Rails To Trails, An Asset To Every Community.
We had some perfect Spring weather here in Northeastern Pennsylvania today. Mild temperatures, plenty of sunshine and puffy cumulus clouds floating in deep blue skies.
I decided to check out the newest addition to our local Rails to Trails. This wonderful program converts abandoned railroads into hiking trails for local residents. I have been hiking our beautiful trail which was located along a reservoir and a heath bog for many years. Recently, a bridge was built across an active railroad and extended our trail another two miles.
The trail passes through the middle of a mining reclamation area. This area was first honeycombed with deep anthracite coal mines from the villages of Stockton and Hazle Brook. The area was then strip mined beginning early last century and more extensively in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
I hiked in to the trail along an active, and huge, reclamation area of a large strip mine, but that is for another blog on another day. Here is a link, for those interested, to some photos I took as I walked along this massive project. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-5/nggallery/blog-photos/stockton-strip-mine-reclamation-may-2-2015
Once on the trail, it continues for about a mile through a completed reclamation area and then into some woodlands. It is a beautiful hike and even has an unpolluted stream running alongside the trail with native brook trout. The trail ends along the road to Hazle Brook, but, hopefully in the future, it will be extended down to the Lehigh Gorge trail.
On my hike back, the heat of the sun formed even more clouds and made for some beautiful photos, I rested on an old mine pond and headed home. As I approached a high point in the reclamation area, and had a view of the ridges of the mountains in the distance I imagined how beautiful this area was when first settlers arrived in search of coal. And I think how much we really destroyed that beauty in our area. I hope that these newly reclaimed areas are used for recreational purposes. They are becoming reforested and will create a natural retreat for generations to come. We have already destroyed too many beautiful natural areas in our region for private residential communities and industrial parks. Well enough of my opinions. It was a nice hike back and I am grateful for folks in our area and nationwide who had the foresight and determination to crate this wonderful network of trails for our enjoyment. Take advantage of them, you won’t regret it.
Here is a link to some more photos from my hike today. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-5/nggallery/blog-photos/rails-to-trails-may-2-2015
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
― Mahatma Gandhi