The Pike County Board of Commissioners this week announced the kickoff of the grant-funded study, which will determine the physical and legal feasibility of building and maintaining a 14-mile trail from Hawley Borough, at the Wayne/Pike County Line, along the Stourbridge Rail Line, the Towpath, and the Lackawaxen River, to the Village of Lackawaxen.
The study is partially funded through a $55,000 state grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund. It is matched by Marcellus Legacy Funds, created in 2012 by Act 13, to distribute unconventional gas well impact fees to counties, municipalities, and other agencies in Pennsylvania.
In December, following a request for proposals and a vetting process, the commissioners hired Woodland Design Associates (WDA) of Honesdale to conduct the study.
WDA will work in consultation with the Project Study Committee, which will offer its insight and diverse experience. The committee was appointed by the commissioners and includes representatives from Lackawaxen and Palmyra Townships, the National Park Service, Wallenpaupack School District, Wayne Memorial Health System, tourism businesses, trail organizations, local scout organizations, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, and local hunting and fishing clubs.
WDA’s president, Michael Wood, and his team have begun baseline studies of the trail corridor’s land, hydrology, infrastructure, land use, and historical significance.
The firm recently completed a similar trail feasibility study for Wayne County, which focused on the Lackawaxen River corridor between the Boroughs of Honesdale and Hawley.
Public input wanted
The commissioners are asking local residents for their feedback on the Pike County portion of the trail. A brief 10-question public survey is currently being distributed via email, social media, and the Pike County website. It can also be found via a QR code available at local parks and trailheads. The survey can be completed by residents and visitors alike.
Visit pikepa.org/PO/PikeOutdoors for the survey link and more information about the trails project.
For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or call Jessica Yoder, Pike County assistant planning director, at 570-296-3500 ext. 1382.