TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP -- It doesn't look like much now, but this three-acre patch of land off Panther Lane in Tobyhanna Township will soon become a parking lot.
It will also become the head of the new Pocono Hike and Bike Trail System.
"Great idea. The more the merrier. The more woods we get out here, it gives more people a place to stay fit and active," said Mike Hutchinson, East Stroudsburg.
Work on the trail will be done in stages.
A nearly two-mile stretch of hiking trail will be built just behind Pocono Mountain West School Campus.
Once the trail is done, it will run from Pocono Summit through Blakeslee for a grand total of 28 miles.
"The first component is to have a 1.7-mile trail, right here. Second component is along Route 940 and 115, we will utilize the 8-foot shoulders," said township manager John Jablowski.
Once the Pocono Hike and Bike Trail is complete, it will go through a number of different areas in Tobyhanna Township, including the Blakeslee Natural Area. Some people who use this trail say they are excited to see the work once it's done.
"A lot of the reason for wanting to live in the Poconos is to enjoy the outdoors so it will be nice to have facilities to enjoy the outdoors," said Christy Ann Brown, Effort.
The project isn't going to come cheap, but township officials say they are working on grant and partnerships to make it work.
"We are going to apply, tomorrow, for a $550,000 TAPS grant which will allow for the construction of the trail system. It will be coupled with another $98,000 grant that we have applied for, for a lot of the design and permitting. So we are very encouraged by the progress we have made from the financial side and the community-support side," said Jablowski.
Tobyhanna Township officials say as long as everything continues to run smoothly, work on the Pocono Hike and Bike Trail System should begin in the spring.