Celebrating the opening of the 6.5-mile D&H Rail Trail segment between Ararat and Herrick townships in Susquehanna County on Thursday were (from left) DCED northeast regional director Paul Macknosky, Susquehanna County Commissioner Mary Ann Warren, Endless Mountains Heritage Region director Cain Chamberlin, Commissioner Alan Hall, PA Rail-Trails director Lynn Conrad, Commissioner Betsy Arnold, Rep. Jonathan Fritz, DCNR regional liaison Chrissy Dettore, PennDot District 4 representative April Hannon, Herrick Township supervisor Elliot Ross, and Rail-Trail board member Kirk Newsom.
Photos by Vanessa Billings-Seiler and Jon C. Burdick
A new section of the D&H Rail-Trail from Herrick to Ararat opened on Oct. 18 is 6.5 miles long and connects to the 10-mile improved section from Forest City to the north. South of Forest City is another trail improvement project that when completed by mid-end November will result in 20 miles of improved trail from Carbondale in Lackawanna County to Ararat Township in Susquehanna County.
“This section is very rural, passing farms, fields and forests, as well as three lakes,” PA Rail-Trails director Lynn Conrad related “Ararat is the highest elevation of the D&H Railroad, so the grade is a steady up, but back is almost like coasting! Ask any railroad buff about the D&H, and Ararat will be brought up. It took a lot of engine power to pull and push heavy coal cars up and over Ararat. Pusher engines turned around at the Ararat Wye.”
There was also a trail station here in Ararat but, unfortunately, there are no remains.