SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Each year, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) chooses one specific trail out of more than 12,000 miles of trails to be designated Trail of the Year. For the first time, a trail in northeastern Pennsylvania will receive that designation.
Lynn Conrad is the executive director of Rails to Trails of Northeast PA and was ecstatic to hear the D&H Trail was chosen as the best for 2021.
"This is the first trail in northeast Pennsylvania that was awarded. Last year's was down in the Pittsburgh area. So we were lucky to showcase northeast PA," said Conrad.
The D&H Trail extends through Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wayne Counties. What used to be railways are now through-ways for hikers, bikers, snowmobiles, and more.
Many people have taken advantage of the scenery along the trail during the pandemic, including Kathy Ferraro of Browndale.
"This is one of our favorite trails. We try to walk the trail just about every day, maybe five times a week, no matter the weather, no matter the time of year," said Ferraro.
With 38 miles of trail from Simpson to the New York state line, there's plenty of places to jump on and explore along the way.
"We've done a lot of hikes that we've done 12 miles in one day. A lot of times, we'll take one car and leave it here and take another car and then walk back," said Mike Murray from Childs.
"We're running out of brochures and maps, so now I get to put one together that says, Pennsylvania 2021 Trail of the Year, so that's exciting," said Conrad.
Along with the title, the organization that manages the trail gets a plaque, poster, and $10,000 in grant money to use for safety and signage updates.