Susquehanna Warrior Trail Faces More Delays

March 5, 2019

There will be no new construction this year on the Susquehanna Warrior Trail along Route 11.

The Warrior Trail Council, which was unable to do work in 2018 due to a lack of grants, faces the same grant-writing dilemma that has delayed completion of one of the area’s premier trails.

But, an expanded grant-writing committee will tackle the issue this year and the hope is that construction will stretch the trail further north in 2020.

“That is our hope,” council chairman Lance Kittelson said at a council meeting this week at the Shickshinny Borough Building. Kittelson and Barb Rupert, council secretary, will join other volunteers on an expanded grant-writing committee.

The Susquehanna Warrior Trail is built on the former railroad bed of the Delaware Lehigh and Western Railroad. The land is owned by UGI Penn Natural Gas and Sunoco. The path runs 12½ miles from the PPL Riverlands in Salem Twp. north to Canal Park in Plymouth Twp.

Plans call for the trail to run north another 3½ miles to connect to the Plymouth Levee System near Flat Road and Krest Street in Plymouth Borough. That would create a 15-mile trail that would allow walkers to access the 109th Field Artillery Bridge that starts on the west side in Larksville, only a few feet north of the Plymouth Borough boundary line, and runs across the river into Hanover Twp. The Luzerne County levee system could be followed to Riverfront Park in Wilkes-Barre, the aiming point for all local trails.

Kittelson said it costs in excess of $100,000 per mile for engineering and construction. It cost about $100,000 per mile for the first 10 miles and about $400,000 for engineering and construction for the 2½ miles to reach Canal Park, he said. He previously lauded creation of the Warrior Trail as an investment in the communities through which it runs.

The stretch from Canal Park to the Avondale Mine Disaster site in Plymouth Twp. is about 2½ miles. The Avondale site is the immediate target as a trail will enhance its potential as a historic locale. Kiosks and historical markers will tell the story of the disaster of Sept. 6, 1869 that claimed 110 lives. Plymouth Historical Society has been involved in site cleanup, trail support and historical development.

Meanwhile, a trail erosion problem near Spencer’s in Shickshinny has been repaired at a cost of $4,500, council member John Bendick announced. Central Susquehanna Community Foundation provided a grant to cover the work. Also, signs will be installed during 2019 to direct hikers and bikers to trail heads along Route 11. Kittelson outlined repairs needed at three kiosks along the trail.

The council’s annual 5K run and fun walk will be held 10:15 April 13 on the trail at Oak and North Canal streets, Shickshinny.

Susquehanna Warrior Trail Council meets 6 p.m. the last Tuesday of the month at the Shickshinny Borough Building. Those wishing to assist in trail activities are invited to attend. Volunteers for trail maintenance are welcome.