Lately I’ve been working a few days a week in the PA state capital. It is really a wonderful little city.
The Susquehanna riverfront apparently was never industrial, so unlike Pittsburgh’s navigable rivers, there is fine old architecture very close to the water, kind of like the beach There is also a great bike trail. In fact, there is a roughly 15 mile loop around the city, about 70% of which is off street trails, 29% very calm streets, and theres a few hundred feet of a busy roadway (Linglestown Rd) with at least a wide shoulder. With barely any hills, the city loop is packed with great scenery – parks, greenways, riverfront, bridges, neighborhoods, PennDOT maintenence facilities, and a remnant of the Pennsylvania Canal (ride on the towpath).
My commute to work from the hotel downtown is about 7 miles on trail and city streets. Like all our cities, there are healthy and impoverished areas, and “hip” revitalized neighborhoods closer to downtown with all kinds of great eateries, cafes, museums, and an architecturally stunning Statehouse (Corbett and his financiers are a different topic).
In sum, I’d recommend a day and a night exploring here. BUT! It is not easy to get here both WITH a bike and WITHOUT a car. You can drive the miserable turnpike and bring a full-size, but I purchased a folding bike ($220 brand new from Bicycle Heaven – they sell tons of them). And I’ve successfully smuggled it on both Megabus and Amtrak.
Can’t wait to return to the burgH and to bikefest!