WILKES-BARRE — State Sen. John Yudichak said Pennsylvania is better when it can combine the celebration of its rich industrial history with the conservation of its beautiful natural resources.
Yudichak (D-Plymouth Township) made that observation Friday during his hike from Allentown to Cementon, which included a stop at the Allentown Waterfront to highlight the importance of closing the gaps on the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Trail.
Yudichak said he is hiking all 165 miles of the D&L Trail to raise awareness of “the simple fact that no outdoor recreational asset better combines history and conservation than the Delaware & Lehigh Heritage Corridor.”
Yudichak was joined by Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh/Northampton), Rep. Peter Schweyer (D-Lehigh County), Elissa Garofalo, D&L National Heritage Corridor executive director, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, St Luke’s University Health Network and other state and local officials as he hiked through the section of the D&L Trail that features the Allentown waterfront.
Becky Bradley, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, said the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is a transportation, environmental, economic, and health asset in addition, to a recreational amenity.
“We have over 20 partners from the public, private and non-profit sectors working to close the highest priority trail gap between Allentown and Whitehall,” Bradley said. “Collectively, we envision that this will become the Lehigh Valley’s version of the San Antonio Riverwalk — creating over $100 million in new opportunities, and providing a seamless walking and biking commuter and recreational corridor.”
In addition to highlighting the gaps on the trail, Yudichak also highlighted the importance of people getting out and enjoying time on the trail. St. Luke’s University Health Network, which has teamed up with the D&L Trail for the Get Your Tail on the Trail initiative.
Ken Szydlow, St. Luke’s Vice President for Marketing said not only do Yudichak’s efforts highlight the history of the trail’s significance to the economic growth of the region, but his hike provides people a better look at how the trail impacts tourism and recreation today.
Yudichak pledged to walk the D&L trail, the longest in Pennsylvania, if the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII. After Friday’s leg, Yudichak will have completed 115 miles of the trail.
For more information on Yudichak’s journey on the D&L Trail, visit www.senatoryudichak.com/takeahike.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.