Monday, April 29, 2013

Tour of the Thun Trail

Along the Thun Trail. From gil.cva34's Berks County page.

Hey Berks County runners, et al: Thun Trail has been the site of a few highly publicized crimes and this has unfortunately made it underutilized. There's a security effort being put in place, reported here.

This is one good way to encourage people to use the trail. A year and a half ago when I was home I ran from Victor Emmaneul's down to Gibraltar and didn't see a single other soul. Truth be told, I was more worried about hunters thinking I was a deer than some bad actor thinking I was a target. Just now I went to (a great tool when you base your safety on data rather than rumors) and in the last 6 months, found only one possible violent crime along the trail rather than in a nearby town. Being in the tiny hamlet of Gibraltar was far more dangerous. And Gibraltar's pretty quiet.

Here's another thought to popularize the trail: a volksmarch. One version of this tradition is basically groups of families setting out for a long walk and stopping at small villages along the war for a nice bier. It could start at Trooper Thorn, stop at the Naomi Hotel, and end up at Player's in Birdsboro (for example). Positives:

1) it's not about drinking, it's about having a nice time, and the kids would have a blast (but the adults could relax and the bar/restaurants would benefit from the business;
2) safety in numbers;
3) would require very little organization; Just a few families to agree on a date, with one or two people leaving cars at the end to deliver everyone back.
4) in keeping with Berks County's German heritage!
5) people will think of the Thun Trail in a different light. Guaranteed it will be a lot of wholesome fun and grow next year if people want it to.

Seems like an idea that fits summer or late spring...

From the Schuylkill River Trail's website.

View Larger Map


T.H. from Limerick said...

Hey there, I don't disagree with any of your suggestions to encourage more people to use the Thun Trail. That's exactly what we need to do to keep the riffraff away. In fact, this trail is living proof that a trail does not have to be paved to be bicycle-friendly. (There are a few isolated spots that need work, but too few to be a big issue.)

I rode the trail on Memorial Day (5-27-13) and I noticed that on the 1-1/2 mile stretch from Gibraltar to the 724 crossing the trial is being reconstructed. My initial thought was, "Hey, maybe eventually they'll do the whole trail this way." But no. That reconstruction is being done out of necessity because new water mains are being installed along and under the trail there. If you dig up a public thoroughfare--whether it is a road or trail doesn't matter--you must repair and replace where you dug when the work is completed. It's the law.

This temporary nuisance notwithstanding, the Thun Trail is an asset to Berks County. Let's enjoy it, no matter what county we live in.

Michael Caton said...

Right, it's kind of a vicious cycle. People don't use it, more riffraff, people use it less...etc. A big event like this would put it on the map for people and there's safety in numbers.