Missing Link

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CARBONDALE -- The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail in the mid and upper valleys of Lackawanna County is filled with walkers and bikers this time of year.

Sections of that trail are still being developed including a section in Carbondale that just received some grant money.

There is already a trail through the woods along the Lackawanna River in Carbondale, but it's not officially part of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail yet.

“You can see this is sort of de facto, people are already using this trail to walk to work and it really needs to be designed and developed,” said Natalie Gelb of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority.

Gelb said $75,000 in state money will help do that.

She and Carbondale officials hope the trail will be the Carbondale River walk, a part of a growing trail system from Scranton through Lackawanna's mid and up valleys.

Part of the money is to go to design repairs to a century old railroad bridge that will help link the trail from one side of the Lackawanna River to the other.

“This is a really big step, this is a critical gap in our trail. When we're finished our trail system will be about 70 miles long and right now we're filling in the gaps, it's all starting to come together, but this is a critical gap,” said Gelb.

Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor said linking his city to the trail system can help draw business here.

“It's exciting to finally piece this together because it was such a vast trail system, and we were kind of the missing piece,” said Taylor.

We met up with some cyclists from southern PA who were just finishing a ride on a completed part of the trail.

They said a similar trail in their area is a big success.

“We're from York, and they had to construct their rail trail a piece at a time, the same way, but everybody uses it.  It's amazing,” said Tom Bride of York.

Once design on this part of the trail is done, hopes are construction would follow soon helping complete the trail, one step at a time.