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Expanded trails for vets at Camp Freedom in Lackawanna County

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison introduces us to those who worked to make a new trail system possible.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Members of Camp Freedom and Leadership Lackawanna cut the ribbon on Wednesday to open the updated trails on the property near Simpson.

Camp Freedom is a place that welcomes veterans, Gold Star families, military members, and first responders to spend time in the outdoors and connect with others who share similar experiences.

"We have 2,300 acres of land here and over 26 miles of trails that we can utilize for hiking and biking. Most of them have already been here, just needed a little cleanup and some marking out there," said Camp Freedom's Bridget Slagan.

Camp Freedom presented the idea for the trails to Leadership Lackawanna to make them easier to navigate, whether people are hunting, fishing, or hiking.

"We made 90 signs plus the stop signs to hold them up, 225 trail markers for four different trails over 26 miles of trails throughout the property," said Talia Walsh from Leadership Lackawanna's core class of 2022.

The group spent the last ten months on the project that will allow veterans and their families who spend time at Camp Freedom to find their way around the property safely.

"For staff, it's very helpful for us to be able to know where we're going as we're coming in learning different places on camp. So having the maps, having the road markers and trail markers are all very beneficial to us," Slagan said.

"For them to have just an easier time to navigate, the time that we've spent over the last ten months to make the project happen is timeless, in my opinion, and priceless from that standpoint, so that it's just can always be here," Walsh said.

Camp Freedom hopes to utilize these trails for other events in the future.

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