FOREST CITY, Pa. -- It may have been a two-year wait for a rail trail to reopen in Susquehanna County, but the pipeline construction led to a new and improved trail that will be available for hikers and bikers starting on Wednesday.
Some final touches are all that's left before the D&H Rail Trail is back to new.
For two years now, miles have been off limits in the Forest City area while UGI completed a pipeline project.
Lynn Conrad of the Rail Trail Council believes it was worth the wait.
"You feel how firm it is. Even with all the rain we've had, it stays nice and firm," Conrad said.
Inclement weather caused the construction project to run about a year longer than planned.
I think in the long run, we have a better product for it, a better trail for it," Conrad added.
About 20 miles of the trail has been improved, drainage issues were fixed, and businesses that have seen a bump in traffic thanks to the trail are thrilled to have it back.
That includes Cable's Store in Union Dale.
"A lot of people asking, 'Can I go down this way? Can I go down that way?' They've been waiting." Sherry Sparks said.
After two long years of construction on the D&H Trail, the entire stretch from the Carbondale area through Forest City up to Ararat is back open with a new surface that some say is even better than before.
"We're right in the middle of the trail. We're waiting for people to come into town," said Forest City resident Paul Daugevelo.
Folks in Forest City also hope to capitalize on the D&H Trail this season and many more to come.
"We've noticed a big difference without the tourists. We know we'll get them back. We're a great town," Daugevelo said.
Now that it's open once again, plans are in the works to expand the rail trail in the coming years.