Lackawanna River Heritage Trail


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Lackawanna River Heritage Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Wayne
Length: 17.9 miles
Trail end points: Depot Street (Taylor) and D&H Rail Trail (Carbondale)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6016987

Lackawanna River Heritage Trail Description

The multi-use Lackawanna River Heritage Trail (LRHT) follows Pennsylvania's Lackawanna River and, when complete, will be more than 70 miles. The trail begins at the confluence of the Lackawanna and Susquehanna rivers in Pittston, southwest of Scranton. The LRHT heads north to meet the Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Rail-Trail in Simpson. The two trails continue together to Union Dale. From Union Dale north, the D&H Rail-Trail carries on north to the New York State border.

The trail is not yet a continuous corridor, and the segments are broken down as follows, south to north:

  • Scranton Section: Taylor (Depot Street) to Scranton (Dean Street): 6.1 miles. This segment is a mix of levees, unimproved trail, and the new Scranton Riverwalk. The Depot Street trailhead is only accessible through the Norfolk Southern train yard with heavy truck traffic and active train crossings. Parking is limited and walking to the trailhead through the train yard without high visibility clothing is not recommended. 
  • Mid Valley Section: Olyphant (Condella Park) to Carbondale Township (Meredith Street): 8.5 miles. This segment is a mix of rail-trail and on-road sections, such as the Mid-Valley Ontario and Western Railroad Trail (O&W Trail).
  • Carbondale Section: 3.25 miles. This segment is improved rail-trail that begins between Enterprise Drive and the Lackawanna River (north of Dundaff Street) and continues north to a connection with the D&H Rail Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Scranton Access

  • Dean Street trailhead on Dean Street in the Plot neighborhood, one block off of North Main Avenue. Entrance across from Heermans Avenue. No parking.
  • East Market Street trailhead by the bridge on East Market Street, one block south of N. Main Avenue at Providence Square. No parking.
  • Olive Street trailhead on Olive Street between 7th Avenue and Gordon Avenue across from the Ice Box Sports Complex. Parking available at the Ice Box.
  • 7th Avenue trailhead across from gas station and self-storage units on 7th Avenue two blocks southwest of Lackawanna Avenue. Parking available.
  • Broadway Street trailhead in the South Side Sports Complex on Broadway Street between 3rd Avenue and South Washington Avenue. Parking available.
  • Elm Street trailhead on E. Elm Street one block north of the South Side Shopping Center on South Washington Avenue. No parking.
  • Depot Street trailhead at the end of Depot Street, off the 200 block of N. Main Street, two blocks NE of Davis Street. Depot Street crosses Taylor Railroad Yards. Use caution. Parking available.

Olyphant–Archbald Access

  • Laurel Street trailhead at the south end of Laurel Street near David Maslyar Park in Archbald. Parking available.
  • River Street trailhead at the end of River Street in Jessup. No parking.
  • Railroad Street trailhead on Railroad Street in Jessup, at the intersection of Railroad and Winton Roads. Parking available.
  • Decker's Bridge trailhead on the 200 block of Main Avenue in Blakely at the intersection of Bridge Street and Main Avenue. No parking.
  • Depot Street trailhead across from Mid-Valley Plumbing on Depot Street in Blakely at the intersection of Bridge and River Streets. Parking available.

Carbondale–Mayfield Access

  • Meredith Street trailhead on Meredith Street between Business Route 6 and the Gov. Robert P. Casey Highway/US Route 6 (Exit 6). Parking available.

Lackawanna River Heritage Trail Reviews

not worth the trip

Trail heads were hard to find, parking areas hard to find or not safe looking.


The asphalt part was great, but not long enough. I was on the Scranton part of the trail near the university of Scranton ball field. Very pretty along the river. I did not feel safe or comfortable on the dirt/grass pathways. Definitely would need a buddy to travel further. Pathways weren’t well marked. I followed one path that ended with a no trespassing sign. It’s not a bike trail I would go back to - not worth the effort.

Love it but needs benches

I saw someone else doing a review and she was absolutely right it does need benches.

love it.

I know a lot of people that are using this for biking don’t like how it is broken up but for walking the shorter ones are easier it kind of makes you feel accomplished.


Mostly pleasant

The paved parts were nice, we felt safe, and there was plenty of history to look at but only 4 miles is bikeable, after that it just goes off into swamp. The other end near the high school just turns into a dirt trail. The lack of signs and arrows was a little problematic, had to backtrack twice. Plenty of portojons so that was nice.

not worth it

If you are looking for a well marked, continuous trail this is not the trail for you. Parts of the trail actually run parallel to the river. Unfortunately this is only a minor part of the trail. For the rest of the trail you will spend much time being frustrated by the lack of conspicuous signage. Not with it unless you are desperate.


Just recently biked the Jermyn to Mellow Park section of the trail. It was beautiful and well maintained. Only issue was PARKING at Jermyn trailhead. I don't know where there would have been alternate parking nearby since the few assigned spaces were taken ( including some spots through the gate along the side of trail) (???) I parked, probably illegally, on the road adjacent to parking area.

Depot St access closed

According to sign at Elm St, Depot St access is closed for construction.

Great for my family

My sons (ages 8 and 7) & I really enjoyed biking this trail. We parked and started at the Olive Street trailhead and went south to Elm Street, then back up to Poplar Street, where we had a great riverside snack at Sweeney's Beach, and then rode back to our car. Highly recommend. My youngest had to walk a few times uphill, but otherwise, great riding for our skill levels. Highly recommend. And thanks to the many, many people who've obviously worked hard to bring this amenity to the public.

Great Trail!

Perfect trail


Nice trail, well maintained.

no directions

It was fine to a certain point, with no signs I sort of just rode around until I decided I would most likely get lost since I didn’t take my phone

Needs benches

I love walking my dog on the trail in Jermyn, PA but I wish there were benches along the way. The dog likes to rest and so do I.


Trail very nice...surprised that test facilities are available. But access to get to the trail is horrible. No signs and also signs are posted "PRIVATE PROPERTY - NO TRESPASSING." No parking is available due to all the heavy duty machine parked there instead. Taylor has a trail but it does not allow access. What are we taxpayers paying for?

Trail system needs organization

Trail is very nice in Scranton but things are poorly marked. maps are limited and it seems there is no overall plan or management to show people where to park and where trail goes. At Olive street going north no signs to show how to stay on the trail. Sure love riding and walking it and would make more use of more of it if there was better info.

Very poorly marked

My husband and I love this trail through Scranton, but the signage and mile markings are awful. the mile marker will reference a particular location, but then when you reach that location there is nothing to identify it. The mile markers are inconsistent, so it's practically impossible to get a clear idea of how far you've traveled. I think it would be greatly improved if when it states a location as being 2 miles in a direction, if the location was marked as well, and you can't just put mile markers willy nilly where you feel like it and then just stop.

What trail?

Tried to access the trail via Enterprise Drive in Simpson today heading north. The trail was a mess and there were signs saying Danger - Herbicides in use. It was not clear if/where sections were closed. Finally we gave up. Driving a mile or so north, there was another sign saying the trail was closed due to the construction of a pipeline.

It is hard to tell what is going on. I did not try going south, but that section looked closed also.

I would avoid this section unless you can confirm something is changed.

Great All Season Trail

My fiancée and I travel the trail on an average of 2x a week. We go from the Jermyn Trail head down to to just before Taylor and back. We always enjoy every opportunity we get to be out on the trail and also cherish the bald eagle sightings along the river.

Confusing Trail - Not sure what to say

I'm not sure where to start with this review. We rode the Mid Valley section of the trail. At the outset, the information and maps on aren't very helpful. We attempted to start in Dickson City but couldn't find Bernard Seminski Park. What we realized when we got to that area is the "trail" is on the road at that point. We then drove to the Depot St. Trailhead, which is located in Peckville. If you map yourself to Mid Valley Plumbing Supply at 601 River St., the parking lot is right across the street. This paved part of the trail is heavily used by runners. Less than 2 miles in, we reached a road (Church St.) where the trail just ended with no signage indicating where to go. At this point, turn right and curve left along the river. The trail picks up in about a quarter-mile. Along the next segment of the trail, at the Laurel St. trailhead, there are an observation deck built over the river and coal mining ruins. When you arrive at the end of the trail in Jermyn (FYI - birthplace of first aid) at Delaware St., take a left then right onto Cemetery Rd., bear right at Plank Rd, pass most of the cemetery. Keep an eye on the right for a cul-de-sac of crushed stone trail in the trees. There are no markings whatsoever. This small segment of the trail leads to the Mayfield parking lot. This is where we decided to go back. On the way back, we stayed mostly on the road and took a detour to Archibald Pothole State Park on Business Rte. 6 West. It's a huge pothole, formed from a glacier, when a coal miner blasted the rock in 1884. It's worth the detour. Overall, both the on trail and on road sections of this trail make for a great ride. More clear signage would make it more enjoyable and require less stopping to see where you are. should make its maps clearer with a key so riders know when they're on the trail and when they aren't.

great ride!

Great ride with the exceptions of the breaks in the trail.

very nice walk

We attended the Family Day on this trail. We walked from the Depot Street Trailhead past the amphitheater and another mile or so. The event was fun and the trail easily traversed. The directions, however, say Depot St. is off S Main St. in Taylor. It is actually off N. Main Street. The street sign is almost unreadable. A young woman was able to give us directions when we stopped for gas, after looking around for some time. Depot St. is on the right across from an Italian restaurant coming from Old Forge into Taylor. It is a rough parking lot right among the rail yard. There are no signs at all about the trail, so we were somewhat wary until some others came along to confirm we were in the right place. Also, the trail was described as crushed stone, but was actually macadam. We have never found the trailhead in Pittston, and wonder why the markings aren't more obvious. After working so hard to make the trail nice, a sign would be a great help in actually finding it.

Lackawanna River, not Lehigh River

While I agree with lzielen's assessment of the trail so far, it follows the Lackawanna River.

Looking forward to the additions, connections, and completion of this trail. Recently began walking, and this is a wonderful trail. Scranton is really a lot more beautiful than people realize. Just takes a small effort to find the beauty.

updates as of 4/9/14

trail has improved tons! here is my slide show video of some of the improvements to the section of the trail that starts in taylor and comtinues to elm st Scranton.

Elm St to Taylor

The Elm St to Taylor is under construction as we speak. But the first 2 miles in from Elm St is prepped for paving and in my opinion it is awesome to bike on.No puddles on the first 2 miles.The rest of the trail from Elm to Market st. on the levee is also a great ride although I have a full suspension bike.It can be bumpy in spots. I live only a few blocks away and peddle out my front door and can log 10 miles no problem,without becoming "roadkill" due to riding on the city streets.The scenery in my opinion is also great,most of the time you can see the river the whole trail.

Started at the Canadian Pacific Railway yard in Taylor, Pa. Entrance is Depot Street off of N Main street in Taylor. Careful crossing the railroad tracks. Entrance to the trail is to the left after going down the hill from the tracks. First hundred yards or so is black culm but then the trail has been improved. The entire stretch from Taylor Yard to Elm St in Scranton has been widened to about 10 feet and graded. At the end of August, 2012, crews were in the process of installing a gravel roadbed. Starting at the end of the culm stretch by Taylor yard, the trail is gravel for about half a mile. Work is in process so the trail should be gravel all the way to Elm street soon. The section that has been graded is hardened earth. Smooth and easy travel. From Elm street north, the trail is a combination of paved blacktop and gravel to Olive street behind the Scranton High School complex. This entire stretch is mostly shaded in mid afternoon with a few sections of sunlight. After Olive street, the trail moves onto the Lehigh River levee system. Here it is mostly hardened earth with a short stretch of gravel. The section on top of the levies is bumpy. The grade of the entire trail feels nearly level although I believe it is uphill heading north. There are a few street crossings, although the Scranton Riverwalk section goes under the bridges that were built over the railroad tracks. None of the streets that the trail crossed had heavy traffic. The trail follows the Lehigh River for this entire segment offering many scenic views although in some area the river is a few dozen feet below the trail but visible looking through the trees. The South Side Sports Complex entrance at Broadway and 3Rd street in Scranton is a nice starting point. This location is a baseball field complex and parking is available. The trail is adjacent to the parking lot. It is at about the midpoint of the section I travelled. You can travese the trail north or south from here. (Or do both).

Messy but fun

I was hoping that the trail had been cleaned up since the first review was posted on here back in 2009. It hasn't. I started at the downtown Scranton parking area, for a ways the path is perfect - hiking, walking, biking, anything - very well maintained. But after that initial section, the majority of the trail is a mess. It hasn't rained here in days, but still, there are LARGE water puddles, lots of mud, branches in the way, rocks everywhere.

If you don't mind getting muddy its a fun trip. I will do it again, didn't get to go the full length of the trail, ran out of time.

The Trail from Elm Street in South Scranton, to Depot St in Taylor

When you first enter the trail it appears that it is a well taken care of trail, Ahh but were we wrong. After pedaling for maybe 100ft, the trail started to get really woody, meaning there was nothing to look at you really could not see the river anymore, The trail itself was very rocky and muddy, throughout the ride we expierenced large puddle about 10-12 ft across and stagnant, if the rail were taken care of I truely think it would be a very nice ride, but on a hot summer day, those puddles would be smelly and well frankly a sea of mosquitos. The trail ended at a old train trestle and then on to a cinder based road, we road up to the Davis Street Bridge. Don't get me wrong the trail was a challenge , but unlike any rails for trails ride I have ever been on!

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