As part of a recognition of the value of trails, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Wednesday announced she will visit three trails in Northeast PA this week to hear from stakeholders and local officials about their importance to healthy citizens and attracting visitors.
“Trails connect places, are one of the best guides to nature, and more than 75 percent of Pennsylvanians believe that along with parks they are an essential component of our health care system,” Dunn said. “We’re fortunate to have thousands of miles to hike, ride, and paddle throughout the state, just waiting to be explored at little to no cost.”
Dunn’s first stop Wednesday was a ribbon cutting for the Pocono Creek pedestrian bridge in Monroe County. The bridge and trail connect Knights Park and local neighborhoods to Stroudsburg High School and the Stroudsburg Borough Park.
DCNR provided a $360,000 investment in the bridge.
On Thursday, the secretary will be at Promised Land State Park in Pike County to talk with visitors and highlight the opportunities for horseback trail riding.
The park has six individual sites that offer shelter and facilities for visitors to camp with horses. Horseback riding is allowed on park roads and designated trails, and provide access to 26 miles of equestrian trails in Delaware State Forest.
On Friday she’ll visit a trailhead for the Delaware and Hudson Trail, which runs 2-miles to the south and 8-miles to the north in Forest City, Susquehanna County. The entire length of the trail runs from the New York State border south for 38 miles to Route 171 in Simpson.
It is used by bikers, hikers, runners, equestrians, and snowmobilers. The trail in Forest City is a center for organized events that attract participants, including a half-marathon that will be held on September 9.
“At these three locations in northeast Pennsylvania we can see the exciting range of trail opportunities that are examples of what you can find across the state-- trail connections between schools and places to enjoy nature; a wide range of trail types including for those who like to ride horses, bikes or ATVs; and locations for events that draw visitors who reenergize towns along the path,” Dunn said.
In Pennsylvania, outdoor recreation generates $29.1 billion in consumer spending, $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue, $8.6 billion in wages and salaries, and sustains 251,000 direct Pennsylvania jobs.
Dunn said anyone who wants to visit a trail but is not sure where to go can find more than 12,000 miles and events listed on the Explore PA Trails website. Click Here to learn more about trail experiences in a short video.For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog, Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
(Photo: Pocono Creek pedestrian bridge.)