BY PAT FARNELLI
Although very little railway bed restoration is possible during the winter months, the Rail-Trail Council of Northeast Pennsylvania is busy clearing paperwork paths for new recreational trails in Susquehanna County.
Lynn Conrad, Executive Director of the council, said that two trails are now in the works: the Delaware and Hudson Trail, running along the eastern side of the county from Simpson to the NY state border, and the Endless Mountains Trail, which begins at Locust Street, Montrose, crosses 706 at the Pump and Pantry several blocks later, and from behind the SPCA/Humane Society proceeds to Tiffany Corners.
There the trail turns south at Rose Road, and continues to Alford Junction in New Milford Junction, where it ends at an active railroad there.
The Endless Mountains Trail, formerly the Bridgewater Riding Club trail, is on the former rail bed of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, which is now run by the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
This trail will run through Bridgewater Township, Heart Lake and the Martin’s Creek Valley before ending at Alford.
The two trails never meet. Ten miles of the D and H Trail are already completed, Conrad said.
One family attending was excited about biking on the Endless Mountains Trail. “What they did (on the D&H Trail) in Forest City is awesome,” said Ron Craige, who attended with wife Jeannette and children Jacob and Nicole. “I rode it with my kids, and it is a great trail, beautifully groomed.”
The Rail-trail Council of Northeast Pennsylvania hosted a public workshop on the proposed trail on Jan. 25 at the Montrose High School cafeteria.
The Endless Mountains Trail will be funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
According to Conrad, the local organization is 20 years old, and has 1,700 members. The group purchased the former Bridgewater Riding Club trail property in 2006.
In order to move forward, we need to do a feasibility study, and we need funding,” Conrad said.
The program plans to finish the railroad bed with aggregates and stone dust.
Trail stewards will be appointed to have jurisdiction over the maintenance of the trail
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