Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thorndale Branch

Retracing the Lehigh Valley's Thorndale Branch from Lopez to Thorndale. Not much is known about this 7.75 mile line other than it served a tannery at Thorndale and operated only for a few short years in the 1890s with the tracks being ripped up by 1898 after the tannery closed around 1894.

Thorndale Branch (facing west) parallel with Buckey's Road in Lopez, PA 

Thorndale Branch (facing east) parallel with Buckey's Road in Lopez, PA

Looking west on the Thorndale Branch state game lands borders private property near Buckey's Road in Lopez, PA

The old Schrifogel's Hotel (aka Schreyvogel's Hotel) which was a stagecoach stop along the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike; also called the Berwick and Tioga Turnpike in the 19th century. The hotel was a popular stop for turnpike travelers on the 100 mile stretch between Berwick, PA to Elmira, NY. Elijah Ricketts, father of Civil War veteran Colonel Bruce Ricketts, was a regular patron of the hotel during his hunting trips to Ganoga Lake, Sullivan County, PA in the mid 1800's.

Former bridge site of the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike at Loyalsock Creek.

Ellis Cemetery adjacent to the bridge crossing for the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike at Loyalsock Creek.

Facing east looking at the Schrifogel's Hotel.

Access road links the Thorndale to the Susquehanna and Tioga Tpk (aka Old Berwick Tpk) in SGL No.13.

Road turns right to avoid a marshy area while the right of way for the Thorndale steers left into the marsh.

Rock cut on the Thorndale Branch.

After splitting from the road the Thorndale meanders through a stand of hemlocks before reaching the marsh.

Thick overgrowth on the Thorndale just before reaching the marsh. I bailed out of here and returned to the road to continue my trek to Thorndale.

The tannery at Thorndale.

The tannery at Thorndale.

Thorndale continues on the other side of Glass Creek.

The end of the Thorndale near Glass Creek Road in state game lands No.13 near Nordmont.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Maple City Century Bike Ride (30 Miles) Honesdale, PA

Just a few snapshots from the Maple City Century Bike Ride I did with Lee Curry from Around Town Bikes (in Wilkes-Barre) on September 25. With THREE route options (30, 62, or 100 miles) we opted for the 30 miler since these old mountain bikers, Lee and I, are not avid road bikers. With something like 2,400ft. of elevation gain made the 30 feel much longer. I think the 100 mile was nearly triple in elevation gain! Anyway we had beautiful weather on the entire ride and saw so many cool things. Too many to stop and photograph because I much rather concentrate on riding. And although the ride wasn't technically a timed race, I did want to finish the ride in under 4 hours which we did just about 4 hours on the nose. Perhaps next year I'll sign up for the 62 miler!

Siko Road in Honesdale

Siko Road near the Hancock Hwy in Honesdale

Stevenson Spur and Great Bend Tpke, Honesdale

Pond along the Cochecton Tpke, Honesdale

Farm at crossroads of Riefler Road and Carley Brook Road, Honesdale

View of farmland from Bryn Mawr Road, Honesdale

A bear made of logs at Camp Towanda, Niles Pond Road, Honesdale

Riding on the Cochecton Tpke, Honesdale

Riding on the Great Bend Tpke in Rileyville

Found a softball at park along Niles Pond Road

Niles Pond Road, Honesdale

Old barn on Bunting Road, Honesdale

Charolais Farm on Niles Pond Road, Honesdale

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Wyoming Area School District Business Manager Tom Melone appears deep in thought during a special meeting on April 15 in which the board unanimously rejected an arbiter's recommendation to approve a teachers union contract.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hayes Creek Branch Hike To Sandy Run

The Hayes Creek Branch Railroad (a.k.a. Lehigh Valley Lumber
Yard RR) started at lumber yard (on the Hazleton Branch) 2 miles
west of the Borough of Weatherly and ran to the Lehigh Valley's 
main line one mile east of Tannery. The branch was built in the 
early 1900s at a cost of about $2 million and was just 12 miles in
length. It was abandoned around 1965. To learn more about the
Hayes Creek Branch and the railroads that connected the 
Wilkes-Barre and White Haven areas with the Lehigh Valley
click on this link.

The hiking route: Magenta line is the Hayes Creek Branch. Light
blue line is a trail running through State Game Lands #149 that hooks up with Meir Road (T406).

View looking east (towards Lehigh Valley RR) of the 
former Hayes Creek Branch Trestle spanning the 
Lehigh River about one mile south of Tannery. 
In its day the trestle was 1/4 mile in length. 
Pillars reaching as high as 90 feet. Built in 1911 by 
F.M. Talbot Company of NYC,  E.B. Ashby (NYC) 
chief engineer. Cost of trestle project close to $1.2 million

 Trestle pillar above the former CNJ Railroad (now
the D&L Rails-To-Trails) on the west bank of the
Lehigh River.

 Standing on the fill of Hayes Creek Branch where
a trestle crossed the Lehigh River (view looking east).

Old RR ties on the Hayes Creek Branch.

The Hayes Creek right-of-way looking southwest towards Sandy Run.

A pano of Hayes Creek Branch. Trail in the middle cuts through State Game Lands #149 heading out to Meir Road.

Atop another trestle pillar at Sandy Run.

A concrete footer for the trestle near the banks of Sandy Run.

A pillar of the former Sandy Run trestle.
This is where my hike ended as I was
stymied in finding a way to cross the creek. 
Wading across not an option. Water to cold and 
moving way to fast for my taste. Maybe
try again in the summer when water
levels are down. And warmer! BTW, across Sandy
Run and behind this bridge abutment is a ROW
of the former Drifton Branch line that was 
part of the CNJ railroad. During a recent hike
I did walk this fill from D&L Trail in the gorge
up to Meir Road. From there the
Drifton Branch continued onto private property 
running parallel with Meir Road. That is where
I ended my hike, turned around and headed
back into the Lehigh Gorge.