HONESDALE -- A grassroots movement to build an interconnected trail system from Honesdale to Hawley and possibly beyond gained the support of the Wayne County Commissioners, who agreed to allow the county to serve as the applicant for a grant to fund a feasibility study.
Members of the newly formed Wayne-Pike Trails and Waterways Alliance hope to build – or improve – vibrant and safe trails for hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, nature education and other activities along the Lackawaxen River, the Stourbridge Rail Line and Honesdale Borough parks.
“We are thrilled to have the Commissioners on board,” said Alliance member Dan Corrigan. “It’s a big step in what we anticipate to be a multi-phase journey, a very long – and very exciting – road.” Corrigan noted that the Wayne County Community Foundation has agreed to be the non-profit organization through which funds are collected and funneled for the project.
Wayne County, on behalf of the foundation and the alliance, will apply to the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for matching funds to support a Greenways Trails Feasibility Study, estimated to cost approximately $80,000. The study will review property owner issues, lease arrangements, existing municipal and county plans, water access possibilities and cost estimates for any needed construction. It will also seek public input throughout the process and look at potential funding sources.
“The Wayne County Community Foundation has also approved our first funding request for $5,000,” added Corrigan. We have another $5,000 committed from other sources and are looking to the community for the remaining $30,000.
The Alliance is a consortium of four groups with a common goal. The Stourbridge Rail and Trail group, along with the Honesdale River Project and HonesTrails, and the Wallenpaupack Trails and Lock 31 Group all envision a trail system embracing the river that runs through the Honesdale-Hawley corridor and the natural beauty of the area’s parks and woodlands.
The partnership will be soliciting commitments for funds to meet the grant applications deadline of April 12. “We won’t need the money until we know the grant has been received,” said Corrigan.
For more information or to donate, visit https://www.honesdaleriverproject.com or follow them on Facebook.