July 30, 2012
Lehigh Valley Ride: Cedar Creek Path
I set out last Monday morning to explore Trexler Memorial Park, but was greeted by a sign in the parking lot that declared that no bicycles were allowed in the park on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Although the Trikke is hard to classify, I took that as a clear indication that I wouldn’t be welcomed there, as the park was very full with walkers and joggers. Shaking off this disappointment, I recalled that Cedar Beach Park was literally around the corner, so I decided to explore there instead.
My first impression of this park is that although the trail is relatively short, it is by far the most beautiful riding spot I’ve found so far. The park is basically divided into two halves, split by North Ott Street. I parked on the west side off at a small lot at Parkway Boulevard and North 30thStreet. There were some walkers, joggers and kids on bicycles, but not enough to get in the way of a good Trikke ride.
I started by riding the main loop of Cedar Creek Path around the west side of the park:
There are some slight inclines and hills on this loop which may deter someone just learning to ride, but with a moderate level of experience they shouldn’t prove to be a problem. In particular the area near where I parked (northern side) and the southeast corner involve some minor climbs. This 1.3 mile loop is mostly out in the open with no shade for those hot days. The northeast corner has some tree cover at the garden and pond portion of the park. This section switches from a conventional asphalt trail to brick pavers, but the Trikke rides just fine over them. It is here that the park really gets its distinct beauty and character.
Having completed that loop, I decided to start exploring everything else I could find. There is an angled pathway through that loop which is flat and easy to ride, although you’ll likely have to walk your Trikke over the very narrow bridge connecting it back to the main trail.
I then crossed North Ott Street to explore the east side of the park.
This side has less to offer a Trikker. Cedar Creek Road runs the entire length of this part and has some vehicular traffic from North Ott Street to the parking lot. It is closed to entry and exit from Hamilton Boulevard though, which does keep traffic to a minimum. The nice thing is this road is very wide and flat, so with nobody else on it I was free to ride my Trikke without disruption.
Cedar Creek Path meets Cedar Creek Road at the east end of the park, but I was not able to Trikke this loop around Lake Muhlenberg as it is gravel. So I rode back along Cedar Creek Road until I picked up a minor paved trail along the west end of the lake and around the parking lot. This part was paved, but very narrow, and I would not consider this a real destination for Trikking.
As this was my first visit to the park, I cannot yet offer any commentary on how crowded it gets at different times. It is located in a densely populated area, so I do have to assume there may be times it gets crowded. I would not let that deter me from going back though, as it was an enjoyable ride in a beautiful location. For future rides, I will likely stick with doing laps around the main loop on the west side, or riding back and forth on Cedar Creek Road on the east side.