BY PAUL GOLIAS
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Susquehanna Warrior Trail Council has been active this spring in maintaining and improving the trail.
The trail, like others in the region, is a source of comfort for those seeking a temporary respite from the stay-at-home regime that is part of the Pennsylvania virus containment policy.
Now, a walk or bike ride on the Susquehanna Warrior Trail is a trip through history. The kiosks at the trail heads have been updated so that two panels, one on each side of the kiosk, provide administrative information and historical information on the surrounding area or local wildlife details.
Lance Kittelson, council president, said volunteers Nancy Dennis and Bonnie Shane crafted the panels with the help of local historical societies and local historians.
For example, the kiosk at the Hunlock Gardens trail head, pictured, has information on the Garden Drive-In, the Hunlock Creek railroad station and other areas of interest, with one or two paragraph explanations.
Kittelson said everyone is invited “to stop and check out this interesting information. We also invite anyone who is interested in history to put together a two or three paragraph explanation of a historic location or maybe a happening along the trail or Susquehanna River/Route 11 adjacent to the trail. Pictures are always welcome.”
Material can be sent to Kittelson at firstname.lastname@example.org for posting on the Susquehanna Warrior Trail Facebook page. Kittelson also is seeking someone to lead or help administer this project.
The Susquehanna Warrior Trail parallels the North Branch of the Pennsylvania Canal System from the Riverlands trail head south of Shickshinny to the Canal Park trail head in West Nanticoke, Plymouth Twp. Anthracite coal was mined in towns along the trail and the barges carried the coal down the Susquehanna River.
“Where was a canal basin located and what is on the location now? What coal breakers were in sight of the trail and where were they? What former amusement park was along the trail?” Kittelson asked.
Kittelson said the trail could end up being a walking tour, with a digital and/or paper guide. Individual contributors of trail history could be given credit for their work, he said.
A few years ago, a Boy Scout installed two historical pictures along the trail, one near the SCI Retreat access road and the other at the Shickshinny trail head.
Meanwhile, trail volunteers have removed fallen trees and have attacked the multi-flora rose that has infested large sections along the trail. The council is asking hikers to “help protect others and yourself’’ by using hand trimmers to cut back the multi-flora rose.
“When you encounter a rose shoot extending over the trail, trim it back and continue your walk. It’s as simple as that,” Kittelson said.