By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
I was en route to my 50th high school reunion in Connecticut, but excited to spend the night in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
(Not because I’m a fan of the show, “The Office,” although I am.)
I was excited because I am always in search of a new bike trail to ride. And in Scranton, courtesy Traillink.com, I had found the nearly 18-mile Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.
It’s an asphalt and crushed stone trail that runs along the Lackawanna River. This relatively new trail is still being built and plans are for it to eventually reach 50 miles in length.
It begins in the beautiful, rural Pennsylvania countryside and then wanders through the city of Scranton below street level and beneath towering bridges. Once out of the city, it reenters the countryside.
When the 50th mile is completed, the trail may connect to the Great American Rail-Trail. I can’t wait.
The Great American Rail-Trail
The Great American Rail-Trail will connect recreational trails across the country. Once completed, people will be able to ride from coast to coast and not fight motor vehicles.
Here’s what TrailLink says about it: The Great American Rail-Trail highlights some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, well-known geography and storied history across a 3,700-miles-plus route between Washington and Washington. Comprising approximately 130 existing host trails and approximately 1,700 miles of trails gaps, this multiuse trail, when complete, will be a national treasure, uniting millions of people over thousands of miles of trail across 12 states and the District of Columbia….
While the completion of the developing trail will take years, it is already more than 52 percent complete and ready for exploration, carried by more than 1,900 miles of existing trails and approximately 1,700 miles yet to be completed between Washington, D.C. and Washington State.
Here in the QC, the Hennepin Canal Trail represents a substantial portion of main east-west trail as it stretches across almost half of Illinois.
In fact, it looks as if you can bike across almost the entire state of Illinois except for a few miles in the central part of the state.
I love the idea of riding across the U.S.A. safely, and hope this dream is completed before I am unable to complete such a journey.
So I’m giving whoever is in charge 20 years – 30 at the most – to connect the dots and get the job done. Otherwise I may be at the stage in my life where I’d need an ebike to do it.
In the meantime, check out TrailLink for new trails alongside your travels … and let me know about them. It’s a great way to explore near home and far away!
|Meet Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell. Alan is a communications professor at St. Ambrose University and a former reporter for WQAD-TV who has exercised – and dieted – his entire life. Read Alan’s other blog posts.|