Walkers Happy to Return to Lake Scranton Trail

SCRANTON -- A popular trail in Lackawanna County is back open and walkers who visited the Lake Scranton trail on Wednesday got their first look at the damage left behind from February's tornado.

It's almost mid-July, but summer is just starting at the Lake Scranton trail. Part of the trail maintained by Pennsylvania American Water is open for the first time this year.

"I've been like anxious. I'd always be checking up, checking Facebook and everything, and making sure it's open, but it was closed. I'd drive by," said Jim Marchel of Throop.

PAW asked for patience as crews cleaned up from a tornado that traveled through here in February.

It's a tranquil piece of nature within the city limits and a daily habit for many people in Lackawanna County.

"We're used to walking here every day in the summer and the spring, so it does, it feels good to be back, just the scenery alone," said Frank Spager.

"It's just calming," added Maria Spager.

Calm but busy on the first day back open.

"I equate it as kind of a mind cleansing, coming out in the outdoors and just going for a walk. You know, when we were kids we used to be able to ride our bikes around this place," said John Skaluba of Dickson City.

Folks who were there for the first day say their old familiar trail doesn't look so familiar anymore.

The Morgan family knew Lake Scranton well when they lived in Lackawanna County. They're visiting from Virginia and didn't recognize the trail.

"It's amazing," said Nancy Morgan. "I can't believe how the destruction, and how it builds its own path, you know?"

"Just seeing it now, I couldn't even believe all the trees that are destroyed and everything, so it's crazy," said Anna Morgan.

Pennsylvania American Water officials say they could only open about two miles of the three and a half mile trail. Some parts are still being cleaned up.

"It's been devastated and it took all the standing trees down, all the trees that were on the ground. It'll grow up eventually. It'll grow back," Skaluba added.

There is no word yet when the rest of the trail will reopen.

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