SusqCo Staycation

Summer vacation looks a bit different this year with many people canceling travel plans. The Susquehanna County Independent & Weekender invite you to take advantage take advantage of the time and explore your own backyard.

This is the third installment of a six-part series, publishing every other week through the end of September, we will introduce you to places to visit, along with things to do and see, right here in Susquehanna County.

We’ve divided the county up into six regions. In this edition of the Summer Staycation series we take you to the southeast of the county highlighting Forest City and surrounding areas from Thompson to Union Dale to Clifford.

So gather your friends and family, grab your car keys and get started on the road to discover the place you call home. 


Forest City & Surrounding Areas

Florence Shelly Wetlands Preserve, a mile north of Thompson, is one of the region’s best-kept secrets.

It’s easy to drive past the entrance to this 400-acre neighborhood wilderness without ever knowing that just beyond the trees lining the roads are such natural wonders as a deep, ancient glacial pond; a stand of balsam firs, rare this far south; a stream certified to be of exceptional purity; and diverse species of wildlife, including beaver, bear, otters, and many birds.

Garden lovers delight in a visit to Lambertson’s Brookside Daylilies, 3431 Ararat Rd., Thompson, and open Wednesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

But you need to get there, the daylily and perennial farm is open in July and August only, with the end of the season coming soon.  Lambertson’s specialized in daylilies. Ruffles, edges, eyes and continual bloom with hundreds of plants hybridized here, as well as select potted perennials.

Two trails – perfect for hiking and biking – are located in the area as part of the Rail-Trail Council of NEPA. The D&H Rail-Trail

The 38 mile D&H Rail-Trail runs from the Simpson Viaduct at Route 171, off of Morse Ave, north through Lanesboro to the New York State border, generally following the eastern border of Susquehanna County.

The O&W Rail-Trail also begins in Simpson and runs parallel to the D&H for eight miles, with the Lackawanna River often running in between the two trails.

Using both rail-trails, various loop trips are possible. Linkage to hiking trails and Panther’s Bluff, a 1,500 acre conservation area is possible from the O&W trail.

This summer, the Rail-Trail Council of NEPA presents its Building Health Series of outdoor group activities designed to build health naturally.

In August, the series includes Walking Mondays at 9 a.m.; Biking Wednesdays at 6 p.m.; and a Second Saturday Trail Yoga at 9:30 a.m. For Walking Mondays, meet at the Rail-Trail office in Union Dale at 9 a.m., every Monday morning.  Biking Wednesdays will start at the Union Dale Trailhead at 6 p.m., every Wednesday evening.

Consider joining and building your body and participating in September’s Trail Month, Biking and Walking Challenges, to help raise money for trail improvements and maintenance. Visit www/

With the current COVID-19 circumstances, Rail-Trail Council of NEPA asks that you wear a mask and practice social distancing. Call if you have any questions, 570-679-9300 or visit,

Forest City Borough was formed in 1888. First settlers in the town started the lumber and milling industries in the area and the first outcropping of coal was discovered in the 1870s. The Hillside Coal and Iron Company bought large tracts of land in the area, and by 1872 the first commercially profitable coal mining enterprise was established at North Railroad Street.

The Greater Forest City Historical Society is located on Main Street, and offers up displays of the area’s rich industrial heritage.

The Clifford Township Historical Society manages a Museum of Local History, which features a dugout canoe; a festive and fun Children’s Garden; as well as the nearby Hoover School, a restored one-room schoolhouse.

The members are also working to restore the Yarns Cider Mill at Suraci Farm, and work is happening on an Agricultural Museum, located on the field day grounds of the Clifford Vol. Fire Co.

For more information, visit:

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