Exploring Allentown’s Lehigh River parks
October 9, 2015 - Picnic Time
With a Waterfront growth set to mangle belligerent this month, many people are removing vehement for what’s to come along a Lehigh River in Allentown.
The 26-acre area straddling a Tilghman Street overpass will be bustling with activity — from restaurants, sell shops and a riverwalk to apartments, bureau buildings and floating docks.
There also is a odds that alfresco plazas and a sloped grass area will move concerts, festivals and a farmers market, says Zachary Jaindl, a principal in a due development.
Jaindl sees a $325 million project, scheduled to be finish in 5 to 10 years, as a approach for Allentown to beget a clarity of enlightenment around a Lehigh River, “an item that defines a growth and creates it unique.”
The stream runs about 4 miles by a city, from usually south of a Route 22 overpass to a Rittersville territory in easterly Allentown.
While a city’s waterfront attractions are certain to multiply, it’s a good time to inspect a recreational opportunities that already exist along a river.
Three city parks — Buck Boyle, Canal and Kimmet’s Lock — now offer places to boat, fish, cruise and more.
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski has left boating and H2O skiing on a river, yet many frequently uses a parks for scenic walks.
“The Waterfront is going to dramatically change a area for a better, yet there is already copiousness to enjoy,” Pawlowski says. “As we pronounced many times before, ‘You can build a griddle subsequent to a drainage ditch, and people will lay outward and demeanour during a drainage ditch.’ We have real, live issuing H2O that we can vessel on, Jet Ski on and so forth.
“Unfortunately, a immeasurable infancy of people don’t know about it since we have this aged attention that’s shaped a barrier. So a growth will positively be transformational, usually like it’s been in other cities such as Philadelphia and Wilmington, since people adore water.”
Pawlowski envisioned a certain impact that a riverfront redevelopment would have on a city on initial holding bureau in 2006. He credits a fulfilment to a 127-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ), where substantially all state taxation dollars generated by new growth can be used by skill owners to compensate off building loans.
“We have a dark gem here,” Pawlowski adds. “Not usually myself, yet many mayors before me had this prophesy for a riverfront. It’s beautiful. It’s tranquil. And it’s underutilized.”
To improved illustrate what Allentown has to offer along a shores, here is what we schooled while furloughed a city’s riverside parks with a mayor.
Buck Boyle Park
This park, named after George “Buck” Boyle, a former pro ball actor from Allentown, was dedicated in 1973.
It is a many used of a 3 riverside parks — it has ball and football fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, a pavilion and H2O park during 10 Pump Place.
Water entrance is available, yet is indifferent for Lehigh University’s men’s and women’s rowing teams. Their boathouse lies adjacent to a park’s pavilion (which facilities 12 cruise tables and a grill).
People celebrating a special arise or usually enjoying a infrequent dish underneath a pavilion can take in a river’s sights — from fast-paced watercraft to lifelike boathouses on Adams Island.
Many boaters accost from a private Frick Boat Club, Pawlowski says. About 100 yards south of a park, a bar houses about 30 to 40 boats.
“What creates this partial of a stream singular is a Hamilton Street dam,” he says. “The dam indeed creates a arrange of internal lake that goes about a mile and half adult to a Route 22 bridge.
“The H2O is anywhere from 5 to 12 feet deep, depending on a deteriorate and a volume of sleet in that season, so we could take a sincerely vast vessel and go all a approach adult to Route 22. After that, we start to strike some-more shoal H2O in Whitehall.”
One of Buck Boyle’s many renouned attractions is a mist park, Pawlowski says.
Open noon to 7 p.m. (weather permitting) during a summer, it has a accumulation of fountains and city-themed structures — including “cars” and “gas pumps” that eruption H2O and a H2O building that dumps water.
Other park highlights embody fields, used essentially by a Allentown A’s girl ball and football leagues, yet also suitable for drifting kites and holding leashed pets for walks; and playgrounds, designed for specific age groups and featuring some-more city-themed structures charity bouncing, climbing and shifting elements.
A building housing Allentown’s Weed Seed Neighborhood Revitalization and Safety Program offers bathrooms and a H2O fountain.
Canal Park, dedicated in 1975 during East Walnut and South Albert streets, is Allentown’s “true dark gem,” Pawlowski says, showcasing views that “mimic a Poconos and make we forget you’re even in a city.”
It is somewhat secluded, permitted usually by a prolonged and circuitous apportionment of South Albert Street that runs together to a Lehigh Canal.
“It’s kind of tough to get to, so we consider a lot of people — we would try to contend over 90 percent of Lehigh Valley residents — don’t even know it exists,” Pawlowski says. “It has a lot of potential, though, and we’re looking during ways to activate it more. The problem is we have this active rail line that goes right by it.”
The park’s vessel launch showcases monumental views of trees opposite a river.
The stream is not as low here as it is during Buck Boyle. Because of that, many people use a park’s launch for canoes, Jet Skis and tiny fishing boats, Pawlowski says.
A prominence of a park is entrance to a Delaware Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, famous as a DL Trail. The trail, some of that is still underneath correct or development, will eventually run from a Seven Tubs area nearby Wilkes-Barre to Bristol, Bucks County. It follows a ancestral pathway that carried spark and iron from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia.
The subsequent entrance indicate on a DL Trail is 4.1 miles easterly during Bethlehem’s Sand Island. Visitors can bike, travel or lope along a comparatively well-spoken towpath.
The park also facilities a petrify wharf for waterway access, a pavilion with 12 cruise tables, restrooms, a H2O fountain and grill.
Benches along a waterway benefaction an ideal place to relax and take in Mother Nature’s splendor.
“This is substantially a many pleasing partial of a stream in Allentown — a prettiest to photograph, for sure,” Pawlowski says.
Kimmet’s Lock, on a easterly side of a Lehigh River, is Allentown’s central open vessel launch, Pawlowski says, where people launch essentially vast energy boats since of a low water.