Three separate images of painted flowers, the red arch sculpture, and trees with yellow autumn leaves on the Karl Stirner Arts Trail in Easton, Pennsylvania

July 9, 2020

We are delighted to see continued enthusiastic use of the Karl Stirner Arts Trail.  All trail entryways and parking lots are open, and all visitors are welcome.

We take pride in the exceptional experiences that we are able to offer visitors of the arts trail. It is a key component of the city of Easton’s commitment to the arts and a destination for art and nature lovers alike.

In recent weeks, the enormous foot traffic on the trail has included large groups using the area for picnics, cookouts, and larger gatherings that are unfortunately unsustainable for the trail, which does not have the capacity, including restrooms and garbage cleanup, to host larger, all-day gatherings. The creekside areas are important riparian buffer zones and delicate environmental areas not up to the task of hosting parties or large groups such as a community recreational park could.  The creek is also a shallow area, and reports of people jumping from the pedestrian bridge into the creek raise serious safety concerns for visitors engaging in these activities.

As an urban green space that is home to many species, the trail is a place for quieter recreation, walking, biking, and passive enjoyment of the creek. The city of Easton will continue to monitor the trail to ensure that usage is as intended and safe for all visitors and will keep all entryways and parking lots open unless activities should again increase to levels that present risks to visitors or the natural environment.

Please enjoy the KSAT for the reflection, art, and recreation opportunities it provides, which are ever more critical during this time in our community.

Thank you.

June 26, 2020

Dear trail friends,

During the COVID pandemic, we know the Karl Stirner Arts Trail has become a respite for those looking for a place of relaxation and fresh air. Thank you for turning to the trail.

Over the past week, we have experienced an uptick in out-of-town visitors to the Karl Stirner Arts Trail. The trail is intended as a destination for art and recreation, but the crowds have grown so large that the space is unable to handle the volume. The trail was designed and built for walking, biking, running, and as an outdoor art museum. The intention was not for it to be used as a space for large picnics and gatherings, and it lacks proper facilities to accommodate these uses.

There will be new restrictions in order to control the number of visitors on the trail. Starting Friday, the parking lots adjacent to the trail are closed to the public (including the 13th Street lot). We understand those of you from areas surrounding the city of Easton will be most affected by this; we are sorry. For those living within the city limits, we ask that you walk, run, or bike to the trail or use alternate parking locations.

You will also see new signage on the trail prohibiting coolers, amplified music, picnic activities, alcoholic beverages, littering, and large gatherings. The city of Easton will enforce these new regulations.

The trail’s greatest asset is Bushkill Creek. In the summer it becomes a place for fishing, wading, and cooling off. With the city’s pools closed for the summer, the creek is now more important than ever. While these activities are still welcome, the depth and terrain of the creek change constantly. For the safety of all, jumping off any object into the creek is prohibited.

Additionally, for those coming from or going to Silk, keep in mind the new pedestrian bridge is currently closed to traffic, and you will need to enter by foot at the 13th Street trailhead.

Most importantly, the trail will remain open for its intended uses. Please bear with us while we make sure the trail continues with its mission and still meets the needs of residents, the public, and our neighbors. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation at this time.

Karl Stirner Arts Trail Board of Governance