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Pennsylvania Trail of the Year

Pennsylvania is a leader in trail development, providing its citizens and visitors with more than 11,000 miles of trails across the commonwealth to enjoy, from gentle pathways threading through miles of preserved greenways, to remote, rugged trails scaling the state’s magnificent mountains. 

Each year, the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee designates a Trail of the Year to help build enthusiasm and support for both large and small trails, and raise public awareness about the value of Pennsylvania’s trail network.

In honor of the achievement, the committee and DCNR produce a poster for statewide distribution and plan a public celebration for the recognized trail.

2021 Trail of the Year: Delaware & Hudson Rail-Trail (D & H Rail-Trail)

 Two people ride bikes over a wooden bridge in the woods.

The 38-mile long D & H Rail-Trail extends through Lackawanna, Susquehanna, and Wayne counties and traces the former corridor of the Delaware & Hudson Railway, which primarily carried anthracite coal out of the Lackawanna Valley during the second half of the 19th century.

The trail welcomes motorized and non-motorized users, including walkers, bikers, equestrians, as well as snowmobilers.

The trail is situated in the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Heritage Region, the Endless Mountains Heritage Region, and the Pocono Forest and Waters Conservation Landscape.

People snomobile down a snow covered trail passed an open gate.

The D & H Rail-Trail is managed by the Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania who sought funding to help purchase the old railroad corridor for use as a rail trail..

Founded in 1991, the Council organizes and completes trail cleanups and seeks to enhance the quality of life for the people who live, work, and visit the Endless Mountains Region of Northeast Pennsylvania.

The trail was nominated by the Endless Mountains Heritage Region.

Additional information is available in the 2021 Trail of the Year Press Release.

2022 Trail of the Year

Do you know of a trail that provides unique opportunities, encourages and celebrates diverse user groups or simply enhances your community? Nominate it for the Pennsylvania Trail of the Year!

The Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee is currently accepting nominations for the 2022 Trail of the Year until Friday, November 12, 2021.

To submit a nomination, please fill out the 2022 Trail of the Year Nomination Form and provide the required supporting materials.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Trail must be at least one mile in length and open to the public
  • The entirety of the trail should be included in the nomination. Generally, individual sections or portions of a larger trail system will not be considered.

The Trail of the Year will be announced in January 2022 and will be recognized by:

  • News release by DCNR and the Trails Advisory Committee
  • Commemorative poster for statewide distribution
  • Trailhead marker
  • Promotion on ExplorePAtrails and the DCNR website
  • Grant for educational projects, specifically, those promoting safety and environmental protection on the trail.