Moscow Borough receives $4,000 grant from PA Environmental Council

A multi-use recreational trail in the North Pocono area is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to a $4,000 grant recently awarded to Moscow Borough by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Once the three mile long trail is surveyed, it will be open for public use.

North Pocono Trails Association president Debbie Bertha said, “As soon as we have the agreements in place with Pennsylvania American Water and DCNR (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) the surveying can begin. We are currently reviewing estimates from surveyors.”
Bertha predicts that the surveying, which will be conducted to ensure that trail users remain on land that allows public access, will take place this spring or summer.

The new trail will be called the Roaring Brook Trail. An existing parking area maintained and owned by Pennsylvania American Water on Yedinak Lane in Roaring Brook Twp. will be the first access point for the trail. The pathway follows an old logging road from the parking area through Pennsylvania American Water property until it crosses into land owned by DCNR along Roaring Brook in Madison Twp. The trail will terminate near the Moscow sewage treatment plant.

“Hopefully there will be two trailheads, one at either end of this connector trail,” said Bertha in reference to the Roaring Brook Trail.
Because the Roaring Brook Trail follows the route of a disused logging road, neither upgrades to the surface of the trail nor trail markers will be necessary. In keeping with the rustic character of the trail and the terrain it passes through, even a creek crossing at Kellum Creek will remain as natural as possible.

“There are no plans for bridging or pipes. These crossings are over rocks already there. This is a natural trail setting, not like a rails to trails type,” explained Bertha.

The path, which wends its way through a typical northeastern Pennsylvania hardwood forest, will be suitable for hiking, mountain biking, and cross country skiing.

Bertha remarked, “We have an extraordinary landscape in the North Pocono area and we are not looking to make any big changes at this time. Although in the future, as more residents and visitors are utilizing the trails, and if funding is available, we may consider items like signage, [improved] parking, and benches.”

The North Pocono Trails Association has agreed to manage and maintain the trail, and once everything is in place will be seeking support and volunteers from the community to help keep the trail experience an enjoyable one for all users.

The NPTA was founded in 2009 by North Pocono resident Bruce Parola and a group of outdoor enthusiasts who had grown weary of driving to other communities to access trails. Members of the group believe that the North Pocono region is an ideal location for recreational trails because of the natural beauty of the landscape, the number of businesses that would benefit from increased customers due to trail usage, and the enthusiasm and interest of many North Pocono residents who are willing to take an active role in contributing their time and talent to creating a trail system.

Members of the NPTA and officials from the communities of the North Pocono region hope to see the creation of a system of trails over the next several years. Ideally these trails would be connected to one another, and would also be connected to larger existing trail systems in the Lackawanna Heritage Valley and in Gouldsboro and Tobyhanna State Parks.

Bertha said, “Eventually this trail will connect to the Lackawanna Heritage Valley’s proposed trail on the former Erie rail bed through Roaring Brook and Elmhurst. We also hope to connect to the new Covington Park and Moffat Estate where there will be numerous points to start and finish on the trails.”

Officers in the NPTA are Debbie Bertha (president), Stephanie Milewski (vice president), Aaron Pickarski (treasurer), and Laura Wojnar (secretary). The NPTA will hold a public meeting on at 7 p.m. on May 8 in the community room of the North Pocono Public Library for all who are interested in learning more about the NPTA and the new Roaring Brook Trail. For more information, visit North Pocono Trails Association on Facebook.