it's beauty.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that a fairly easy (and interesting) urban ride through the river communities (Cementon, Hokey, N Catty, W. Catty, Copley, Northampton, Catty, Fullerton etc..) and you can get back on the D&L in Allentown at Canal Park to ride from Slatington to Easton and points south. I would argue as well that successful trout fishing the Slatington to Coplay stretch of the Lehigh River might be a bit more challenging than the average weekend fisherman is accustomed to.

Anonymous said...

"“The Nor-Bath Trail is a valuable resource for Northampton County,” McClure said."

Ruh roh. When Lamont declares something a "valuable resource," it's usually about to be ignored or destroyed.

Anonymous said...

Was on it just this past weekend - truly is a gem. Would be great to see other trails developed to connect to/from Hanover, Bethlehem, Upper & Lower Nazareth Townships. Maybe one along the Monocacy connecting into Historic Bethlehem and hook up with the D&L down there...

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe there is a trail along the Monocacy. I have ridden it a few times when riding from Easton along the D&L trail. I used it to go to Hanover Tp.

Anonymous said...

Why did McClure feel the need to put his name on our county parks?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm unaware that McClure has attached his name to anything, let alone a county park or building.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the new signs Cope put up at county parks. They all have "Lamont McClure County Executive" on them. The old ones which were perfectly fine never had the name of previous executives. If John Brown had done this you would be howling at the moon over it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I never noticed and doubt I would have noticed had Brown done it. You are more astute than I. But you're right. The name of the Executive has no place on county signage. I am going to check this out.

Bath Bear said...

Lot of hot studs looking to PNP out there on the bike trails signal is to get up out of the saddle and wiggle your tucchus subtly while peddling backwards kind of like a toe tap Ala Larry Craig but for the rail trail, have fun!

Anonymous said...

If you think the Park deal is bad you have not been paying attention,
everything this guy does is for political coverage, The so-called County Facebook page is nothing but Lamont McClure announcing how he did this or gave money to them, etc. Really some North Korean stuff. Don't expect ole Bernie to get on him since he is in a trance.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It seems that if anyone is being political, it is you. This is what is called transparency. A government has an obligation to inform its citizens what it is doing. In the next election, you can attack him for his accomplishments. Good luck.

Unknown said...

Please don’t close the trail in the middle of the day without notice. This week I rode from Jacksonville park to the d and l trailhead and north early in the morning. On the way back I found a trail closed sign and was forced onto route 248 to get home. I was nearly killed by a speeding dump truck. I will never ride again. How in the world do you close a trail when folks have gone one way and now can’t get home? Do you realize how hazardous it is for a bike on Pennsylvania highways? There are no restrictions on speeding dump trucks.