Expanding on the metaphor, there can be no doubt the prized roses in this garden are the trails, and there are several. First the Hawley Trail, which began modestly around Bingham Park and into historic parts of the town. It then expanded, first through Riverside Park and then connecting to the Tow Path Trail at Lock 31.
Next came development of the trails at Lake Wallenpaupack – one following the shoreline from the Tafton Dike to the Wilsonville Dam (Lake Trail) and the other from the dam along part of the flume line (Creek Trail). In the near future, these will link to Hawley’s trail system via a new Gorge Trail following the Wallenpaupack Creek to Riverside Park in Hawley and on to Lock 31.
Most recently, Wayne County completed a Feasibility Study of the possible development of a trail system linking Honesdale to Hawley and beyond via the Lackawaxen River and Stourbridge Railroad. With the help of the PA Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC), the Wayne Pike Trails and Waterways Alliance identified several sites that would be relatively straightforward to improve. Hawley Borough developed the first of these public launches at Bingham Park in 2020.
PFBC just awarded more than $300,000 in grants to develop handicap accessible access sites, including public restrooms, at White Mills and Industrial Point at the confluence of the Lackawaxen and Dyberry Creek in Honesdale. Canal Park is expected to be home to another access point in the near future.
These developments have generated a growing interest in what Grant Genzlinger of the Trails Alliance and The Settlers Inn called “an underutilized resource” – the Lackawaxen River, mostly because of a lack of public access. Businesses across the area have seen an increase in people asking questions about how to get onto the trails and the river.