There is now cautious optimism that the work on the Rails to Trails path from the Nesquehoning Trestle to Jim Thorpe can proceed since various legal and logistical hurdles have recently been cleared. The latest information is that the Carbon County Commissioners have resolved litigation issues with the former owner of the land needed to begin construction of the path. So now, the process of bidding the construction can hopefully begin and with luck the path may well be a reality sometime in the Spring of 2010.
This will not only open up and complete or gorgeous ride into JimThorpe from Glen Onoko State Park, but it will help move attention onto the construction of a bridge over the Lehigh River near the site of the current sewage treatment plan that will connect bicyclists and hikers to the beautiful segment of the trail that continues on to Weissport. In addition, the business lost to Jim Thorpe because riders could not complete the journey into town will now be able to return.
A brief perusal of the internet shows that the economic benefits of Rails to Trails paths are well-established and touted in Pennsylvania by State Representative Keith McCall, Representative John Murtha, and Tom Murphy, the mayor of Pittsburgh. Riders typically occupy a higher income bracket and not only spend tourist dollars in the towns they visit, but are then able to consider returning as residents and business owners.
Copyright 2009 Jim Thorpe Chamber of Commerce