The D&L Blog

Delaware & Lehigh - Getting our tails on the trail… in the snow

By Imogen Wirth-Granlund, Program Coordinator

As robins sing and cherry trees bloom, April showers wash away memories of the winter wonderland we experienced in Eastern Pennsylvania. Let’s appreciate the longer days, but not forget all the snowy fun we had!

Get Your Tail on the Trail challenged participants to exercise 30 miles in 30 days from February 1st to March 2nd. Braving Nor’easters and ice storms, 997 participants completed the Winter Challenge. You’ll know who they are when you see them sporting flashy fanny packs on the trail this Spring!

The wintry weather felt like a gift amidst COVID-19 travel restrictions. Who needs to trek to Vermont or fly to Utah when you can ski in your own backyard? So many of us enjoyed excellent conditions right here for downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Others put “snow tires” on their bicycles to try fat biking, while some added crampons to their hiking boots. Of course, a lot of us had to dig ourselves out of our homes before we could hit the trail!

After what Cycling Weekly proclaimed “the great bike drought of 2020,” we saw the snowshoe shortage of 2021. Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’s (DCNR) Get Outdoors PA program filled the void in our neck of the woods! Both the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and the Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania hosted events offering free snowshoe loans with equipment acquired through Get Outdoors PA. With these partners, Get Your Tail on the Trail made a sport requiring expensive and hard-to-find gear accessible to many first-timers.

To kick off the Winter Challenge, Get Your Tail on the Trail’s NEPA Chapter celebrated DCNR’s 2021 Trail of the Year, the D&H Trail in Union Dale. Lynn Conrad, Executive Director of the Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern PA, guided over 50 participants on an exploration of the historic rail trail and even snowshoed off the beaten path to see pillows of snow resting on Fiddle Lake Creek. Afterwards, everybody enjoyed hot chocolate and apple cider from Cable’s General Store and one lucky winner walked home with a white birch shillelagh from Scranton Shillelagh Co. Check out the NEPA Chapter’s Facebook page to relive the magical day!

On Presidents Day, 63 D&L Chapter members enjoyed a day of snowshoeing at the National Canal Museum in Hugh Moore Park. D&L Director of Museum & Education, Daphne Mayer, led history walks along the D&L Trail, followed by hot chocolate and trail gear giveaways from two D&L Trail Friendly Businesses: Easton Outdoor Company and L.L. Bean. Take a look on Facebook and you’ll see it in their eyes—everyone was “smizing” with smiles hidden beneath masks!

Now that Spring has sprung, we’ve got a whole new season of trail activities ahead of us. If you still haven’t joined the Get Your Tail on the Trail community, register now to get fit and have fun outdoors!