What are trails? What do they look like?
Trails are linear features of the built environment that facilitate movement for people on foot or on bicycle.
Movement can be helped by many factors; key among them,
- separation from traffic.
|Trails vary greatly in character and user-experience: there are paved urban trails that run through towns on separate rights-of-way, on-street trails that follow an established sidewalk, unpaved suburban trails, and hiking trails.
Trails can be used as pathways or as destinations, and many trails are used for both. "Pathway" trails are trails that are more strongly engineered for travel-- they link communities, have a paved or graveled surface and a controlled grade. Hiking trails are often strictly "destination" trails. They loop around natural areas to allow users to experience the natural environment, and are generally rougher, have greater changes in grade and are challenging to walk and to bike.
Bike routes allow bicyclists to travel with automobile traffic, using signage and other tools to help with way-finding and safety.
The Wyoming Valley Area
The Wyoming Valley area currently includes about 22 miles of pathway trails, both urban and suburban, and an equivalent mileage of hiking trails. More than 50 miles of additional trails are proposed or in progress in the Valley.
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Walking and Biking Trails
|Susquehanna Levee Trail-existing
Asphalt paved trail on top of levee in a number of communities, with about 20 miles of trail in 5 locations: Kingston, Forty Fort, Plymouth, Hanover Township and South Wilkes-Barre. This trail also includes connections to the Market Street, Pierce Street and Carey Avenue Bridges, allowing bicyclists and pedestrians to cross the river (see picture). Trailheads at Forty Fort County Recreation Park off Rt. 11, Kingston Recreation Facility off Third Street, the far west end of Delaney Street in Hanover Township and off Powell Street (turn east from Rt. 11) in Plymouth Boro.
Back Mountain Trail-existing and proposed
Luzerne Boro thru Dallas Township. Trailhead at Parry Street in Luzerne: Park at the Knights of Columbus Parking Lot and walk west on Parry Street. Suburban Trail with Stone Surface.(see picture) 2 of 14 miles constructed. For more information see Anthracite Scenic Trails Assn/Back Mountain Trail Council.
West Side Trail-proposed
On-street Trail (Rt. 11) spine with smaller loops and branches thru Exeter, Wyoming, West Wyoming and West Pittston. This will be an urban trail involving sidewalk improvements, signage, as well as some new bike/ped only surfaces. 15 miles of trail proposed in four phases. Phase I to start construction in 2005.
Susquehanna Warrior Trail-proposed
This trail parallels the west side of the Susquehanna river from the PPL Riverlands Park in Berwick thru Plymouth Boro. It will be a largely rural gravel trail, running for 18 miles. Phase I construction is projected to start in 2005.
Luzerne County Rail with Trail-proposed
This trail is a 12 mile urban gravel trail proposed to run from Pittston to Wilkes-Barre along an active freight line on the east side of the Susquehanna River. Phase I construction to start late 2005 or 2006.
Black Diamond Trail-proposed
This trail will travel approximately 15 miles through Luzerne County from the Mountain Top community to the south and east of the Wyoming Valley study area, connecting to Lehigh Gorge State Park and the D&L Trail system largely along an abandoned railroad bed.
Black Diamond Trail Ridge to River Connector-proposed
This connector will be a walking path and bike route that identifies and enhances existing street and sidewalk resources to help bicyclists and pedestrians make the connection from the proposed Black Diamond Trail down to the Susquehanna River and the other Wyoming Valley Trail resources. The alignment of this trail is not yet decided.
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This is a series of four inter-connecting looping trails which take users to low-lying areas, former coal-mined areas, and ridgetop overlooks. Combined, the four trails provide about 8 miles of trail surface. Some lookouts offer good views of the Susquehanna River and the Wyoming Valley (see picture). This trail is challenging to hike, with a natural earth surface, and hilly character. The trailhead is in the town of Mocanaqua on the east side of the Susquehanna River from Rt. 11 and Shickshinny Borough. For more information, and a map contact the Earth Conservancy.
The Tubs Nature Area- existing
The Tubs Nature Area provides 2 miles of trails in a preserved area highlighting scenic geological water features. The Tubs Nature Area entrance is off PA 115 about 1.5 miles southeast of the I-81 interchange.
Frances Slocum State Park- existing
This 1,035 acre state park includes 9 miles of trails. Some trails are hilly, and some (around the lake) are flat and easy to walk. The park also includes a number of other amenities. It is located to the northeast of Dallas borough and the northwest of Wilkes Barre in a developing rural area. For more information see PA DCNR State Parks.
The Riverfront Parks- existing
These parks include natural and landscaped areas in Wilkes-Barre, but on the west side of the river, on the streamside of the Levee. The natural areas include trails that highlight the riparian environment. For more information, including a trail guide, contact the Riverfront Parks Committee at (570) 826-1108.
The Escarpment Trail- proposed
This trail will be an unimproved 6 mile hiking trail connecting the town of Mocanaqua with the city of Nanticoke. This trail will provide challenging hikes and mountain bike experiences.
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Visit the Photo Gallery
Wyoming Valley Wellness Trails Partnership
15 Public Square, Suite 600
Wilkes-Barre PA 18701