The great maintenance by the DCNR and it’s affiliated agencies are doing a magnificent job with the upkeep of this new rail trail. This segment of the D & L Trail extends from White Haven to Mountain Top and is locally known as the Black Diamond Trail. The crushed stone trail offers terrific scenery, showcasing Pennsylvania’s forested hills, secluded natural areas, wildlife and pleasant communities.
Maintenance is the key to keeping this beautiful corridor enjoyable for years to come. We owe it to ourselves as our tax dollars payed for it. The project construction cost of $1,150,000 was funded by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Enhancement and additionally, $250,000 in funding for design and engineering costs was provided by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources through a Community Conservation Partnership Program grant.
The Black Diamond trailhead is about 8 miles north of the Route 940 intersection in White Haven. A maroon D&L entrance sign points the way to the parking lot. The parking lot and trailhead are ADA accessible.
This new section of trail extends a large section of trail ten miles closer towards it ultimate destination at the River Commons in Wilkes-Barre. There is a still an incomplete section between Glen Summit and Penobscot Mountain.
Under the current conditions, here’s how you would visit the new section by traveling northward from White Haven, PA:
Start at the White Haven North Access Trailhead at the northern end of Main Street in White Haven. Park in the new parking lot and begin biking on the rails-to-trails roadbed. After a mile and a half, the trail ends at Middleburg Road, where a future pedestrian crossing is planned.
Turn left (west) and carefully walk or ride several hundred feet along Middleburg Road to an entrance gate to the Black Diamond section of the D&L Trail on right.
The trail passes over the “Recycled Bridge,” which was installed during the first Phase of the project in 2008, over the active Reading and Northern rail lines and crosses a farm land access road along this early stretch. Users will pass secluded ponds and bogs, wildlife, and towering trees.
The trail continues up to Moosehead Lake, a stretch that passes through State Game Lands and Bureau of Forestry property. There is a partnership between both State Game Commission and Bureau of Forestry for maintenance and patrolling of the trail. Moosehead Lake, now a ghost town was once home to Pennsylvania politician and United States Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer.
After passing Moosehead Lake, the trail continues another four miles to the Black Diamond Trailhead and Connector Trail along Route 437, just south of Glen Summit. The D&L Trail follows the abandoned Lehigh Valley right-of-way for a total of 10 miles to the new Black Diamond Trailhead and Connector Trail along Route 437.
“The Black Diamond Trailhead and Connector Trail is our first trail project in Luzerne County,” said Scott Everett, Stewardship and Trails Manager for the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. ”
Future plans call for continuing the D & L Trail north from Mountain Top to the Seven Tubs Nature Area east of Wilkes-Barre and eventually get the D&L Trail to the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre.”
This section of the Delaware and Lehigh (D & L) National Heritage Corridor is completely open, but there is a short gap in the trail at Glen Summit pending private property access. Trail users are advised to use the Black Diamond Trailhead to access the trail south of Glen Summit and the Mountaintop Trailhead to access the trail north of Glen Summit.
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