I found another bike path, the West Side Trail. It starts a little ways from the Forty Fort end of the Levee Trail and heads northeast, following the Susquehanna River. The roads between the two trails were a little high-traffic for my taste — I wish there was a better way to get from one trail to the other. Maybe there is; I will see if I can find an alternate route.
View West Side Trail 04/09/2009 in a larger map
The trail is pleasant enough, it’s smooth and flat and has some nice views of the river, some mountains, and the small, private Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport.
The trail runs for about 2.5 miles before joining up with the sidewalk along US Route 11/Wyoming Avenue (know locally as “The Avenue”). Now, The Avenue is a busy four-lane road. I have seen plenty of people riding their bikes there, but I wouldn’t want to do that. It’s a very busy road, and I encounter a lot of idiotic motorists when I drive there.
At the intersection is the Wyoming Monument, which commemorates the Battle of Wyoming, which took place back in 1778. According to Wikipedia, “More than three hundred Patriots were killed in a battle followed by a massacre, in which the Iroquois raiders hunted and killed fleeing Patriots before torturing to death thirty to forty who had surrendered.” It was more than a little weird to be riding along and suddenly come across an obelisk and a couple of canons. And weirder still to imagine a massacre occurring in what is now a park.
I rode on the sidewalk for about a block or two and then got on Susquehanna Avenue. This is a pleasant, low-traffic road through mostly residential areas. I found an interesting-looking side trail/dirt road and followed it. I followed it down by the river, where I could see a small island. There were side roads branching off of it, but I did not take the time to explore those.
The rest of the ride was on roads, most of which were not too memorable.
I’m glad I found the West Side Trail, and Susquehanna Avenue. These could both be useful as parts of a longer ride. I wish the roads between the Levee Trail and the West Side Trail were safer.
In general, it can be a little frustrating trying to find routes through town. In some places, there are large areas with no through streets aside from the major thoroughfares. The West Side Trail and Susquehanna Avenue give me a good east-west route, but I have to go a bit out of the way to get to them.