Posts Tagged ‘Rails to Trails Jim Thorpe’

Each year National Rails to Trails Day is celebrated across America on the first Saturday in June. On Saturday, June 5 at 10:30 AM the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and Carbon County will host a dedication ceremony to commemorate the connection of the D&L Trail between Jim Thorpe and adjoining Lehigh Gorge State Park.

For more information on attending this event click here.

Rails to Trails Jim ThorpeThis key trail segment will bring hundreds of trail users who were previously confined to the east side of the Lehigh River across the Nesquehoning Trestle directly into historic downtown Jim Thorpe where they can shop, dine, sleep and check out entertainment.

Speaker of the Pennsylvania House Keith McCall was instrumental in the trail’s completion and will serve as keynote speaker at this long-anticipated event.

The event will also feature four bicycle rides geared to a variety of skill levels. Riders opening the new trail segment will pedal 26 miles south from White Haven through Lehigh Gorge or access the trail at Rockport and ride 15 miles into Jim Thorpe, with or without a guide. An easier option for families is a six-mile trip from Jim Thorpe to Glen Onoko and back.

Shuttle service to White Haven and Rockport is being provided by Pocono Whitewater.

Free parking will be available for all who pre-register for the dedication or the bike rides. To RSVP for the event or reserve a bike ride, contact Loretta Susen at 610-923-3548 x221 or e-mail loretta@delawareandlehigh.org.

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At long last, bids have been solicited and opened for the much-anticipated Rails-to-Trails project that will link the Nesquehoning Trestle (near Glen Onoko Park) with the town of Jim Thorpe. Though the trestle was completed about three years ago, other details and obstacles seemed to hold up completion of the project endlessly.

With the purchase of the final parcel of land that would make the bike trail to Jim Thorpe a reality, bids were solicited late last summer for the construction of the trail and a fence to separate it from the Reading Northern railroad tracks that will run along side this segment of the trail. Eleven companies responded with bids, which were opened this week.

More information on this project is in this Times News article.

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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

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