In celebration of National Bike Month, Paul Fogal, PPFF Board Member and Owner of Pocono Biking, shares with us his love of biking.
Biking is my favorite way to travel. Walking can be too slow, and motor vehicles too fast. Biking is a pleasant speed to get places while experiencing the world around you.
I feel fortunate to live in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, where we have access to state forests, state game lands, and the majestic Lehigh Gorge State Park, home to the Delaware and LeHigh National Heritage Corridor.
The D&L rail trail follows the Lehigh River, which was a major transportation artery for anthracite coal in the 1800s, starting with river barges, then a canal, then trains. Passenger trains were added on in the later part of the century. You might still see a train rumbling through the gorge, but you’re more likely to see an eagle, deer, a bear, or if you’re lucky, a porcupine.
The D & L bike trail starts in Glen Summit, and runs uninterrupted for 63 miles, to Cementon, on the northern edge of Allentown. I have bicycled on 6 continents and the D & L through the Lehigh Gorge State Park is definitely world class. You can hop on your bike, and ride at whatever pace you want without fear of being run over by vehicle traﬃc.
There is so much to see! The locks on the river haven’t been used for more than a century, but their remains are still there, standing guard like ancient jungle temples. There are spectacular waterfalls and scenic overlooks, or you can stop and contemplate the river.
You can set up your own bike shuttle, you can ride out and back from several trailheads, there is a commercial shuttle bus, and once a month you can load your bike on a train in Jim Thorpe that carries you 25 miles up the trail to White Haven where you can bike back down. Every ride on the D & L is diﬀerent, every ride is special. We are so happy to have it as our neighborhood trail!
When we’re feeling ambitious we load up our bikes to enjoy nature on trails and gravel roads in diﬀerent Pennsylvania parks and forests, sometimes renting cabins to make a multi-day trip.
I encourage everyone who can to get out there and bike PA! You’ll do your health a favor and you’ll have a great time doing it!