A bridge to the past. A link for the present. A vision for the future. The recently opened Hawley Trail is many things. Most importantly, it’s a key component to a 5.5-mile trail system that will stretch from Palmyra Township through The Settlers Inn property, around Hawley and on to Lake Wallenpaupack. The Settlers Inn Founder, Grant Genzlinger and Hawley Trail committee member Dick Briden were the driving force behind the project, which was eight years in the making.
A Common Thread
With this addition, hikers can now travel along the towpath behind The Settlers Inn, past remnants of the D & H Canal and connect to Lock 31 Trail in Canal Park. On the opposite end, it links to previously established trails in Bingham Park and Riverside Park. Much of the route traverses the Lackawaxen River, making it as scenic as it is historic. “The trail is unique because it’s not linear,” explains Grant. “It’s bent to touch the historical, natural and cultural quality of life aspects of our region. It’s an important connector between community assets.”
Sign of the Times
There are 10 interpretive signs spaced along the entire length of the trail to relate Hawley’s history, information about the river and wildlife in the area. Visitors can learn about the town’s evolution from Gravity Railroad hub to burgeoning glass and textile industries and the rise of tourism. Other panels reflect on Hawley’s natural disasters and notable residents. “I’m so pleased to see people out on the trail, map in hand, seeking the next sign, or just pausing to read as they walk their dogs or wait for the train on the platform. It’s great to celebrate the richness we have in our community, and to share it with visitors,” says organizer Sue Currier.
Down the Road
The next phase of the project calls for the establishment of the Gorge Trail. It will pick up on Cromwell Avenue and cross Brookfield Renewable Energy property to connect with the existing Wallenpaupack Creek Trail. When complete, visitors will be able to walk or jog eight miles from Tafton Dike to Canal Park. Organizers envision the project as just the start of a long-term plan to create a network that will eventually connect with trails in Lackawanna County at one end and Milford, PA in Pike County at the other.
Take a walk on the Hawley Trail with The Settlers Inn founder, Grant Genzlinger, as he tells us about the current trail, expansions and other interesting things to find along the trail.
Please note only the interpretive signs and brochure were created by W Design.