3 SUSQUEHANNA WARRIOR TRAIL Trail Length: 12.5 miles
If you’ve ever heard the song “Over the River & Through the Woods”, the Susquehanna Warrior Trail embodies it well. The trail starts outside Berwick in the Susquehanna Riverlands Park, and stretches along the banks of the Susquehanna River north to Canal Park in West Nanticoke. The trail follows the path of an old railroad bed, and going further back into history, an old Native American footpath. The Susquehanna Warrior Trail was constructed in 2007 and takes hikers through quiet stretches of woods, along sections of the river, and even past a drive-in movie theater! Wildlife is abundant along the trail, and hikers will have a reasonably good chance to see otters, blue herons, groundhogs, bald eagles, and more. The great thing about this trail is that it feels like you’re on an old-fashioned adventure the whole time. Set out on the trail in the morning with your picnic lunch and plenty to drink and you’ll be well on your way to a full day of quiet solitude. A good portion of the trail is shaded, and with the occasional river breeze, it makes for a great summer or early fall hike. The trail is open for hikers and bicyclists alike, and is mainly comprised of a finely crushed stone surface. Along the way, you will pass through the small village of Shickshinny. The trail enters Shickshinny Park and continues left onto East Butler Street, where it resumes down East Vine Street and across a small footbridge crossing Shickshinny Creek. If you need to grab a bite to eat or restock on your water supply, Shickshinny is your best bet. If you go: Parking for the southern trailhead is in the Susquehanna Riverlands Park along State Route 11. Parking for the northern trailhead in Hunlock Creek is directly adjacent to the Garden Drive-In; turn into the drive-in entrance and look for signs for the Susquehanna Warrior Trail. Plan for: A full day hike along the river; the trail is 12.5 miles one way, so a car parked at each trailhead might be a good idea.
Weiser State Forest – Roaring Creek Tract provides visitors the opportunity to experience a bit of Pennsylvania history while at the same time enjoying some quality trail time in the woods. Weiser State Forest is home to four historic miner trails from the 19th century that were recently restored to allow for present-day explorers to “walk in the footsteps” of miners from days past. In the 1800’s, coal mines were a main source of work for many Central Pennsylvania inhabitants, and the industry is a big part of the region’s history. At the time however, advanced road systems had not been invented. To get to work, miners in parts of today’s Columbia County would meet in the early hours of the morning and walk in groups up over the mountain on footpaths into the main production towns of Natalie and Wilburton. Each neighborhood had its own little meeting place in the morning – whether it was at someone’s house or just a tree on the edge of town. Eventually, with the invention of automobiles, a road system came into place. At the same time, as other industries rose and many of the coal mines slowly closed, these once vital paths for miners slowly disappeared into the obscurity of the forest. In 2004, the Roaring Creek and Catawissa Valley Historical Study Group was reviewing old maps of the area, and noticed the old abandoned miner trails. The group approached the Bureau of Forestry to seek permission to reestablish the trails and was granted authorization to do so. With the assistance of local scouts and other volunteers, the group worked diligently for many months to reestablish the trails. In 2005, the trails were completed and a night hike commemorated the project. A group of over 200 people gathered to hike the trails and feel what it was like to be one of the miners that hiked to work in the early morning darkness on those trails almost 200 years prior. If you go: Today, there are four historic trails that are open for visitors to explore. They are referred to as Natalie #1 East, Natalie #1 West, Natalie #2 and Old Natalie Road. Together, the four trails are approximately six miles in length. In total, Weiser State Forest – Roaring Creek Tract has around 40 miles of shared use trails for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. Plan for: 3-4 hours with potential for more depending on how much you’d like to explore. 2 Historic Weiser State Forest Miner Trails Trail Length: Approx. 6 Miles
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