Yudichak Completes Trail Hike After Eagles Bet
WILKES-BARRE— State Sen. John Yudichak promised that if the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, he would hike the Delaware and Lehigh Trail (D&L Trail). The Eagles won and Yudichak kept his promise with his “Senator Takes a Hike” initiative.
Yudichak went hiking and biking through all 165 miles of the D&L Trail. Starting in Bucks County, going through Lehigh and Carbon counties and finishing in Luzerne County. Yudichak said he felt as if he honored Pennsylvania’s heritage by doing so.
The hike finished with a grand finale event Friday at the River Common by Millennium Circle in Wilkes-Barre.
According to Elissa Garofalo, president/executive director of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc., the organization’s mission is the preservation of Pennsylvania history. The trail follows the transport route of the American Industrial Revolution, on which anthracite and other goods were moved from the mines of Northeast Pennsylvania through the canals and railroads of the eastern part of the state.
“It’s important for people to know about this area’s history,” Garofalo said. “Our steel went into the Golden Gate Bridge and to build battleships, and none of it would’ve ever happened without the anthracite that came from this area, that went on to build Philadelphia.”
“I would like to thank Sen. Yudichak and all of our partners for putting together this successful initiative,” Garofalo said. “It has brought more attention to the D&L Trail than we ever could’ve imagined.”
Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, presented Yudichak with an engraved walking stick, reading, “From Bristol to Wilkes-Barre, Senator Yudichak Takes a Hike 2018.”
“Since the senator was so excited in promoting the D&L, we thought it would be a great memento,” Dunn said. “We made that walking stick in our workshop for him. We’re involved in many projects, but since the “Senator Takes a Hike” tour began on May 8, the DCNR has invested over $1 million in state grants to close trail gaps, such as those in Luzerne County.”
Yudichak said he probably could have used the walking stick beforehand, but loved the gift nonetheless.
“I have to be honest, when I made the statement about doing the hike if the Eagles won, I didn’t think we had a shot,”Yudichak said. “This was such an interesting, rewarding and inspiring journey and I’m grateful for every step.
Yudichak said the trek was like a walk through history.
“I was given a chance to walk through towns I’ve never seen before. Then, to end it here at the Susquehanna River, walking that last half mile with my four daughters, Sarah, Anna, Evelyn and Grace, and being able to physically touch the 165 mile marker was just really cool way to end the whole trip.”
The day ended with an announcement that Geisinger, Pocono Forest & Waters and the City of Wilkes-Barre are joining forces to launch the Northeast Pennsylvania chapter of “Get Your Tail on the Trail.” This is a free community initiative founded by St. Luke’s University Health Network and the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
Allison Hess, associate vice president of health and wellness at Geisinger, said, “The D&L Trail is a great resource for people looking to exercise outdoors and our residents have the benefit of the trail being right in their own backyard.”
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