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New Mapped Rides Offer Different Views of Towpath Trail

photo of the towpath trail
Jeff St. Clair
Canalways Partners is offering the mapped rides all month to bring visitors to the Towpath Trail.

A series of self-guided bicycle tours aims to bring new visitors to the Towpath Trail amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cycle Canalway” offers 12 different rides, mapped out for different skill levels. Visitors get information on historic and natural sites of interest, mileage and terrain.

Canalway Partners Executive Director Mera Cardenas says visiting the Towpath is a way to experience the renewable power of nature – which is important during a pandemic.

“Hearing the bird song, watching them flutter in the wildflower meadows that were once an asphalt dump over at Clark Field; it connects us to the challenges of human experience and lets us know, it’s not always going to be like this.”

Cardenas adds that the month-long event takes the place of the annual one-day Cycle Canalway, which had to be canceled this year due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the ban on large gatherings.

“This is something you can go out – if you’re comfortable – and do in a small social group. I just did a ride where we were all masked, we went on the Towpath, it was just four of us, [but] it was a nice way to connect with someone I hadn’t seen in several months.”

Cardenas adds nature can help people feel renewed, especially during this pandemic.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.