THORNHURST TOWNSHIP -- A state grant to make improvements to a snowmobile trail in Lackawanna County may not be in time for this winter. But, stewards for the trail told Newswatch 16 it will help the sport in the long run.
The foresters who maintain the vast Pinchot State Forest know its trails like the back of their hands whether or not there's snow on it.
They showed Newswatch 16 just part of a 26-mile snowmobile trail called Red Pine Plantation which runs through Thornhurst Township in Lackawanna County.
The trail's been around for decades and a state grant awarded this year will give it an upgrade it's needed all that time.
"On a busy day if we have active snow, in particular if we don`t have a lot of snow on the ground and we have a big snow event, we may have 100 to 200 cars in our parking lots," said assistant district forester Joseph Ulozas.
The grant will make the trail safer for all those snowmobilers. It will cost about $400,000 to install a culvert in a particularly tricky crossing for snowmobiles and hikers alike.
"In the wintertime it ices up, this will provide a smooth running surface and you won`t have any water pockets. For anyone who needs disability access it will improve the surface for him to be able to continue through the trail," Ulozas added.
Half of the state money will go to engineering and design. The other half to the construction, slated for next year. But, perhaps the biggest award is letting people know the trail is here.
Joe Fringuelotti had never heard of the snowmobile trail at the Pinchot State Forest, and he knows a lot about snowmobiles. He sells them for North American Warhorse in Dunmore.
"It`s going to be a big boost, it`s exciting for me because I`m an enthusiast, plus I also sell them. To have another trail system that`s close by is going to just generate, you know, excitement and sales, it`s just another place to go," Fringuelotti said.
Fringuelotti said most local snowmobilers travel out-of-state, but they pay state fees to register their snowmobiles. He said it's nice to see tax money be put back into supporting the sport in Pennsylvania.