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On June 5, the D&L held its annual National Trails Day (NTD) event at Carbon County’s D&L Trailhead in Jim Thorpe. Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Keith McCall, a long-time friend of the trail, was on hand to help us dedicate the newest 1.4-mile section of the D&L Trail, which connects Lehigh Gorge State Park with downtown Historic Jim Thorpe via the Nesquehoning Trestle.
For years, this section of private railroad property thwarted bikers and walkers attempting to access Jim Thorpe on the west side of the river from the terminus of the state park at Glen Onoko on the east side of the river. For downtown outfitters, such as Pocono Biking and Blue Mountain Sports, the gap used to mean an extra shuttle ride between the park and their stores. Now returning cyclists can ride directly into Jim Thorpe, which is good for the outfitters’ bottom line, as well as the town’s businesses. In the larger scheme of things, the connection means a D&L rider could go from Jim Thorpe to the forests of Luzerne County without interruption. What’s next? Well, just over the horizon is the construction of the Jim Thorpe pedestrian bridge which will link to the northern trail section to Weissport, Slatington, Northampton, Allentown, Easton, and finally Bristol!
All of this meant that we had a lot to celebrate on June 5. In the past few years our NTD events have grown larger and larger, in terms of both attendance and activities offered. This year we partnered with Pocono Biking to offer shuttle service to White Haven and Rockport for trips through the Lehigh Gorge on the D&L Trail. Although many opted for a short rider on the section of trail to Glen Onoko, some hearty riders did the full trip. We also partnered with 20 Jim Thorpe businesses who offered special NTD discounts to friends of the D&L. Rainbow’s End, a local ice cream shop, even concocted a “Trail Mix” sundae to commemorate the new trail section’s dedication. With the help of the Carbon County Commissioners, DCNR, the D&L Trail Tenders, and local trail enthusiasts, the event turned into a great community celebration. The D&L is grateful for such a warm welcome from Jim Thorpe and Carbon County and thanks all of you who came out for the dedication!