The Rail-Trail Council of NEPA, Inc. is a non-profit organization developing recreational trails in northeastern Pennsylvania. The office is located in the Borough of Union Dale, Susquehanna County, in the Cables Store Building, alongside the D&H Rail-Trail.
The D&H Rail-Trail is 38 miles long from Simpson to the New York border near Susquehanna, PA. Ten miles have been improved with a stone dust surface suitable for hybrid and mountain bikes. The improved section runs along the Upper Lackawanna River from Vandling to Herrick Center. It is also used by equestrians, runners and hikers. Other sections of the D&H are graded original railbed surface usable by mountain bikers and hikers.
Caution: The D&H Rail-Trail from Simpson to Forest City is now closed for UGI pipeline installation. The O&W Rail-Trail is also closed from Simpson, north for 2 miles. The D&H from the Pennsylvania American Water Company Road, north will remain open for fishing access until May 21st.
Forest City Trailhead • Lat 41° 38'44.99"N, Long 75°27'46.11"W
Union Dale Trailhead • Lat 41°42'49.00"N, Long 75°29'32.05"W
The parallel O&W Rail-Trail is 8 miles long from Simpson to Stillwater Dam (Route 171). It is graded original railbed surface and rough in places, more suitable for mountain bikes. The O&W runs along the east side of the Upper Lackawanna River. The first two miles of the O&W starting in Simpson are used to access the improved the D&H. The O&W continues through Wayne County to Hancock, NY with sections under township and private ownership.
The Endless Mountains Trail, formerly known as the Bridgewater Riding Trail, is a 10-mile trail in the Montrose area. The Council is working to formalize easements on this trail. The trail is currently used by walkers and dog-walkers at the Montrose end behind the Pump-n-Pantry, Route 706.
The RTC has secured federal and state grants to acquire, design and construct the rail-trails. All grants require a match with cash and/or donated services and materials. The RTC is attempting to secure more grant funds for trailheads and amenities, interpretive signage, trail surface improvements and on-going trail maintenance.
Near future plans include D&H Rail-Trail improvements from Herrick to Ararat - about 8 miles and linkage to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail with improvements on the D&H from Vandling to Carbondale.
Membership dollars and donations will help the RTC to maximize the potential of these old railroad beds into scenic historic trails.