First I want to talk about the Northeastern Pennsylvania Trails Forum.
I was at a Pennsylvania Trails Forum meeting on Friday, and I met people engaged in building, supporting and promoting trail development. Janet Sweeney, of Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), invited me to talk about the NE PA Trails map we are doing, and I got to meet many others in person from PEC, including Z, Emilia and Brett. Lynn Conrad and Owen Worozbyt talked about various maps we have been working on together, and Owen highlighted the importance of the trail connections from NY to Philadelphia formed by a series of connecting trails (with some gaps). Lady J told me that the Church of the Epiphany was pleased to provide an easement for the Trolley Trail.
Much is happening in Northeastern PA. Keystone College, where we met, produces maple syrup on campus. I think there are about 20 people involved. There’s an effort to connect Honesdale with with Lackawaxxen via a water trail, I think. Grant Genzlinger, from Wayne County, was talking about this. He said there are many trails in Wayne County that could go on the map. That would be great to include. Grant also told me that hotel occupancy in Carbondale has increased because of the D&H and Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.
The Endless Mountains region has been putting together a 400 mile gravel bike route and is working with a local gas station chain. Kane and Riley talked about this. University of Scranton is doing a lot around environmental awareness, with electric vehicles charging stations as a convenience. PA Route 6 Alliance is promoting bicycling and creating bicycle loops.
Trail use in Northeastern Pennsylvania has increased dramatically during Covid. PEC has been placing trail counters on several trails to measure trail use and has verified the accuracy of the counters. Discover NE PA has been creating videos about trails, and they expressed interest in documenting the development of a trail. Some people talked about the challenges of trail maintenance, specifically with trash and dog poop.
I could go on. Pike County government is promoting trails at Pike Outdoors. There’s an app at this link. Jane Rissi (sp?) talked about a greenhouse project and getting older adults outdoors and active. There will be a Scranton Half Marathon in April. Gus talked about connecting neighborhoods in South Scranton to the trail network. Stephanie talked about Poconos trails. And I shouldn’t forget funding. Christine Detorre talked about the American Rescue Plan Funds. And PennDOT is doing an analysis of where trails cross roads. Ellen Ferretti back in the area as the Executive Director of the North Branch Land Trust.
Plans for the weekend
At Dicks Sporting Goods I bought an orange knit cap. REI didn’t have what I needed. Hiking this time of year is safer if you’re wearing orange.
I’m continuing to work on my book of the Horse-Shoe Trail. I visited the William Penn State Forest campsite and met a guy from Philadelphia who was enjoying a day in the woods. His orange hat stood out and is the reason I decided to get one.