Storm-Damaged Trail in the Poconos Reopens

DELAWARE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A hiking trail that was heavily damaged during back-to-back winter storms is back open in the Poconos.

Park rangers held a grand reopening of Dingmans Falls near Milford. The popular spot has been closed since March.

Dingmans Falls in Delaware Township has always been a hot spot for people to walk the boardwalk and see the waterfalls.

It's hard to believe that seven months ago this area of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was devastated by a winter storm that uprooted and snapped hundreds of trees.

"We have all missed the falls up here this summer. This is like an old friend coming back," Elizabeth Forrest said.

Jake Finelli is a trail maintenance worker for the National Park Service and helped with cleanup and repairs.

"It took a lot of man-hours. It was pretty challenging but a good experience. This is the best office in the world," Finelli said.

If you decide to take a walk along the boardwalk, you'll notice some pieces had to be repaired. Just to give you an idea of how bad the damage was, part of the area was covered by tree trunks and branches and the crews had to take it all out by hand.

"The guys did a heck of a job. A lot of carrying, cutting, and there were probably over 100 trees down from the beginning of the boardwalk to the top up there," said John Christman, National Park Service.

"The fact that they have been able to do this, in what I consider a short amount of time because I didn't think this would be open until at least next summer," Forrest added.

A number of trails still remain closed because of storm damage, including George W. Childs Park. Repairs to some of those areas could take years.

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