James Rada, Jr.
Having been cooped up because of COVID and cold weather, people are anxious to get outside now that the weather is pleasant. However, not everyone is cut out for hiking the beautiful nature trails in our region.
Luckily, we have walking trails in our area that combine art and history with a leisurely walking path.
Army Heritage Education Center
950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA
One of the most-unusual trails in the area is the one-mile-long Army Heritage Trail in Carlisle next to the Army Heritage Education Center. It is a walk through history with areas featuring the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the conflicts in the Middle East. Along the trail you will find historic buildings and equipment, such as a Huey helicopter, M-18 Tank Destroyer, Japanese pillbox, and WWI trenches.
Besides being educational, it is a trail that will engage young children who will enjoy climbing the lookout tower, wandering the maze of trenches, and looking at the equipment. They will get exercise without realizing it.
After the walk, you can tour the displays in the Army Heritage Education Center. Admission is free and parking is plentiful.
Carroll Creek Linear Park
Carroll Creek Parking Garage, 44 E. Patrick Street, Frederick, MD
The Carroll Creek Linear Park was created after the creek flooded Frederick twice in the 1970s. The city government undertook a flood control project that is primarily underground, but it also created the space and opportunity to build a scenic walking trail along the creek.
The 1.5-mile trail runs from the 400 block of E. Patrick Street to N. Bentz Street. Along the way, you will see public art displays, water features, and plantings. You might stop to cross the pedestrian bridge to the amphitheater to listen to music, visit the C. Burr Artz Library, or visit one of the shops along the way.
Harrisburg River Walk
Along Front St., Harrisburg, PA
Part of Riverfront Park in Harrisburg, the Harrisburg River Walk is a 3.5-mile-long trail that runs between Front Street and the Susquehanna River. It runs from Vaughn Street to Paxton Street. The trail is paved, making it a popular route for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists.
It offers scenic views of the river, City Island, Wormleysburg, and Blue Mountain. You can find exercise stations along the trail along with public art exhibits that add to the sights to take in. You can also walk on a pedestrian bridge over the river to City Island and the attractions and trails there.
Civil War Trails
Gettysburg, PA; Frederick, MD; Sharpsburg, MD
We are within an hour drive of three Civil War battle sites: Gettysburg, Antietam, and Monocacy. Each of these parks has a variety of walking trails that will take you to key locations of the battles and show you the monuments and landmarks. To find the trail that works best for you, stop in at the visitor’s center and ask for a trail map. You can talk to the rangers about which trails will show you the sites you want and are the right length for a casual walk.
Annmarie Sculpture Garden
13470 Dowell Road, Solomons, MD
For a trip that’s a bit further away, check out Annmarie Sculpture Garden in Solomons, Md. It might look like a typical garden walk, but it’s filled with unique art installations throughout the 30 acres of forests, fields, and meadows. Some of the art is part of the permanent collection while others are on loan. Some of the pieces are easy to spot while others are almost hidden away. You can treat your visit like a scavenger hunt to try and find all of the displays. There’s even a children’s garden, butterfly garden, and fairy grove for kids.
Historic army buildings and equipment can be found along the Army Heritage Trail in Carlisle.
Carroll Creek Linear Park in Frederick
The Pennsylvania Monument is the largest monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield.
Sam Rada gets ready to explore the WWI trenches that are part of the Army Heritage Trail.