Nor-Bath Trail

Pennsylvania

Nor-Bath Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Northampton
Length: 5.1 miles
Trail end points: Clear Springs Dr. (Northampton) and Nor-Bath Blvd. nr. the quarry (Bath)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016900
Trail activities: Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Nor-Bath Trail Description

For 77 years, the tiny Northampton & Bath Railroad traveled the 7 miles between the two Pennsylvania towns that gave the line its name. Then, like its larger cousins, the Northampton & Bath Railroad fell victim to the changing face of transportation and the rise of the trucking industry. After it fell into disuse in 1979, the corridor was purchased by Northampton County, thus allowing the "little train that could" to continue to serve its namesake towns by connecting their parks, schools and historic centers. Today you'll find a pretty, tree-lined, crushed stone trail that is perfect for a walk or ride.

Starting in a residential area of Northampton, the trail soon emerges into rural terrain that features open fields, bubbling streams and pretty little bridges. At mile 2.5 you reach the perimeter of Bicentennial Park. Here you'll find 64 acres of county parks with restrooms, pavilions, playgrounds, tennis courts and a wide variety of ball fields. You can enter the park via a short access trail between miles 2.5 and 3.

Along the way several street crossings, well-designed for safety, require you to maneuver through a fenced turnstile and dismount from your bike. Wildlife is abundant along the way: from chipmunks dodging in and out of your path to the occasional rabbits that also claim the trail as home.

The trail winds down with beautiful views of farmland before crossing Jacksonville Road. Currently, the trail goes only a short distance farther to end at State Route 987 near a cement factory. Eventually the trail will extend another mile into Bath. Note: Pets are prohibited on this trail.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Northampton trailhead, take State Route 987 North out of Allentown to 329 West. Turn left on Howarton Road (you'll see Howarton ballpark at the intersection). Bear right onto Atlas Street then left on Savage Road. You'll find a small parking lot on the left at the signed trailhead.

The trail is also accessible from Bicentennial Park in Northampton, which has ample parking.

The trailhead outside of Bath ends on State Route 987 near the intersection with Jacksonville Road. There is no parking.

Nor-Bath Trail Reviews

It was a quite and easy ride on a flat trail. There were mostly bikers. Saw a few rabbits as well. Needed to cross a few streets though.

very smooth and flat trail. i wish it were just a bit longer it's only 5 miles so it's more of a walking trail.

I did the Nor-Bath trail today in 85 degree heat but the trail is so shaded, it felt like 70 degrees. If you are looking for a nice, flat trail, then this is it. There were a few elderberries but the wild raspberries were gone. The only down side (and it's very minor) is that at the north end, the trail just ends in a small loop. I understand there are plans to extend it to Bath, but with the big Keystone Portland cement plant in the way, that's going to be tough. Other than that small nit, nice job, Northampton County!

Accordion

This is a straight flat trail, with that said I had a nice ride and it was very windy and with the great tree line it broke up that wind. I did this round trip in just under an hour. this is a very family friendly trail with good shade and not to long a ride. I would not to way out of my way to do this trail but I did two others in the area and had a great day.

If you like your trails straight and flat this is the one. The packed gravel makes for a nice ride or walk. With shade trees practically the entire length this is a good trail for those hot sun filled summer days. The length is fairly short for a good ride maybe 11 miles round trip. The three bridge crossings could use some tlc, don't hit them to fast as the ends are a bit washed out. Easy access to Bicentennial Park right off the trail at about the halfway mark. A short access trail in Northampton leads to new park for the kids located on Willowbrook Rd.

I live in east allen township and I use the trail for jogging. I've been using the trail for about 14 years and every year it get's worse. The small gravel stones have been getting washed off the trail every time we have heavy rain. Now there's ruts there from the bicycles which isn't their fault. They keep adding new trails, but don't take care of the old ones.

Catherine Muschlitz

We have travels this trail many times. The surface is somewhat spongy which makes harder than you would think for the distance traveled. What we like the most about it is most of the time there are raised sides to the trail and there are lots of bycyclist. It makes it seem like a road for bikes more so than some of the other trails we have ridden on. There are some nice places along the way. The end near Copley is a hill down.

The trail is decent. I'm an intermediate rider and tried it with my mountain bike today because it was probably the last nice day of the year. The trail was recommended by a friend. The medium is crushed stone that has been weathered a bit - there are a couple spots of bare soil, prone to mud and tire tracks. The interruptions as previously mentioned, are a big nuisance. There are 3 total crossings that they instruct you to de-bike and walk across. The last one isn't bad, but the first two of the roads are fairly busy 45mph, 2-lane roads, Weaversville Rd. and 987 (Airport Rd.) You can wait up to a couple minutes before it's safe to cross. In my opinion it would be better to just stay on bike - stop and cross that way as that is faster than walking (unless you run across). The trail is about 4.5mi from 10th St (Savage Rd) in Northamton to a 'dead end' in bath. It just abruptly ends with a wooden fence and the Keystone Cement Plant in the background. There is one 1/4 mile segment that is very uneven and bumpy that with the shade, you cannot prepare or see the bumps coming. I think it's between Weaversville Rd and the park.

A good point is that there is that 'Bicentennial Park' about 1/3 of the way, that you can turn in right off the trail and ride around on paved path for another mile or so. It is a nice very well maintained park that has tennis courts, ball fields and pavilions for picnics. There were a few people flying RC planes while I was there, so it's a good park with a lot of land, if your into that. I'd recommend starting in Northampton due to the ample parking and better access there. There are mile markers and a few benches along the way.

I usually ride the Ironton Rail trail, sometimes the DL Canal trail North and South, but decided to try this trail. I really didn't notice any grades, to me it seemed fairly flat. It is a good trail for just walkers or people out for a casual ride. There are trees around and the trail space is wide and clear, the actual stone path is about the width of a large car for the most part. I live about 5 miles away, but I wouldn't recommend travelling far just to ride this trail. Fairly short for me - probably could have went twice back and forth. I think that's about it. Good luck.

Be aware this trail is more difficult if your coming from Northhampton. If you like to get the work done first as I do, come up into Bath because all the grade is in that direction. So when you turn around, the trip back is a breeze. not a whole lot of scenery, but it is nice. There is a nice park along the way (Bicentenial) so if you have kids, you can stop and let them play, while you rest up. Most of the trail is recessed, so the views are limited. Some farm country and a few bridges, but that's about it.

"A fine trail but a disturbing trend of changes, sand and cinder surfaces are now hard blacktop, it's more intensively maintained with increased popularity and use. All those wildflowers have been mowed down to make wide flat boring lawn verges, goodby to the butterflies, bees and birds - it's a lot like biking down the interstate highway lately, no more tranquil country lane, so peaceful, woodsy and benignly neglected. Heavy use and intensive mowing make it seem like a commercial & industrial artery (for the recreation industry)."

This trail is not for someone who likes to ride long uniterupted distances. There are many road crossings that ask you to get off your bike. Made for an inconsistant ride having to get on and off the bike.

"You are missing out on a flat stretch of gravel biking/walking path! Although the length is short, if you start at Bicentennial off Colony Drive and head to the Northampton side, you can visit Atlas Cement, and if you make two left turns off the trail, pass the Rec Center, make a left onto Main and a right at the next light. That's ninth, which you'll then cross the Lehigh River into Coplay. Make a right at that light and watch for the Saylor Park signs, which is at the Ironton Rail Trail! A great way for novice or experienced bikers to view two terrfic trails at the same time! It's a long trek though, so I can't recommend walking from one to the other..."

Can't wait for the Atlas columns to adorn the new trailhead! What a fitting monument! (see pictures for the columns)

This is a very well maintained trail offering beautiful views of many adjacent farms and parklands in the Bath area. There is easy parking and the trail can be found at Bicentennial Park in Bath. My only complaint about this trail is that pets are not permitted.

"This trail is only about 4.5 miles long, running from just north of Jacksonville Park to Northampton. The only truly legal parking is at the Northampton trailhead, and in Bicentennial Park at about the mid-point on the south side of the trail. The surface is hardpacked crushed stone and i great for walking and biking, but equestrian use is now prohibited. The trail is completely level, and the side grass is mowed regularly. Wildflowers line most sections. It is a very attractive trail, but would be nicer if it were longer.

Rates a 7 out of 10!

-Fred"

I was running on this trail at least 10 years before it officially became a rail trail. The trail is in great shape and is ideal for an easy run or bike ride through the rural farmland.

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