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The Trolley Trail uses a former interurban line to link several communities north of Scranton. The trail comprises two disconnected sections that total 4.7 miles, although the nonprofit Countryside Conservancy plans to extend the trail in its mission to preserve distinctive natural features and create a recreational trail.
The route uses the right-of-way of the former Scranton, Montrose, and Binghamton Railroad, also known as the Northern Electric trolley line, which carried passengers between Scranton and Dalton, and later to Montrose, from 1907 to 1932. A spur line from Clarks Summit ran west to Lake Winola, where the railroad company built a dance pavilion and amusement park that subsequently closed.
The southern section of the trail begins in Clarks Summit and runs north 2.5 miles to Dalton. Northeast of Dalton, a 1.8-mile segment runs through the Keystone College campus from La Plume to Factoryville. Most of the trail is crushed stone or packed dirt. The two sections of trail are connected by a two-lane road that lacks shoulders or sidewalks for its entire length.
Beginning at US 6/US 11/Lackawanna Trail, the route passes rock outcrops before entering a densely wooded area for about a mile. Shortly thereafter, a left turn (off the original rail corridor) is required, which takes you on an earthen path leading to a small footbridge over Ackerly Creek. (Continuing straight takes you to a dead end at Arch Avenue.)
You’ll pass through an opening in a chain-link fence to rejoin the old rail corridor, now with a crushed-stone surface (note the Abington Little League ball fields to your left), which detours right and then left around a missing bridge to cross Ackerly Road. Just after Ackerly Road, you can head right to a trailhead on South Waterford Road, or left and then right in quick succession back toward the rail corridor.
Here, the trail passes through a field for 0.5 mile to the Waverly Road crossing, where you’ll ride on Pine Tree Drive for 0.2 mile. The trail then crosses Church Hill Road and passes through a parking lot before reentering wooded environs. A stretch of boardwalk carries you over wetlands before the path ends at South Turnpike Road in Dalton.
A newer segment starts on State Route 4016 in La Plume, just west of College Road. You’ll note a similar surface on this stretch, as a well as familiar wooded surroundings. Developed collaboratively with Keystone College, a private four-year institution, the trail winds through the college campus and offers access to hiking trails and the college’s athletic fields. The trail ends in the borough of Factoryville, where you can find snacks or a meal.
To reach the southern endpoint in Clarks Summit from I-81, take Exit 194 for US 6 W/US 11 toward Clarks Summit. Merge onto I-476 N, and immediately take the US 11 N/US 6 W/SR 407 N exit toward Binghamton/Towanda/Clarks Summit. Merge onto US 11 N/US 6 W, and immediately exit right onto SR 407 N/S. Abington Road. Go 1.3 miles, and take a slight left onto Glenburn Road. Go 1.2 miles, and turn left onto Oakford Road. Go 0.2 mile, and continue onto Ackerly Road/SR 4010. Go 0.3 mile, and turn right onto Waterford Road; then go 240 feet and turn left into the parking lot. To reach the southern endpoint, turn left from the trailhead, and head south about 1.1 miles.
To reach the northern trailhead in Factoryville from I-81, take Exit 194 toward US 6 W/US 11 toward Clarks Summit. Merge onto I-476 N, and immediately take the US 11 N/US 6 W/SR 407 N exit toward Binghamton/Towanda/Clarks Summit. Merge onto US 11 N/US 6 W, and go 8.3 miles. Turn left onto SR 1035, and go about 0.1 mile. Turn right onto College Ave., and go 0.2 mile. Turn left onto SR 2033, and go about 300 feet. Turn left onto Riverside Dr./SR 2033, and look for parking on the right in 220 feet.
I am new to biking and feel this trail is an excellent trail to start training on. There is a subtle, but overall challenging incline in both directions (heading towards Glenburn or heading towards Clarks Summit). The trail is clean cut and wide. I love the greenery, seeing a train pass on the tracks along the trail, and the safe cross walks when you have to cross a street.
Nice clean and easy trail. Nice history signage. Good combo of shade and sun. Nothing spectacular, but still very nice.
The parking lot and trail head is now open. The section north from there is very nice with a good packed gravel surface. The are nice information and mileage signs. Clearly this trail is being well maintained.
The section from the trail head south starts off with some very steep hills with a dirt surface. All but serious mountain bikers will have to walk the first 1/4 mile or so.
It would be great to see this trail extended.
Trail is scenic and modern. It could be much better if there were more trail heads with parking.
Loved it. Beautiful trail. Thank you.
This was my first visit to the trolley trail and I loved it. Looking forward to it's expansion near my home. I will be walking there much more in the near future.
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