D&H Rail Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Gravity Railroad conducted a 3-mile test of the first steam locomotive in the U.S. in August 1829, which ran from the towns of Honesdale to Seeleyville, Pennsylvania, and discovered that the train was too heavy for the track. By 1830, the D&H Railroad's 17 miles of track constituted the vast majority of total railroad tracks in the U.S. at the time—just 23 miles!

From these small beginnings, the D&H became a successful mining and railroad company, shipping anthracite coal and lumber from the Lackawanna Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania to the East Coast of the U.S. and to Canada. As the supply of coal and lumber were depleted from the area, the need for the railroad diminished, and the rail-trail came into being.

As the trail is comprised of cinder, original ballast and hard-packed dirt, you need a hybrid or mountain bike to comfortably ride this intermittently rugged trail. There are a few short sections with large chunks of ballast and steep inclines where you may need to walk your bike.

The trail parallels the Lackawanna River for several miles, offering scenic vistas of the river and several small lakes. Some areas of the trail are tree lined, but some are out in the open—wear sunscreen. The first 8 miles of the southern end of the D&H Rail Trail parallels the O&W Trail (Simpson to Stillwater dam area). Due to right-of-way issues and unimproved bridges, the first 2 miles of the D&H are actually closed; trail users will need to start in Simpson on the O&W Trail instead. When you reach a sign indicating that you can cross over to the D&H, do so (to the west).

From Simpson to Ararat, you'll be pedaling constantly because of the slight incline in the trail. But from Ararat to Stevens Point, you'll have a much easier ride because the trail's grade is at a slight decline. In Thompson, take a break at the homemade ice cream shop right alongside the trail before continuing on to the New York State border.

Note, from where you cross over the Lackawanna River from the O&W to the D&H (about 10 miles), the trail is improved with a stone dust surface all the way to Herrick Center (SR 374). From Herrick Center, cyclists will need a mountain bike to get through to the New York border because the trail can be rough in places.

Parking and Trail Access

To access the trail from Simpson, take I-81 to Exit 185, then Route 6 to Carbondale. After the town of Carbondale, turn left onto Route 171. Continue 1 mile and park on the right side of the viaduct, next to the military tank. Follow the O&W Trail for 2 miles, where it accesses the D&H to the west.

In Forest City parking is in Forest City Industrial Park off of Commerce Boulevard. There is a large trailhead, ample parking and a port-a-john. From Forest City, the improved trail is 2 miles south and 8 miles north.

The Union Dale trailhead is on South Main Avenue at the intersection with Skyline Drive.

Reviews

nice smooth ride

   July, 2014 by nicksdad

WE STARTED OFF IN FOREST CITY WHICH HAD A LARGE LOT WITH A NICE WOOD SIGN IN FRONT OF IT.THERE WERE 6 OF US IN OUR GROUP SOME EXPERIENCED RIDERS AND SOME FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 12 YRS OR MORE, NOBODY HAD ANY PROBLEMS, TRAIL WAS A SLIGHT UPGRADE TO OUR ...read more

14 mile ride from simpson to game lands 236

   July, 2014 by jeffwhitesr

found the trail improved in quite a few spots. not a problem to ride on. no issues,seen quite a lot of wold life,deer,chipmunks,crows,redtail hawk and rabbits.lots of blueberries along the way.trail is in good shape along the way,lots of improvements ...read more

5 kids 2 to 10

   June, 2014 by wes1d

We rode the this trail from forest city to union dale. 4,7,9,10 year old all riding 2 wheelers no training wheels and it was great. From forest city to union dale was all uphill and a little tough but the ride back was worth it. Totaled 14 miles. Great ...read more