Yudichak Plans To Start Hiking Heritage Trail In May

April 11, 2018 GMT

WILKES-BARRE — State Sen. John Yudichak plans to start hiking all 165 miles of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Trail on May 8 — something he said he would do if the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl in February. He’ll start his journey in Bristol, Bucks County, and end it in Wilkes-Barre, sometime in August he hopes. Three days before the Super Bowl, Yudichak was speaking at a news conference about plans to finish building segments of the trail and offered to hike the trail if his favorite pro football team won a championship. “Not thinking about 165 miles, not thinking about five counties, not thinking about going from greater Philadelphia to the River Common in Wilkes-Barre,” Yudichak said Tuesday, recalling that news conference. “But after I made the comment, the Eagles go on and win.” On Tuesday, Yudichak reviewed detailed plans for hiking the trail, which includes some cycling also. He’s going to do it over 13 days, and five days includes events to bring attention to the D&L National Heritage Corridor, which was created 30 years ago by the U.S. Congress. “So I hope I can make 165 miles, I can survive,” he said during a meeting with The Citizens’ Voice editorial board. The D&L National Heritage Corridor is working to fill in some remaining gaps in the trail, including 2.6 miles from Laurel Run to the River Common in Wilkes-Barre, Executive Director Elissa Garofalo said Tuesday’s meeting with the editorial board. Land for about 8 percent of the trail still needs to be acquired and designed, and the minimum cost for that is about $100,000 a mile, Garofalo said. The trail follows the historic routes of railroads and canals along the Lehigh and Delaware rivers, and the northern third is in Yudichak’s Senate district. From the mid-1800s to the early 20th century, coal moved through the D&L Corridor from the mines in Northeast Pennsylvania to factories and markets in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia. At the Feb. 1 news conference, Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources for Pennsylvania, said an $84,000 sate grant will be used to engineer a section of trail covering 4.8 miles between a trailhead near the Mountain Top Hose Company in Fairview Twp. and Oliver Mills’ Crossing in Laurel Run. That section is expected to be built by 2020. Yudichak, D-14, Plymouth Twp., said finishing the development of the trail is important because it attracts tourists, who make purchases and visit other attractions. Contact the writer: mbuffer@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2073, @cvmikebuffer