Throughout the years, Union Canal Park has gained more of a reputation for hosting terriers than harriers. But times, they are a changing.
It was recently announced that Lebanon’s Union Canal Park will serve as the running course for the annual Lebanon Valley College Invitational Cross Country Meet. This year’s 39th running of the Flying Dutchmen’s season-opening event will be held on Saturday morning, Sept. 10.
For years, the Lebanon Valley College Invitational had been contested at Fort Indiantown Gap’s Memorial Lake State Park. Historically, a number of Lebanon County scholastic cross country teams have competed in the high school-portion of the race.
Locally, Union Canal Park is known as ‘The Dog Park’ because it is one of the few public parks in Lebanon County where dogs are permitted on the grounds. Established in 1950, Union Canal Park will host what is believed to be its first collegiate/scholastic event ever.
It is also significant from a Lebanon Valley perspect. It will mark the first time in 42 years that a Flying Dutchmen event was hosted in Lebanon.
From 1897 to 1968, Lebanon Valley played some of its home football games at sites in Lebanon, most notably LHS’s Alumin Stadium. In 1969, the Flying Dutchmen moved to their current home, Arnold Field in Annville.
Union Canal Park is located in West Lebanon, a few blocks north of the Lebanon Valley Mall. Constructed in 1827, the oldest transportation tunnel in the country is surrounded by natural terrain and young trees.