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Whenever I feel the need to get off campus and get moving, I head down to the Karl Stirner Arts Trail. This scenic 1.6 mile paved path runs along the Bushkill Creek and connects downtown Easton with College Hill. The Arts Trail is easily accessible to Lafayette students, as there are entrances both at the bottom of the staircase and down the hill behind Kirby Sports Center. Whether I am joining a friend for our weekly run or showing my family around when they come for a visit, the Arts Trail is a great place to decompress and have some fun outside! Here are some other reasons why I love the Arts Trail:

Beauty In Nature

Though I am a first-year and have only been in the Easton area for summer and fall, I can say that the Arts Trail is beautiful in both seasons! There are so many trees that let rays of warm sunlight through, and the sparkling Bushkill Creek flows peacefully by. There is also a short nature trail branching off from the Arts Trail, which allows visitors to get closer to the creek and explore the shore. As the weather has grown colder, the leaves have turned stunning shades of red and orange, and the brisk autumn wind creates the perfect conditions for jogging. I am excited to see the trail with snow in the winter and with blooming plants in the spring!

Interactive Art

The trail is named after Karl Stirner, a German-American artist who taught at several universities in Pennsylvania and whose work has been featured in museums such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In honor of the late artist, there are several large and thought-provoking works of art along the trail, such as the iconic red arch.

Other exhibitions on the trail have been contributed by the community and even by Lafayette students. Excitingly, some are interactive! For example, there is a cool labyrinth formed from grey and red rocks, as well as a circle of small trees arranged to provide a shaded place for meditation and relaxation. These were perfect for my little brother to check out when he came to visit. Additionally, in 2018, a “musical playground”, designed by an Engineering Studies capstone course at Lafayette, was installed on the trail. Learn more about this innovative project here: https://lafayettestudentnews.com/54562/arts/pen-musical-path-art-installation-meant-to-bring-music-to-the-arts-trail-project-funded-by-donations-grants-and-people-who-lent-their-talents/ 

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs!

I can almost guarantee that you will encounter a few dogs while on the Arts Trail! Especially on days with ideal weather, the Arts Trail seems to be the go-to spot for local dog-walkers. I have been able to pet many dogs during my runs, and it has certainly helped boost my mood. There is also a fenced-in dog park within the first mile of the trail, and it is so cute to watch all the pups frolic around! The high chance of seeing a dog on the trail may or may not be one of my top reasons for going so often.

Silk Mill Complex

Nearing the end of the trail, there is a bridge that leads over the Bushkill Creek and into the Silk Mill Complex. This shopping center features old industrial buildings that were converted into trendy stores and restaurants. The brick facades of the buildings provide the perfect backdrop for cute photos with your friends. The variety of shops includes a pop-up art gallery, a music showroom, a juice bar, and the infamous Owowcow! I am glad that I still have my fours years ahead of me at Laf, because there are so many places I want to check out in the Silk Mill Complex.

Clearly, there is plenty to do on the Arts Trail besides walking! It is a great place to bring your friends and family for some time outside.

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Emily Mastroly

Lafayette '25

Emily is a first-year EVST & EGRS double major at Lafayette College. She loves reading, being outside, and exploring Easton with friends!
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