Our new trail: What a great investment!

Investment and support of the new Bald Eagle Valley Mountain Trail Castanea and Wayne Townships is worthy of great applause.

Congratulations to the Clinton County Commissioners for spearheading this community initiative.

County Planner Katie deSilva hit the nail on the head — or should we say gave everybody a kick in the rear — when she said this at last week’s formal trail opening ceremony:

“… the biggest impact is on community health … getting people off of their butts, up walking and moving around,” she said.

The economic benefits also cannot be overlooked.

This project helps to reinforce our area as a mecca for outdoor recreation.

Two sections of the 11.5-mile bicycle/pedestrian trail are open for public use.

The western end is at the historic train station in Castanea Township, where the Clinton County Historical Society operates a visitors center and caboose rental for overnight stays.

The other opened sections is along the river just north of McElhattan in Wayne Township.

More work needs done, including rehabilitation of the abandoned railroad bridge that crosses the West Branch of the Susquehanna River on the east side of the Wayne Township Landfill.

We cannot wait to cross that bridge once completed … to stop in the middle and take in the breathtaking view of the entire valley.

It will simply be a stunning scene for all hikers and bicyclists.

The commissioners have found a way to invest in the trail using mostly grant funds, with little taxpayer money used.

Way to go!

The trail, when finished, will traverse a former railroad bed, abandoned township roads and active farm and township roads.

The ultimate goal, according to the county planning office, is to connect with neighboring Lycoming County and the Jersey Shore trailhead of the Pine Creek Rail Trail.

Think if of it: Perhaps in just a few years you can begin a trek in Castanea and make your way up the Pine Creek Rail Trail to near Wellsboro.

Municipal cooperation has been and will continue to be integral to making this dream a reality.

We applaud all municipal and state officials who help to make this happen.

We look forward to further development of the trail to the “trail head” of the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Jersey Shore.