Exercising their historical interest
Editor's note: An incorrect version of this story ran in a previous edition. This is a corrected version.
Area residents gathered in mid-May for a historical walk along a local section of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage trail. The walk was hosted by the Lehigh Township Rails to Trails (LTRT) organization. The LTRT is a non-profit group dedicated to supplementing and supporting organizations that provide recreation for all age groups in and around the Lehigh Township area.
May's walk covered the section of the D&L trail from the Cove Road trailhead to an area known as Rockville. The Delaware and Lehigh National Corridor will eventually stretch from Bristol to White Haven, a distance of about 165 miles. The trail is nearly complete, passing through a few state and city parks along the way.
Last fall, LTRT ran a very successful bike ride along the D&L. Nancy Thatcher, president of Lehigh Township Rails to Trails, explained that the group was hosting the walk so that those people who don't bike could also have an opportunity to learn the history, geology and biology of the area.
In addition to programs along the D&L, LTRT is currently working on the development of a picnic area at Lock 25 along the Walnutport Canal towpath. The lock area is within Lehigh Township. This project is being done under the direction of the Walnutport Canal Association.
LTRT members have leveled the area within the foundation of a mule barn and will be covering it with crushed stone. An Eagle Scout previously made picnic tables for the site.
While the walk last month was fun, it was also educational. Various members of the committee spoke about the local history of Laurys Station and Treichlers Bridge and the Lehigh Valley Railroad. They distributed information on the environment of Lehigh County, with volunteer Don Eckhart explaining the local geology.
The group stopped periodically to hear Sherry Acevedo, of the D&L, identify invasive species. She explained why these plants are dangerous to the environment and how to properly remove them.
The group also pointed out historical areas, such as the old cement phone booths placed throughout the trail. They explained that the 3,000 pound cement "huts" were considered cutting-edge technology when they were created, a fact that resonated ironically as the group stood around snapping pictures with digital cameras and cellphones.
When asked why they chose to come out to the walk, participants said they love the trail and walk on it regularly, so they decided to learn more about the history of the area.
"We've walked this trail a lot, but never this far down," said participants John and Sara Kisthardt.