Friday, February 16, 2018

DCNR, Local Officials Highlight Investments In Lackawanna County State Forest Snowmobile Trail

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Friday joined Rep. Mike Carroll (D-Lackawanna), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Thornhurst Township officials, and snowmobiling enthusiasts in celebration of the Wolf Administration’s recent investment to support improvement of the Thornhurst Snowmobile Trail in Pinchot State Forest.
Announced in December 2017, funding will support ADA accessibility, a safe stream crossing, landscaping, signage, and other related improvements at the trail’s Red Pine Plantation section.
“This grant represents the Wolf Administration’s continuing support of DCNR’s commitment to outdoor recreation and exercise in our state forest and parks,” Dunn said. “Not only will snowmobiling enthusiasts benefit from these improvements on this trail system, but upcoming work will address improving ADA accessibility compliance and supplying a stream crossing with minimal impact to the environment.”
The secretary noted Pinchot State Forest District has a strong history of work on the shared-use trail system to improve the experience of all using the trail.
Speaking against a backdrop of snowmobiles and a DCNR trail-grooming machine parked at the Manny Gordon Recreation Area, Dunn told an audience of snowmobiling enthusiasts and township officials her department is committed to furthering the sport of snowmobiling across the state.
Stretching more than 26 miles through Pinchot State Forest, the Thornhurst Snowmobile Trail is managed for motorized, shared use, and provides ADA access to individuals holding valid permits from DCNR.
Expected to be completed in two years, work on the Red Pine Plantation section will provide a safe crossing over Sand Spring Run, improving water and stream-bank quality.
The project also will include engineering and design, construction and installation, and stone work. The project will be put out for bid, and work is slated to begin after a contractor is selected.
“We can’t do anything about the weather, but when it does snow, we are ready with grooming and other trail work in this district and others across the state,” Dunn told the group. “We recognize the economic vitality trails like this bring to rural areas, and improvements like this can only benefit the trail, its users and the surrounding area.”
“The Red Pine Plantation Trail provides many recreational opportunities in northeast Pennsylvania and this grant will further enhance those opportunities,” said Rep. Carroll. “The new stream crossing will allow snowmobile users and others to safely cross the stream; at the same time the project will stabilize the stream bank and improve water quality. I want to thank Secretary Dunn and her staff for their work on this project.”
The $400,000 grant was supported through the PA Recreational Trails Program. This funding comes from the Federal Highway Administration and PennDOT.
DCNR has actively supported snowmobiling in state parks and state forests by grooming trails; focusing on safety and education; and working with snowmobiling groups. When weather cooperates, Pennsylvania's state forests offer thousands of miles and hundreds of acres of designated snowmobile areas for exploration.
Snowmobiling opportunities range from scenic trails through wooded areas, to straightaway runs on roadways, to large, open spaces. Trails open the day after the last day of Pennsylvania's regular or extended rifle deer season and close April 1, or earlier as determined by the district forester.
To find a recreational trail near you, visit the ExplorePAtrails website.
Local Recreation Grants
DCNR is accepting applications for the Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grants to support local recreation projects through April 11.  Click Here for more.
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: L to R: Rep. Carroll, Secretary Dunn.)

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