Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rails to Trails

Doug and I made a quick stop at a rambling old house full of rooms stocked by individual junk and antique vendors yesterday in Oxford, Pa. Although I saw some nice things and got some ideas for projects, we didn't buy ANYTHING.

So this week's post about the world of vintage comes to you not from a store but a trail.

Several years ago, a paved path was built connecting the east side of our town to the west.  It's a mile and three quarters long, connecting several little city parks, and has no cross traffic.  It's been great for walks and runs but is kind of short for cycling.

So I was really excited to learn a couple of years ago that a new trail, following the path of a defunct rail line called the Pomeroy and Newark, was being installed, with its southern end connecting to the existing trail and the northern end spilling out on a beautiful, little-used road that winds along the White Clay Creek. They've installed some cool signposts:

Rails-to-trails is really just another form of recycling, kind of like turning trash into treasure. And the old rail line really had deteriorated into a weed-infested trash pile that now looks like this:

The trail isn't quite finished--parts still need to be paved, kiosks completed, transitions built at the cross streets, and a small bridge constructed--but its quite usable and it's kind of fun to see what's new every couple of days.

A couple of weeks ago, this cute awning appeared under the CSX crossing:

I was puzzled as to its purpose but then remembered walking under the CSX tracks a few weeks earlier while a freight train was going over and seeing some pebbles shower down.  Oh, yeah, that cute little awning is to protect trail users from debris....

This morning, I was riding my bike on the trail when I came upon this object set on a little cleared spot off to the side:

At first I thought it was a stylized barbell, laid next to the trail to inspire walkers, runners, and cyclists to lift weights when they finish their aerobic workout.

But when I got off my bike to take a closer look, I saw this detail on the inside of the wheel:

It's a salvaged train wheel, placed there to remind everyone of the trail's former life as a rail line.

And whoever refurbished it definitely shares my appreciation for what you can accomplish with a nice can of glossy black paint.

1 comment:

  1. Love the rails to trails - what a great use of now defunct land!