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Hawley council considers eight miles of trails; Courting outdoor recreation

By Guy Charles Harriton
January 23, 2013

The Hawley Borough Council voted on January 9 to assume the role of applicant and grant writer for three trails that would wind through the town and into the Lake Wallenpaupack area.

An extensive presentation was made by Sue Currier, executive director of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, who explained the long-range plan, currently in the development stage, which would include trails covering an eight-mile expanse.

Currier said that the conservancy is seeking to benefit Hawley and tourists in an ambitious project that would start in Hawley proper. “We’re looking for the support of the council to be a co-applicant,” she said. The goal is to create an extensive series of trails that offer opportunities for exercise and unparalleled views for people to enjoy the splendor of the area.”

Council vice president Mary Sanders voiced concern as to whether the conservancy is seeking money from the beleaguered borough, which went over its 2012-2013 budget.

“We’re incredibly over budget,” Sanders said and posed the question, “How much are we looking at—bottom line?”

Sanders was delighted with the conservancy’s plans not to seek money from the council, but she warned Currier, “You’ll have to meet with the Army Corps of Engineers. They’re not people who like to be surprised. When you meet with them, all your issues must be clearly outlined.”

Sanders was amenable to the idea of the council providing manpower for trail markings and the like.

Resident Karen Frisbie said she had some apprehension that the trails were in such close proximity to her house. “It’s already congested,” she said.

“We are not looking to cut across private property,” Currier assured Frisbie.

Currier once again told the council that the conservancy is in the preliminary stages and would do everything in its power to preserve the integrity of Hawley and its residents.

The residents of Hawley can thank Palmyra Township and PPL Corporation for hiking trails in and around Lake Wallenpaupack. The 5,700-acre lake has trails that run north along the top of PPL Pike and past the visitors’ center. Hikers pass Palmyra Beach and the Wilsonville campground and then the Wallenpaupack Area School District football stadium. Hikers can pass the PPL dam, where yet another visitors’ center explains the history of the lake. The trails are considered easy with very little slope. They are made of crushed stone or wood chips. There are restrooms available and a snack bar during the summer season.