Luzerne County Rail-Trail In Pennsylvania

Here is everything you need to know about the Luzerne County Rail-Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Length: 13 miles.
  • Type: Biking.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Luzerne County Rail-Trail Council
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Luzerne County Rail-Trail holds a significant place in the history of northeastern Pennsylvania. The trail follows the path of the former Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Railroad, which played a crucial role in the region’s industrial development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The D&H Railroad was established in 1823 to transport anthracite coal from the mines of northeastern Pennsylvania to markets in New York and beyond.

The rail-trail’s history can be traced back to the heyday of the coal industry in the late 19th century. As demand for coal grew, the D&H Railroad expanded its network of tracks, connecting the coal-rich areas of Luzerne County with major cities and ports. The rail line became a lifeline for the region, facilitating the transportation of coal, as well as other goods and passengers.

During this period, the D&H Railroad played a crucial role in fueling the Industrial Revolution in the United States. The coal transported along the rail line powered factories, steamships, and locomotives, contributing to the nation’s economic growth. The rail line also brought prosperity to the communities along its route, as new towns and settlements sprouted up to support the coal industry.

However, with the decline of the coal industry in the mid-20th century, the D&H Railroad faced challenges. As demand for coal decreased, the rail line became less profitable, leading to its eventual closure in the 1970s. Recognizing the historical significance of the rail line and the potential for recreational use, Luzerne County acquired the right-of-way in the 1990s and began converting it into a rail-trail.

Today, the Luzerne County Rail-Trail stands as a testament to the region’s industrial past. It offers a unique opportunity for visitors to explore the area’s history while enjoying the natural beauty of northeastern Pennsylvania. The trail provides a glimpse into the once-thriving coal industry and the vital role that rail transportation played in shaping the region.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. White Haven Trailhead: Located in White Haven, this trailhead is the starting point of the Luzerne County Rail-Trail. It offers parking facilities and restrooms.

2. Rockport Trailhead: Situated in Rockport, this access point provides parking facilities and access to the trail. It is a popular spot for picnicking and fishing.

3. Glen Summit Trailhead: Located in Glen Summit, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the trail. It is known for its scenic views and is a great spot for hiking and birdwatching.

4. Mountain Top Trailhead: Situated in Mountain Top, this access point provides parking facilities and access to the trail. It is a popular spot for walking, jogging, and biking.

5. Dorrance Trailhead: Located in Dorrance, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the trail. It is a great spot for nature walks and wildlife observation.

6. Rice Township Trailhead: Situated in Rice Township, this access point provides parking facilities and access to the trail. It is known for its peaceful surroundings and is a popular spot for walking and biking.

7. Nuangola Trailhead: Located in Nuangola, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the trail. It is a great spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

8. Wright Township Trailhead: Situated in Wright Township, this access point provides parking facilities and access to the trail. It is known for its beautiful scenery and is a popular spot for walking and jogging.

9. Luzerne Trailhead: Located in Luzerne, this trailhead offers parking facilities and access to the trail. It is a great spot for outdoor recreation and is often used for walking, jogging, and biking.

10. Pittston Trailhead: Situated in Pittston, this access point provides parking facilities and access to the trail. It is known for its historical significance and is a popular spot for walking, jogging, and biking.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Luzerne County Rail-Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Luzerne County Transportation Authority – Public bus service covering Luzerne County.
2. Uber – On-demand ride-hailing service.
3. Lyft – On-demand ride-hailing service.
4. Taxi Services – Local taxi companies providing transportation services.
5. Car Rental Agencies – Various car rental companies offering rental vehicles.
6. Bike Rentals – Local shops providing bike rentals for trail exploration.
7. Walking – The trail is accessible by foot for those who prefer walking.


The amenities available at the Luzerne County Rail-Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas at various access points along the trail for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The trail does not have designated camping sites, but there may be nearby campgrounds or parks where camping is allowed.

4. Picnic Areas: There are picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables or benches for seating.

5. Benches: There are benches placed at regular intervals along the trail for visitors to rest and take in the surroundings.

6. Water Fountains: There may be water fountains available along the trail for visitors to stay hydrated.

7. Bike Racks: Bike racks are provided at certain points along the trail for visitors to securely park their bicycles.

8. Information Kiosks: There may be information kiosks along the trail that provide maps, trail information, and other useful details for visitors.

9. Trailhead Signage: The trail is marked with signage at the trailheads, providing information about the trail and any rules or regulations.

10. Scenic Overlooks: There may be scenic overlooks along the trail that offer beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific section of the Luzerne County Rail-Trail. It is always recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Comfort Inn & Suites – Convenient lodging option near Luzerne County Rail-Trail.
2. Hampton Inn & Suites Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – Another nearby hotel option for visitors.
3. Holiday Inn Wilkes-Barre – Close to the rail-trail, offering comfortable accommodations.
4. Mohegan Sun Pocono – Casino resort with various dining options, located near the trail.
5. Rodano’s – Local restaurant serving American fare, situated close to the rail-trail.
6. The Cafe – Cozy eatery offering breakfast and lunch options near Luzerne County Rail-Trail.
7. Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center – Nearby emergency medical services for any unforeseen situations.

Luzerne County Rail-Trail Difficulty Notes

The Luzerne County Rail-Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts. The trail spans approximately 16 miles, providing a scenic and enjoyable experience for walkers, runners, and cyclists. With a mostly flat terrain and well-maintained surface, it offers a relatively easy and accessible route for individuals of varying fitness levels. However, there are some sections that may present slight inclines or uneven surfaces, adding a touch of challenge for those seeking a more adventurous experience. Overall, the Luzerne County Rail-Trail strikes a balance between accessibility and a satisfying level of difficulty, making it a popular choice for outdoor recreation in the area.

Features And Attractions

1. Seven Tubs Nature Area: This natural landmark features a series of unique potholes and waterfalls carved into the bedrock by the flowing water of Wheelbarrow Run. It offers stunning scenic views and is a popular spot for hiking and picnicking.

2. Moon Lake Park: Located along the rail-trail, Moon Lake Park is a picturesque recreational area with a beautiful lake, hiking trails, picnic areas, and a beach. It offers a serene and scenic view for visitors.

3. Francis E. Walter Dam: This historical site is a large reservoir located in the scenic Bear Creek Township. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and picnicking.

4. Kirby Park: Situated along the Susquehanna River, Kirby Park is a historic park with beautiful walking trails, picnic areas, and a stunning view of the river. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

5. Nescopeck State Park: This natural landmark is a 3,550-acre park with diverse habitats, including forests, wetlands, and a portion of the Nescopeck Creek. It offers scenic views, hiking trails, and opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife observation.

6. Eckley Miners’ Village: This historical site is a preserved coal mining town that offers a glimpse into the region’s industrial past. Visitors can explore the village, visit the museum, and learn about the lives of coal miners in the 19th century.

7. Glen Onoko Falls: Although not directly along the rail-trail, Glen Onoko Falls is a must-visit natural landmark located nearby. It features a series of stunning waterfalls and offers breathtaking views of the Lehigh Gorge.

8. Luzerne County Courthouse: Located in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the Luzerne County Courthouse is a historic building with beautiful architecture. It is worth a visit to admire its grandeur and learn about the county’s history.

9. Lackawanna River Heritage Trail: While not in Luzerne County, this nearby trail is worth mentioning as it connects to the Luzerne County Rail-Trail. It follows the Lackawanna River and offers scenic views, historical sites, and access to various parks and communities along its route.

10. Pittston Tomato Festival: Although not a permanent landmark, the annual Pittston Tomato Festival is a popular event held in downtown Pittston. It celebrates the region’s tomato-growing heritage and offers live entertainment, food vendors, and a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

Usage Guidelines

1. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicycles and pedestrians have the right of way.
4. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
5. No camping or overnight stays are permitted.
6. No hunting or fishing is allowed on the trail.
7. No littering. Please use designated trash receptacles.
8. No alcohol or illegal substances are allowed on the trail.
9. No open fires or barbecues are permitted.
10. No motorized or remote-controlled toys or devices are allowed.
11. No unauthorized commercial activities or solicitation.
12. Respect private property adjacent to the trail.
13. Use caution and be aware of your surroundings.
14. Follow all posted signs and regulations.
15. The trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions due to weather conditions or maintenance.

Seasonal Information

The Luzerne County Rail-Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, offering a scenic and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the best times to visit the Luzerne County Rail-Trail is during the spring season, particularly in April and May. During this time, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers and blossoming trees, creating a picturesque and colorful landscape. The weather is usually mild and pleasant, making it ideal for hiking, biking, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the trail. Spring also brings an abundance of wildlife, with birds chirping and small animals scurrying about, adding to the overall charm of the trail.

Another great time to visit the Luzerne County Rail-Trail is in the fall, specifically during the months of September and October. As the leaves change color, the trail transforms into a breathtaking display of reds, oranges, and yellows. The crisp autumn air and cooler temperatures make it a perfect time for outdoor activities like hiking or jogging. Fall also offers a quieter and more serene experience on the trail, as it is less crowded compared to the summer months.

It’s important to note that the Luzerne County Rail-Trail does not have any seasonal closures. It is accessible year-round, allowing visitors to enjoy its beauty and tranquility regardless of the season. However, it’s always a good idea to check the weather conditions before heading out, as heavy snowfall or icy conditions may make the trail more challenging to navigate during the winter months. Overall, the Luzerne County Rail-Trail offers a wonderful escape into nature, no matter the time of year.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trail Surface: The Luzerne County Rail-Trail features a smooth and level surface, allowing easy navigation for wheelchair users.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trail entrance, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and ample space are provided along the trail for wheelchair users.
4. Rest Areas with Benches: Rest areas along the trail are equipped with benches, providing a place for wheelchair users to take a break and enjoy the surroundings.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to accommodate wheelchair users, allowing them to enjoy outdoor meals comfortably.
6. Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is designed to be accessible, featuring ramps or level access points for wheelchair users to enter and exit the trail easily.
7. Signage with Braille: Trail signage includes Braille, ensuring individuals with visual impairments can access important information.
8. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are available along the trail, allowing individuals with disabilities to stay hydrated.
9. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps are available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions, to assist individuals with visual impairments.
10. Accessible Trail Connections: The Luzerne County Rail-Trail is designed to connect with other accessible trails, providing individuals with disabilities with extended opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trail: Stick to the marked path to avoid potential hazards and ensure a safe experience.
2. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and watch for other trail users, wildlife, or any potential obstacles.
3. Share the trail: Be courteous to other users, including cyclists, walkers, runners, and equestrians, by yielding and giving them enough space.
4. Keep pets on a leash: Prevent accidents or conflicts by keeping your furry friends on a leash and under control at all times.
5. Use proper lighting: If using the trail during low-light conditions, ensure you have appropriate lighting to enhance visibility and safety.
6. Wear appropriate gear: Dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and consider using helmets or protective gear when cycling or skateboarding.
7. Stay hydrated: Carry water or fluids to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather or longer trail excursions.
8. Be cautious at road crossings: Follow traffic signals, look both ways, and use caution when crossing roads or intersections along the trail.
9. Respect private property: Stay on the designated trail and avoid trespassing on private land adjacent to the rail-trail.
10. Report any hazards or suspicious activities: If you encounter any unsafe conditions or witness suspicious behavior, report it to the appropriate authorities or trail management.

Conservation Notes

The Luzerne County Rail-Trail is a significant conservation area that plays a crucial role in preserving the natural environment and biodiversity of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. As a rail-trail, it follows the path of a former railroad line, which has been repurposed into a recreational trail for hikers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts. The conservation status of the Luzerne County Rail-Trail is of utmost importance, as it serves as a protected corridor for various plant and animal species.

The rail-trail provides a habitat for a diverse range of wildlife, including numerous bird species, small mammals, and reptiles. The conservation efforts focus on maintaining and enhancing this habitat to ensure the survival and well-being of these species. The trail is surrounded by a mix of forested areas, wetlands, and open fields, which contribute to its ecological significance. These habitats support a variety of plant life, including native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, which are essential for the overall health of the ecosystem.

Conservation efforts for the Luzerne County Rail-Trail also involve the preservation of water resources. The trail runs alongside streams and rivers, which are vital for the local ecosystem and provide a source of drinking water for nearby communities. Protecting the water quality and ensuring the proper management of these water bodies is a key aspect of the conservation status of the rail-trail. This includes measures to prevent pollution, erosion, and the introduction of invasive species that could harm the aquatic ecosystem.

Overall, the conservation status of the Luzerne County Rail-Trail is focused on maintaining and enhancing the natural environment, protecting wildlife habitats, and preserving the integrity of water resources. These efforts are crucial for the long-term sustainability of the trail and its surrounding ecosystems, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy the beauty and biodiversity it offers.

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