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.

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