LACKAWANNA RIVER HERITAGE TRAIL:

PITTSTON-UNION DALE, PENNSYLVANIA

D&H RAIL TRAIL:

SIMPSON, PENNSYLVANIA-NEW YORK STATE BORDER

O&W RAIL TRAIL:

SIMPSON, PENNSYLVANIA-NEW YORK STATE BORDER

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail is a multi-use trail that currently follows the Lackawanna River north from Scranton to Union Dale. Sections utilize former rail beds of the Central NJ RR and O&W RR, along with the Scranton Riverwalk and Scranton Levee Trail. The trail will begin at the riverís confluence with the Susquehanna River at Duryea and Pittston in Luzerne County and someday connect to the Luzerne County Rail Trail south in Pittston. It travels north through Lackawanna County and joins the D&H Rail Trail in Simpson, where the O&W Rail Trail also begins. Continuing north both trails are co-aligned for another 10 miles to Stillwater Lake and Dam in Union Dale. The D&H Rail Trail north from Union Dale is controlled by the Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania up to the New York border. 

The D&H Rail Trail runs 38 miles from Simpson, north through Lanesboro to the New York State border. The first loads of coal rolled north out of the anthracite fields along the Delaware & Hudson Railroad in 1870. This D&H Jefferson Branch running from Carbondale, Pa to Lanesboro, Pa was built by the Erie Railroad company to replace the D&H Gravity Railroad and canal system. The New York, Ontario & Western RR (O&W) completed in 1888 out of Scranton was needed to ship the large volumes of coal being mined in the Lackawanna Valley. The O&W Rail Trail also begins in Simpson and runs parallel to the D&H Rail Trail, with the Lackawanna River often running in between the two trails. When you reach the Route 171 Bridge over the Lackawanna River, you can connect back to the D&H Rail Trail. The O&W Rail Trail section from Simpson to Union Dale is controlled by the Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The mid-section is privately owned and allows ATVs with trail passes. From Poyntelle north it is owned and regulated as low-maintenance roads by Preston and Buckingham Townships to the West Branch Delaware River. Across the river is Hancock, NY. 

These trails are a work in progress and contain gaps and varying trail surfaces. For more information visit; LACKAWANNA RIVER HERITAGE TRAIL , D & H RAIL TRAIL , O & W TRAIL & RAIL TRAILS of NEPA

 

LACKAWANNA RIVER HERITAGE TRAIL:

 SCRANTON SECTION:

Last Updated:      August 2, 2014

Length:                Downtown Scranton Riverwalk; 0.8 miles 

                              Central NJ RR Section; 2.9 miles

                              Scranton Levee Trail; Total miles unknown

Difficulty:            Downtown Scranton Riverwalk/Central NJ RR Sections; Easy. Flat paved rail trail along the Scranton Riverwalk. Stone-dust & a paved section along the Central NJ RR Section.

                              Scranton Levee Trail; Moderate. Flat, hard packed dirt and grass trail atop the levee.

Directions:  

From I-81 take exit 185 to the Central Scranton Expressway. Take the Scranton Iron Furnace Park exit to Cedar Ave and turn right across Roaring Brook. Turn left on Mattes Ave/Hickory St and follow to S Washington Ave.

To start from the 7th Ave parking lot; Cross S Washington Ave onto Hickory St and cross the river. Turn right on Emmett St then right on Railroad Ave/Scranton St/7th Ave. The parking lot will be on your right (the trail travels through it).

To start from the W Elm St parking lot; Turn left onto S Washington Ave, then right at E Elm St. Cross the river and turn left into a small parking area.  

To start from the Depot St parking lot; From I-81 northbound take exit 182 to Montage Mt Rd and turn left. Cross over I-81 and continue straight along Davis St. From I-81 southbound take exit 182B to Davis St and head right. Follow Davis St to Main St and turn right. Travel 0.2 miles and turn right on Depot St (May not be marked. Just past a large white building). Cross the RR tracks and continue along the dirt road to a gravel parking lot.

 

Starting from the Depot Street parking lot; Heading north along the Central NJ RR section you cross Keyser Creek via an old double tracked RR bridge to a wide, open paved trail. Check out all the River Birch trees along the trail. The Lackawanna River parallels the trail along your right. A gravel jogging path accompanies the trail. Come to a large turtle sculpture where a gravel trail spurs out along the river to your right at 0.3 miles. Next you'll pass a large open area with a fish sculpture and granite Amphitheater before the trail becomes more shaded. Hold your nose as you pass by the sewage treatment plant located across the river. At 1.2 miles spot a large brick building across the river and an old RR bridge over the river. The trail travels high above the river before opening up as you follow the power lines. Pass by the Elm Street parking lot and cross Elm St at 2 miles. Informational sign located here. The Lackawanna River is along your right and a small embankment to your left. You'll pass by the South Side Sports Complex and an informational board before crossing Broadway St at 2.4  miles. The trail travels through a "green corridor" above the river with RR tracks across the river. Above the hill past the RR tracks is the STEAMTOWN NHS . Pass through the 7th Ave parking lot at 2.9 miles and come to the paved Downtown Scranton Riverwalk section.

Note; Plans are underway for the Lackawanna Ave Connector Spur Trail, which will create a safe route to access downtown Scranton. Scheduled for construction in 2019.

This open trail travels underneath a RR bridge, then down underneath Lackawanna Ave and alongside the river. Up above to your left is the grand old Central NJ RR Freight Station. The trail briefly returns to stone-dust. Travel underneath the W Linden St and N Scranton Expressway bridges before coming to a spur trail on your left at 3.5 miles. 

Note; This is the 0.3 mile Scranton HS Spur Trail

The trail then crosses over the Scranton Levee and ends at the Olive Street parking lot after 3.7 miles. You may continue your trek north along the earthen Scranton Levee Trail that travels atop the Levee system. See below.

Scranton Levee Trail:

Starting from Olive Street; A path leads up to the top of the Levee where you'll head north along a dirt and grass trail. This open trail travels above the west bank of the river along your right and a commercial/industrial corridor to your left. After 0.4 miles the trail briefly improves to a hard packed gravel surface before crossing W Poplar Ave at 0.6 miles. The trail returns to dirt and grass bringing you to Albright Ave at 0.9 miles. 

Note; The trail continues straight atop the Levee but ends after 1.3 miles at Diamond Ave.

You'll need to turn right on Albright Ave and cross the river. Continue left and a path will bring you back atop the Levee where you travel along the east bank of the river. This was as far as I traveled. The dirt and grass trail continues along a residential corridor out to Green Ridge St. Caution; No Crosswalk. Rejoin the trail atop the Levee along a mostly commercial corridor. Pass by the Nay Aug Avenue Natural Play Area below before coming to E Market St. Turn left to cross the river again. Pick up the trail just below the stairs on your right. This stone-dust section travels through the woods, pulls away from the river and ends at Depot St. I'm guessing the total distance to be around 3 miles. Head right on-road along Depot St across the RR tracks, turn right on Amelia Ave then left on Race St. This returns you to the hard packed dirt and grass Levee Trail. Follow the Levee left out to E Parker St (miles unknown). Currently a gap exists in the trail north to Olyphant.

Note; Marvine Trail section is scheduled to start construction in 2019 extending the trail north from E Parker St 1 mile to near Boulevard Ave at the I-81 Bridge.

Note; Two sections in Dickson City are planned. They are currently, as of Oct 2018, improving the Levee between Bridge St and Blvd Ave. Construction is also planned on the Dickson City Trail.

 

LACKAWANNA RIVER HERITAGE TRAIL:

 OLYPHANT-JERMYN SECTION:

Last Updated:       August 2, 2014

Length:                 Olyphant-Peckville; Unknown miles

                               Peckville-Jermyn; 5.2 miles                              

Difficulty:             Easy. Flat stone-dust/paved rail trail. 

Directions:     

To start from Condella Park; From Route 6 take exit 2 to E Lackawanna Ave to N Garfield Ave and turn left, then right on S Valley Ave. Cross the RR tracks and turn right on N Valley Ave. Stay straight into the Park.

To start from the Depot Street parking lot; From Route 6 take exit 3 to Route 247 and travel north. Follow Route 247 and cross the river. Turn right into the parking lot.   

Starting from Condella Park (Olyphant); Currently a gap exists in the trail south to Scranton. I haven't checked out this section. From the parking lot I believe the trail heads straight into the woods (not sure of the surface). There may be an intersection. If so continue straight. You'll cross a bridge over the Lackawanna River where you head right to the Blakely Borough Recreation Complex. A paved trail/road? follows the river north to the Blakely Borough Recreation Complex parking lot. Head left through the parking lot to River St. Head right on-road (residential) to Depot St. To your right is the Depot Street parking lot in Peckville. Mileage unknown.

Starting from the Depot Street parking lot (Peckville); A map board is located at the parking lot entrance. Travel north along the stone-dust trail alongside the Lackawanna River. The trail soon runs alongside Main St before crossing Bridge St and heading away from town traveling through open fields before entering the woods. The trail briefly bypasses the old rail bed then passes by an old stone abutment. Just shy of 1.5 miles you come to Winton Rd. Another map board located here. Turn right for a short on-road section. Cross over the river and follow River St left before you pick up the stone-dust trail again after 0.3 miles. The trail now follows an old road bed with active RR tracks up to the right and the river on your left. Isolated. Pass a small pond before you come to the Laurel Street parking lot after 2.3 miles. Another map board as well. The wide paved trail continues left alongside the river before returning you to Laurel St at 2.5 miles. Head left along a sidewalk past more parking spots. Pass by Maslar Memorial Park and more parking. A crosswalk takes you over Monroe St where the trail continues along the sidewalk (if biking you may wish to ride on-road as their is more room and low traffic). Another crosswalk over Wayne St followed by Gilmartin St. Head left along Gilmartin St and you'll return to the paved trail on your right at 3.2 miles. Here the wide, paved trail travels alongside the river. After 4.2 miles the trail shares a town road for the sewer plant. This is a low traffic road that travels between the river and RR tracks. Come to the Delaware Street parking lot in Jermyn after 5.2 miles. A gap currently exists between the next section north in Mayfield. 

 

LACKAWANNA RIVER HERITAGE TRAIL:

 MAYFIELD-CARBONDALE-SIMPSON SECTION:

Last Updated:       August 2, 2014

Length:                 Carbondale-Mayfield; 0.6 miles

                              Carbondale Riverwalk; 1.5 miles

Difficulty:             Easy. Flat, stone-dust rail trail. 

Directions:     

From Route 6, take exit 6 to Meredith St and follow northeast. Cross the river and turn left into the parking lot.   

Starting from the Meredith Street parking lot (Carbondale/Mayfield border); A gap currently exists between the next section north in Carbondale. Travel south from the parking lot along the stone-dust trail. The Lackawanna River is along your left. This is a fairly open trail. You'll pass by a town complex on your right with picnic tables to your left at 0.3 miles. After only 0.6 miles the trail ends at a cul-de-sac in Mayfield. A gap currently exists between the next section south in Jermyn.

Starting from the end of John Street (Carbondale); A gap currently exists between the next section south near the Carbondale/Mayfield border. I haven't checked out this section. This next section is referred to as the Carbondale Riverwalk. The trail I believe is paved for the first 0.5 miles and crosses a bridge over Racket Brook followed by an old RR Trestle Bridge over the Lackawanna River. It then follows the River north as stone-dust, I believe, to Morse Ave in Simpson after 1.5 miles. Here the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail joins the D&H Rail Trail continuing north. SEE; Lackawanna River Heritage Trail/D&H Rail Trail BELOW.

 

D&H RAIL TRAIL/O&W RAIL TRAIL:

Last Updated:       August 2, 2014

Length:                 D&H Rail Trail; 38 miles [18.3 miles improved]

                              O&W Trail; 7 miles

                              O&W-D&H Trail from Simpson to Herrick Center;12 miles 

Difficulty:             D&H Rail Trail;  Easy. Flat stone-dust/gravel rail trail. 

                              O&W Trail; Moderate. Flat hard packed dirt, gravel & cinder rail trail. Some ATV use.

Directions:     

For the O&W Trail (Southern Trailhead); From Route 6 take the exit for BUS Route 6 (Roosevelt Hwy). Take your first right on Canaan St, then your first left on Morse Ave. Continue straight on Reservoir St for a half mile. Turn right on Homestead St/Lord Ave. A parking lot is just past the tank. Informational board here. The trailhead is just up the road on your left.

For the D&H Rail Trail (Southern Trailhead); From Route 6 take the exit for BUS Route 6 (Roosevelt Hwy). Take your first right on Canaan St, then your first left on Morse Ave. Bear left continuing along Morse Ave. Cross the river and trail. Parking on your left.

LACKAWANNA RIVER HERITAGE TRAIL/D&H RAIL TRAIL SECTION:

Starting from the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail/D&H Extension Trail at Morse Ave (Simpson); The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail joins the D&H Rail Trail heading north. I haven't checked out this section. The trail travels along the west side of the Lackawanna River through a wooded corridor. This section was finished in late 2018 I believe, so I'm not sure what the surface consists of. Probably crushed gravel or stone-dust. After your third bridge crossing of the river your now on the east side of the river and come to a point at approximately 2.3 miles where you may connect to the O&W Rail Trail which parallels along your right. Continuing north the trail again crosses the river over an old RR bridge. Cross Commerce Blvd and come to the Forest City parking lot after about 4.6 miles. I've checked out this section. A Porto-potty is located here. Head past the gate along the wide, open, stone-dust trail (some gravel sections) and you'll soon travel underneath Route 247. Here the trail skirts Forest City. After 4.9 miles you pass by the former location of the Forest City Depot. Cross a road at 5.6 miles and the trail becomes more isolated. Finally get a view of the Lackawanna River down to your right at 6.1 miles. Route 171 parallels the trail above on your left. Cross an old RR bridge over the river at 6.8 miles. Double tracked bridge. At 6.9 miles, just before you travel underneath Route 171 spot a dirt trail on your right.

Note; This dirt trail leads you up to the O&W Rail Trail, which heading north utilizes Route 171 as an on-road section. This is the last spot the two trails are close together, so it makes for an ideal spot to Loop south back along the O&W Rail Trail

Continue underneath the Route 171 bridge and you'll again cross an old RR bridge over the river to the west side. Just past this bridge at 7.2 miles spot a green mileage marker on your left for Mile 7 (Not sure if this is still there?). Trail enters a deep valley. At 8.9 miles you come alongside the Stillwater Lake Dam. A fence separates you from the earthen dam. If you continue along the fence to it's end you'll be afforded better views of the dam, lake and surrounding valley with windmills atop the ridges. This is as far as I traveled. Continuing north the trail eventually comes alongside Main St where it parallels it into Union Dale at 10.2 miles.

Note; Left is the headquarters for the RAIL TRAILS of NE PA , which maintains the D&H Rail Trail & O&W Rail Trail

It then follows a wooded corridor out to Route 374 at 12.1 miles in Herrick Center. (The next 6+ miles of trail were improved in 2018 north to Ararat. I believe the surface is crushed gravel or stone-dust). Cross Creek Rd at 13.8 miles and Fiddle Lake Rd at 15.6 miles. Several small road crossings as the trail now mixes with farmland. The trail travels past Hathaway Lake at 16.7 miles and Sinkhole Swamp at 17.7 miles before crossing Ararat Rd at 18.3 miles in Ararat. I believe the next section is unimproved as of 2018

Heading north the trail passes through Thompson, Starrucca, Stevens Point to Lanesboro paralleling Starrucca Creek. In Lanesboro the trail passes through the Luciana Park parking lot where you can check out the STARRUCCA VIADUCT . The Starrucca Viaduct was constructed for the Erie Railroad and was completed in 1848. It is 1040 feet long, 100 feet high and 25 feet wide at the top with semicircular stone arch spans supported by stone piers. It is the oldest stone railroad bridge in use in the State of Pennsylvania today. This bridge is very impressive in appearance and has been compared to Roman aqueducts in terms of visual appearance. The bridge has received designation as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. 

Note; Plans are in the works to improve the trail north to the NY border in 2019. Including replacing the bridge that leads to Luciana Park.

The trail continues north to the NY border paralleling the Susquehanna River

O&W RAIL TRAIL SECTION:

Starting from the O&W Rail Trail; I haven't checked out this section. From the parking lot travel just up Lord Ave to the trailhead on your left. I believe the trail surface consists of packed gravel but not sure. The trail heads into the woods and travels above the Lackawanna River below to your left. After 2.2 miles your able to access the D&H Rail Trail by turning left. The O&W Rail Trail heads more inland and crosses Route 247 after 4.8 miles. The trail continues north through the woods before coming to Route 171 after 7 miles. A dirt trail to your left brings you down to the D&H Rail Trail. The next section is on-road along Route 171. After that the mid-section is privately owned and allows ATVs with trail passes. From Poyntelle north it is owned and regulated as low-maintenance roads by Preston and Buckingham Townships to the West Branch Delaware River

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