Lake Scranton Trail Expected to Reopen This Month

SCRANTON, Pa. -- It's been more than two years since a tornado hit Lake Scranton, and to this day, the walking trail around the lake has yet to fully reopen. But that is about to change.

Lake Scranton and its walking trail are a unique part of the city. Many people enjoy the walk around the reservoir that provides drinking water to much of Lackawanna County.

A tornado and a renovation project have kept some of the trail off-limits for more than two years.

The weather was perfect for a walk around Lake Scranton Wednesday, but for the past two years, conditions on the walking trail haven't been so.

"I've been here thousands of times, not so much since the tornado, but now that it's going to reopen, I'll be here all the time," Michael Freidlin said.

In February of 2017, a tornado tore through the area around the reservoir. The scars are still visible on the trail.

Shortly after the damage was cleaned up, Pennsylvania American Water closed off part of the trail, causing walkers to have to turn around instead of making the full loop.

Pennsylvania American Water showed us the newly finished dam, part of a $10.2 million improvement project. Some paving needs to be finished before the trail can officially open.

"As they come around the dam, they're going to see some new structures that have been put in place as a part of the $10.2 million dam project. It's going to look a little different, but the reservoir is still the same. The walking trail is still the same, and we didn't increase or decrease the length," said Pennsylvania American Water official Susan Turcmanovich.

The dam project has turned the Lake Scranton trail from a three-and-a-half-mile loop into a four-and-a-quarter mile down and back, and people who visit Lake Scranton say that's not the only change they're looking forward to.

"This is a jewel here, you know, and people realize that there's not many places that you can walk three and a half miles with the scenery," said Louis Cuck.

Plans are to have the trail fully opened by Memorial Day just in time for summer.

"Lake Scranton has so much to offer," Freidlin added. "People need to get out. Nature is so important, and I believe there's such a disconnect with nature that people need this in their lives to kind of find some peace."

Pennsylvania American Water says construction vehicles brought in to renovate the dam tore up parts of the trail. That's why they're repaving it before reopening it in just a few weeks.

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