A Visit to Lehigh Valley’s Saylor Park 


Here at Plant Smart Living we love sharing natural experiences with you. A member of our team went on a leisurely walk into a piece of industrial history found in Northampton, Pennsylvania. Without a doubt, there was some hesitation before arriving as to whether or not this trip would be worth it, as the photos and testimonials we were able to find online did not necessarily give us the impression this would be a large area to explore or overly worthwhile, but we took the plunge anyways. Upon arriving, we discovered that this walking path was well maintained and featured a playground for the kids. The old remnants of the industrial boom in PA, the cement kilns, were on full display to the public. They are truly breathtaking and visible from the parking area. The sheer scale of the kilns was impressive. While I love nature, seeing these ruins is quite unique, especially given how we place some emphasis on DIY/construction here at PSL as well.

A sign at the park, located directly in the view of the cement kilns, reads:

Discovery of Portland Cement

“The modern cement industry began, in 1756m when John Smeaton, an English engineer succeeded in producing a hydraulic cement that would harden under water. In 1824, Joseph Aspdin, an English bricklayer, produced a new cement by burning chalk and clay at much higher temperatures than those used in manufacturing hydraulic cement. On hardening, it resembled the limestone taken from the Isle of Portland for building purposes…” This turned out to be quite the history lesson. From certain vantage points, we felt like we were visiting the remains of an old castle. I am certain you will find this fascinating if you are into old, dilapidated structures or just an old fashioned history lesson! Of course, the kilns are not the only reason to visit Saylor Park. The walking trail that runs through this park is actually a part of the Ironton Trail - a 9 mile walking path. We decided to venture down a ways for the sake of curiosity, and were able to visit with some other unique ruins of the industry once there. An old, worn down rail car was in plain view off to the side of the walkway.

Sometimes it is just these simple little things that are alluring. Our visit was relatively short lived due to the hazy, overcast weather turning into rain. I would like to visit the Ironton Trail again in the future to see more of what it has to hold. We really enjoyed our time spent taking a brisk hike and getting to experience these cement kilns up close and personal. I would recommend checking this site out, especially if you are already in the area and yearning for something new to explore!

We have assembled a collection of photographs we took at Saylor Park so you can get a sense of what we experienced!

Standing below the cement kilns as Saylor Park:

The actual entrance to the park is somewhat terrifying with this rather decrepit looking sign. When investigating Saylor Park online before deciding to go there, I was actually close to not even giving it a chance because this sign screams vandalism from a mile away. Fortunately, that was not the case. I guess this is a classic instance of "never judge a book by it's cover?"

In close proximity to the entrance is this interesting statue. I managed to overlook photographing the text below which reads, "Safety Follows Wisdom" :

Some photos showing off more of the cement kilns and some text I noted in the article above:

Considering the Ironton Trail is right alongside the Kilns, I thought I'd showcase the small crossing styled sign on display:

Another sign for the trail, I found this one to be really cool!

I couldn't get enough of photographing the kilns. Their scale is marvelous and the color on these photos really seemed to stand out.

I wanted to show the close proximity of the cement kilns to the parking lot! Even if your not up for a full days worth of walking, the main attraction is just steps away.

Human for scale! These are immense to stand beneath!

Saylor Park was really a unique and unexpected local adventure. Considering Farmer Fred is into the DIY and construction business, it's a no brainer to feature some views of our local regions signs of industry. Not to mention, we try to promote getting up and outside as a method of naturally becoming healthier people. Going to this park was a nice blend of exercise and seeing a unique sight as well!

Have any of your own local places you like to explore that Saylor Park reminds you of? I'd love to hear about it!