On a beautiful day in October, Tom and I decided to finally venture to downtown Harrisburg. We had driven all around it, but had not gone downtown. We wanted to walk the Capital Area Greenbelt Trail and it was the perfect day for a long walk.
The Capital Area Greenbelt Trail is a 20 mile trail that runs along the Susquehanna River and loops up into downtown Harrisburg. From the trail you can see the state capital building and many other historic sites in Harrisburg. Waysides describe the history of Harrisburg and of various houses and parks along the trail.
We drove to City Island, in the middle of the river, and parked in one of the free lots. Then we walked across the Walnut Street Bridge to the Greenbelt. The Walnut Street Bridge is an iron trestle bridge built in 1889. It was used for vehicular traffic until it was damaged by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Since then it has been a pedestrian bridge. It is a lovely way to enjoy seeing the city and the Susquehanna River with its beautiful bridges.
The Capital Area Greenbelt Trail runs between the city and the river. There is an upper level, that runs parallel to First Street. The trail is mostly straight but has some twists and turns through parks or memorial gardens. A lower level follows the lower edge of the riverbank. Tom and I primarily walked the upper level because it had more information and better views of the city.
We followed the Capital Area Greenbelt Trail from the bridge to the western end, and then headed back. At one point, we stopped to sit on a bench and drink some water. There were so many people using the trail: riding bikes, running, and walking. Some people were napping in the sunshine along the riverbank. We are always pleased when we see people using outdoor spaces.
The Capital Area Greenbelt Trail is a wonderful way to explore downtown Harrisburg. The lovely greenspace makes the city more livable and encourages people to get out and walk. The trail is administered by a private group, the Capital Area Greenbelt Association, and they are doing a wonderful job. We would have enjoyed having another day to explore other parts of the trail.