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.
The Wayne County Community Foundation has agreed to be the non-profit organization through which funds are collected and funneled for the project. The Alliance, with help from the Community Foundation, raised the $40,000 match for the feasibility study.
Wayne County, on behalf of the foundation and the alliance, received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to support a Greenways Trails Feasibility Study. 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 look at potential funding sources.
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.
In June 2018, The Rails and Trails feasibility Study was awarded to Woodland Design Associates of Honesdale for a contract price of $80,000. The advisory committee has been named to assist the consultant with the development of the plan.
The Study Committee, made up of more than a dozen local officials and interested citizens, created a survey, and held a series of meeting, including one for the public earlier this year.
The consultant is expected to present the final recommendations at an upcoming public meeting.