The day after Christmas, we took a short drive out Route 7 from Belfast and parked in a parking lot that used to be for passengers getting on the tourist railroad that took them over a bridge and through some woods to Brooks.
|The city of Belfast has replaced a railroad with this walking trail along the river that runs into Belfast Bay. Milt Gross photo.|
The town has turned the first half mile, from the old station west over a brook that flows into the Passagawasee (hope that's spelled nearly right) River, into a walking horseback riding, bicycling, and walking trail -- a wide, comfortable one.
Where there used to be a few passenger cars, one used to sell tickets, and a diesel engine ready to pull, is now grass and a dirt road leading down a hill to the trail itself.
I was limping, as I haven't yet had my second hip (there are two, you know) replaced, but I was able to limp comfortably along the trail. It is covered with inch-wide (approximately) stones that keep the trail from becoming a mud-trail.
Someday, when my second hip has been replaced and the surgeon has found a third, we'll walk farther on the trail. Maybe even cross the new foot bridge crossing the brook.
It is fascinating what the city (or town) of Belfast has done. Rather than talking about future improvements for residents and visitors to enjoy, they are one by one creating them. If I could shout, "Let's hear it for Belfast!" I here would do so.
|A new pedestrian footbridge crosses a brook where the railroad to brooks used to roll along behind its diesel switcher. Milt Gross photo.|
The trail currently stretches about 2.5 or three miles from downtown Belfast, a great little walk, to City Point. It starts near the town dock.
Surprising us on the day before Christmas were the four or five car loads of walkers out there, soaking in the sun while enjoying the trail.
Because I'm still limping, I made my way slowly down the dirt road to the trail, but afterwards Dolores brought the Toyota right down to the trail itself. She backed onto the trail, and allowed me to get in and enjoy sitting.
If you're in the mood for a good little walk, don't try the Appalachian Trail this time of year, but head for Belfast. Go either to the dock and park and find the trail on the west side of the street or drive out to City Point and walk from there.
And, should you meet any of the town council, be sure and thank them for providing this trail.
It's a good little Christmas present, if you walk it on Christmas.
Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton M. Gross Copyright 2015