A Popular and Beneficial Trail

Recently I’ve extolled the benefits of living in a trail town and gave you tips for finding local hidden gems for hiking and biking. This week I’d like to highlight a trail that covers nearly 70 miles and four counties in Northeast Pennsylvania. Visitors and locals can enjoy walking or riding among the scenic woods and waterways on the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail (LRHT). 

A Brief History

The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, established in 1991, became the first State Heritage Park in PA. The US Congress recognized it as a National Heritage Area in 2000. Since that time, there have been improvements to the trails, community events, charity runs, and countless hours of enjoyment spent on the trail by residents and visitors. 

A National Heritage Area (NHA) is a geographical area deemed significant in our nation’s history because of its historic, natura, recreational, and cultural resources. Anyone from Northeast PA will tell you that is true of the Lackawanna River Valley. We love our coal-mining, food festival throwing, and industry changing background.

The Trail

Thirty communities across four counties connect to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. We have biked several of the highly developed miles along the Lackawanna River. It is gorgeous, shaded, and pleasantly cool on a mild summer day. The LRHT connects to the D&H Rail Trail which runs through our hometown. We could bike from our house to Scranton, although we haven’t attempted it yet.

Map from Lackawanna County Visitor’s Bureau

Benefits Abound

Beyond the health benefits available to a community with easy access to safe walking trails, the LRHT hosts dozens of races for various charities each year. While the pandemic interrupted the flow of events, of course, the trail is getting back to these events. This year the very popular Heritage Explorer Bike Tour took place in May. Cyclists enjoy 20 miles of delightful bike path connecting the LRHT and the D&H. Visit lhva.org for links for events and all trail maps.

The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority is very conscious of creating opportunities for people with mobility disabilities to enjoy the trail. While motor vehicles are not permitted on the trail, other power-driven mobility devices (OPDMDs) are allowed in areas where they can operate safely. Nay Aug Avenue Natural Play Area also features a glider that accommodates two wheelchairs. You’ll find the park just off the trail, adjacent to the levee.

Worth Traveling For

The Northeast corner of Pennsylvania is certainly worth traveling to visit. And not just to see the Penn Paper building and the Scranton sign. (If you know, you know). 

From the New York border to the Poconos, you’ll find dozens of opportunities for outdoor recreation and historical sites to visit. You’ll also find fantastic accommodations in many of the small towns in the valley and surrounding area. Enjoy our gorgeous scenery, delicious ethnic foods, and welcoming people. 

Lackawanna River Heritage Trail is great for family bike rides!

Final Thoughts

I love my trail town and the surrounding trail towns that connect to it. I feel eminently blessed to have been raised and remain in this historic, industrious, and scenic part of the country.

Categories Community, Tips, Trail town, TravelTags , , , , ,

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