Last Ditch Effort to Save Glen Onoko Falls Trail

JIM THORPE, Pa. -- Wildlife, exercise and picture-perfect waterfalls are just some of the reasons hikers head out on the Glen Onoko Falls Trail in Carbon County.

This weekend many are venturing out here for another reason.

"Last chance to hike my favorite hike that I've ever done and the most beautiful trail that I recall and it's a challenging hike too," said Brendan McDonnell of Lansdale.

That challenge includes dangerous conditions. Over the years, rescue crews have responded here for falls and even deaths and the Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to close this trail on May 1 to keep everyone safe.

"It's gonna be a sad day. It really is. So I figured I better get her up here one last time," said Donnie Ulshafer.

Ulshafer is talking about his dog Lexi. While he's upset about the closure, Ulshafer understands where the game commission is coming from.

"You can't expect the rescue guys to be coming up here every weekend because people aren't wearing the right equipment," Ulshafer said.

Hikers tell Newswatch 16 they wish officials would come up with other ways to keep people safe on these trails before closing them.

"You put in some steps or infrastructure, you know a little bit of money into it. It doesn't take much," said Micah Harms of Stroudsburg.

"Some sort of a full-time supervision and surveillance. I mean it would be simple, I mean come on, we're not back in Fred Flintstone days," said Johnny Bussart.

An online petition has close to 19,000 signatures of people who want to see the trail stay open.

Marissa Strohlein also started a Facebook page to save the trail.

Strohlein is hoping some of those people can come together with game commission officials to find out what could be done to keep the falls trail open.

"Doesn't need a villain for there to be a happy ending. What it needs is a community full of people who are bound by their love for this place and who have respect for the sacrifices made by our emergency responders and you want to make a difference," said Strohlein.

The Glen Onoko Falls Trail is slated to be closed at the end of the month due to safety concerns.


  • Elena Castrignano

    I wonder how they will close a natural area? And what measures will be in place to prevent some people, you know who they are, from hiking the trail any way? There will always be stupid people out there ruining things for the rest of us!

  • gblockus

    It’s part of State Game Lands 141, and not one of the 17 people I interviewed for my story had purchased a hunting license. Simple matter of staffing or building steps? Put your money where your mouth is. Count how much it would cost. Seriously, saying it’s simple is a grand understatement. Game Commission estimates $1.7 million to make it safe for first responders to rescue people there. That’s just to make it safe for rescuers. Do you see those boulders people are climbing over? Do you damage those to put in steps? Someone in the comments ask what’s next, RIcketts Glen? No. Ricketts Glen is a state park managed for people. SGL are game lands managed for habitat.

  • Jeremy Taylor Hetrick

    Yeah because god knows we need the Government to keep a bunch of grown men and women safe! Whats next Ricketts Glen? The 7 Tubs?

  • straubdavid9

    “Dangerous” is relative …. what may be “dangerous” to one, is a walk in the park to another. If things are “dangerous” for you …… turn around …. don’t go on a campaign to screw over everyone else. I’m sick and tired of this pathetic coddling society ….. grow a g..d…mn pair.

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