Honesdale-Hawley recreational trail is boosted by grant

Advocates say proposed trail system will create recreational and economic opportunities


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  • The Wayne Pike Trails and Waterways Alliance is making the Lackawaxen River central to its trail plans: "At over 31 miles long, the Lackawaxen River winds through the heart of the historic towns of Wayne and Pike counties. Imagine a trail system that would allow residents and visitors to walk, run, and bike along its mighty banks; canoe, kayak, and fish in its pristine waters; and even seamlessly connect with other trails throughout the region, including the Honesdale Borough Parks, Hawley trails, and the future Stourbridge Rail & Trail." (Photo: honesdaleriverproject.com)



“Connected is the key word. Imagine putting in a kayak at the Stourbridge Complex, stopping in White Mills at the historic Lock House, and hopping on a train the rest of the way to Hawley, then back to Honesdale.”
George Brown, Wayne Pike Trails and Waterways Alliance


— A feasibility study will be conducted on 15-miles of recreational trail proposed for Honesdale and Hawley.

The Wayne Pike Trails and Waterways Alliance received a $40,000 matching grant from the state in December to help fund the study. The application was made to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by the Wayne County Commissioners on behalf of the Wayne County Community Foundation, a nonprofit that agreed to oversee the alliance’s funds.

The award will match monies raised by the alliance, a consortium of grassroots groups dedicated to creating a connected trail system involving the area’s rivers, parks and railroad tracks.

“This feasibility study will help us identify our next steps,” said Dan Corrigan, an alliance member. “It will look at property lines, easements, municipal concerns, construction costs and more. Our job now is to find the right company to do the study.”

Corrigan said work has already begun in some places, such as around Gibbons Park, Irving Cliff, and Apple Grove Park in Honesdale Borough and Bingham Park in Hawley. The county has also made improvements on the riverbank at the Park St. Complex in Honesdale.

In a statement, the Wayne County Commissioners said they are “excited to support this project,” and added, “The completion of the riverbank trail at the Park St. Complex will only enhance the planned trail system and we look forward to working cooperatively on this study.”

George Brown, another alliance member, said the goal is to create both recreational and economic opportunities by bringing many elements together.

“Connected is the key word,” he said. “Imagine putting in a kayak at the Stourbridge Complex, stopping in White Mills at the historic Lock House, and hopping on a train the rest of the way to Hawley, then back to Honesdale.”

The Wayne Pike Trails and Waterways Alliance’s very informal membership includes Tom Myles, owner of the Stourbridge Line, Molly Rodgers, Lisa Champeau, Grant Genzlinger, Dan Corrigan, Jim Jennings, Jeff George, Carol Dunn from the Wayne County Historical Society, and the Rev. Edward Erb.

The governor’s office awarded $44 million across the state for 266 projects that will create new recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources, and help revitalize local communities.

In making the grant announcement last year, Governor Wolf said, “Communities go from good to great when they provide residents and visitors with parks and trails, access to waterways, and opportunities for healthy outdoor activity.”

“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” said Brown.





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