We are always looking for opportunities to cultivate our interest of living the TRAIL FAMILY lifestyle. One way to do this is to attend an event hosted by a trail town that celebrates trail life and activities. Recently we had the chance to attend such an event in our backyard.
The Greater Forest City Business Alliance and Rail-Trail Council of NEPA put on the “Trail Town Festival” in the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Forest City. This was so opportune because this is where we live. We were only blocks away from where all of the action was taking place!
Our hometown of Forest City has recently been re-branding itself as a trial town. We are the first trail town on the D&H rail-trail that runs through northeastern Pennsylvania. Hosting this three-day event in early August presented many activities that brought attention to the newly renovated trail and other events for anyone who just wanted to enjoy the town.
Activities right on the trail included a 5K and a quarter marathon early on Saturday morning. There were two types of group bike rides; a short, low-intensity ride; and for those who were interested and capable, a longer 20-mile touring ride.
One of the neatest opportunities was a bus tour of the trail. The D&H trail is a motor free trail, however, for this event the Rail-Trail Council of NEPA rented several buses to bring tour groups down the trail. For many of the older residents of the town who may not be mobile enough to walk or ride on the trail this was a treat. Several of these local residents grew up walking these same trails when they were still operating rail lines. Several of them and their parents may have even worked for the railroad. This tour provided them an opportunity to see miles of the newly renovated trail and take them back in time.
Lots of other activities took place that were not trail specific, but filled out the rest of the weekend. Main street was shut down for a cornhole tournament. The local Parks and Recreation department hosted a chicken BBQ fundraiser. The business alliance held a pickleball tournament, a touch-a-truck event, kids color run, food and merchandise vendors, a night parade, and fireworks. Anyone who was local was able to enjoy a full weekend of activities.
Trails, and specifically rail-trails, are growing across the country. Most likely you live within an hour, maybe less of a trail. More towns are taking advantage of these trails and building events and festivals around them. A quick internet search will show you if you have one near you. If it’s passed, don’t be discouraged. Write it down on the calendar to attend next year with your TRAIL FAMILY!
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