I used to drive by this sign on my commute to work, and it’s what planted the seed that such a path existed.
This past Friday, I decided to take on the Capital Area Greenbelt, a 20-plus mile nature path that circles Harrisburg. The following Sunday, I did it again, going the opposite way.
Why the second trip so soon? Well, I had a 30 minute “detour” trying to find my bluetooth headset in a field (more in the gallery captions, below). I also wanted to see if I could improve my time, as I got a little lost on the first go-around (I shaved an hour off, according to RunKeeper). The Capital Area Greenbelt Association has kiosks with maps, however, the pamphlet map is way too simplified. The posted kiosk maps (picture in gallery) are sufficiently-detailed, but what would have been easiest was an accessible Google Map to track with my phone. The website has an embedded map on their website, but in-app would have been ideal.
I’m sure biking the Greenbelt isn’t much of an accomplishment to cyclists that trek this every week, but for a desk jockey like me, I was happy to finally strike it off my list. Now, I feel like it’s a must for anyone living here.
A 22-mile ride seems long, but in the end, it really wasn’t that bad. I was surprised just how little of the path was shared with public roads, and loved uncovering some of the art gems along the way. I’ll inevitably do this again (now that I know where I’m going), and hope that more artwork sprouts up in the future.
I started at Wildwood Park, as the north entrance is really close to my house.
As an instructor, I’m not used to seeing HACC’s empty parking lot.
The farmer’s market at the Farm Show complex reminds me of what the Broad Street Market, sadly, should be.
I was relieved that there’s paths adjacent to the very busy Cameron Street.
I’d never been on “Asylum Run” also known under the more pedestrian name, Sycamore Drive. The state hospital grounds are really pretty.
Here’s an abandoned road in PennDOT’s backyard.
Me, confirming my location, despite having my iPhone with me.
Here’s a Pinky sighting in Penbrook. I’m loving the bitmap graffiti.
Trekking up Reservoir Park and the National Civil War Museum.
My first trip took a slight detour when my jawbone headset fell out of my ear as I walked up to the statue to take a picture. Using the battery bar as a compass, I miraculously found it in this field, albeit 30 minutes later.
I expected the Greenbelt to be mostly public roads but was happy to discover most of the trip to look like this.
Under the bridge…
Here’s the Five Senses Garden, a quaint, secluded area near the Harrisburg Mall.
Here’s some more street art. Seeing hidden artwork like this definitely made the trip more fun, and it makes me wonder what it’d take to encourage more of such artwork on the bare concrete walls.
I love how this MLK memorial is really only accessible on the Greenbelt.
South of downtown.
This is perhaps one of my favorite pieces on the trip.
This painted wall was apparently commissioned, though has clearly not weathered the elements well.
The first time I rode the path, the arrows were always against me. I suppose I went backwards.
I'm a creative technologist at Hauck Interactive, Inc. and an adjunct instructor at HACC. I live in Harrisburg, Pa. with my wife and three boys. I enjoy good coffee, Trappist beers, Orioles baseball, and good design.