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Remember: Allentown Park Log 11: Trout Creek Parkway

Monday, June 8, 2009

Allentown Park Log 11: Trout Creek Parkway


I expected Trout Creek Parkway to be a small, more urbanized park along the lines of Keck Park on the east side. I was entirely wrong and completely surprised by what I found down along Mack Boulevard.

First off, there was actual signage on Mack Boulevard letting you know where the park was! There is no signage whatsoever letting you know where many of our other parks are located.

Parking at this section of TCP was a little difficult. There was no apparent parking lot. I ended up pulling alongside a guardrail near the picnic benches and playground.


Across the way, there was a well manicured baseball diamond and a basketball court.

There is a clearly visible macadam paved trail very close to where I parked.

The trail crosses Trout creek and curves around into a glen of tall trees; buffeted by sections of fully developed marshland.

Walking further along, and despite the noise of nearby trains, TCP begins to develop a sense of the surreal. On this warm June afternoon, between the thick shade and bright light, the air was so sweet with the smell of blooming flowers, it was nearly intoxicating.

As the path begins to curve back towards the road, the marshland comes fully into view. There is a significant amount and variety of plant life here:

The path itself at this point becomes part of the park:

Beyond the macadam path, there were large areas of manicured grass walkways:

To the right, TCP held another surprise. There is a tiny pond barely two feet across and almost perfectly square. I caught sight of it behind some very tall Yarrow:


Walking around the edges of the shallow pond I was startled by a loud noise in the water. I could see a few mallards in the distance but I assumed the sound was created by a frog. I was wrong, it was made by this guy:


(Forgive the picture quality but the turtle was rather camera shy. He is just above the stick at left center.)

As I headed back towards my car, I remembered seeing a trail in the woods just across the initial bridge where I had begun my walk.


As it turns out, this trail isn’t much of a trail at all.

Walking down it, the vegetation grows thicker with each step until the trail disappears altogether.

At this point in my exploration of Trout Creek Parkway I felt like I had stepped into the legendary other world of old British verse. I half expected a winged dryad to come busting through the broad round leaves to say hello to me. As far removed as this felt, the rustle of noise in the underbrush seemed more likely to be the result of gnomes rather than a chipmunk scurrying for food; in the unbelievably sweet and moist air, it seemed possible.

Alas, down along Mack Boulevard, in Trout Creek Parkway there are no gnomes or dryads. There is however a beautiful half hidden park that I myself will explore further. As I drove down the road I was actually disappointed that the park was not larger. That is, until I saw the macadam trail continue across the way.

And, that is for Part Two.

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4 Comments:

Blogger michael molovinsky said...

memory is a funny thing. those of us who woke up one day to find ourselves older, provide information which younger people sometimes find interesting. sometimes it can be confusing, as with my cow retraction. often it can be meaningless to those younger who are now the current urban explorers. i recall, and take this with three grains of salt, that trout creek park was built about 30 years ago on the site (especially the playground) of a 100 year old dump. at the time, especially the old timers who remember what was dumped there, were aghast that the city would create something to lure people to possible contaminants

June 9, 2009 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

I was down in the "local" history room of the Allentown public library yesterday; again trying to find whatever little tidbits of historical information I could on the parks around here and in the 1962 bicentennial magazine it said that Trout Creek was recently doubled in size. Looks like you may be on to something. Also, yikes. Ha.

June 9, 2009 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger michael molovinsky said...

andrew, there are large voids in the local history. a high school student contacted me last year about my post office posting, seems he decided to do a paper on allentown and the wpa, and only came up with my blog, nothing in the local history room at all. the morning call archives are good if you don't mind paying; better yet is the chronicle archives, which are only available to morning call staff. the local historical society evolved into a pop museum, doing a show on lincoln?
btw, recently i checked lehigh parkway and some lining stones are still visible from the spring pipe pond by robin hood, but soon all evidence will vanish, as with the "boat landing". i greatly admire your posts, but we do not see eye to eye in regard to admiration for the current regimes' park priorities.

June 9, 2009 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Thank you Micheal. After spending a lot of time in both the library at the Heritage Museum and the Local History "room" in the public facility; you are darn right. There is almost no available record at either of those places about WPA projects. I have really tried.

And while I am more in favor of planned park renovations, I completely agree with your call for historical preservation.

I think it would help if more citizens actually knew about the rapidly deteriorating relics in the parks and without any documentation people aren't going to find out.

It is my intent to keep posting about these historical things I encounter and whenever i can get more information I will relay it here on my blog.

Thanks for reading, even if we don't always agree.

June 9, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

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