"Can't wait for them to finish this!" writes a recent TrailLink.com reviewer of the Saucon Rail Trail (above). Serving a number of small communities in eastern Pennsylvania's Lehigh County, the Saucon Rail Trail is very much a work in progress. Since the pioneering section between Hellertown and Upper Saucon Township was opened in 2011, its immediate popularity raised hopes that the trail would continue to develop to the south, extending from its current five miles to its full potential of more than double that, into the Borough of Quakertown.
And there was some promising news on that front this week, with Coopersburg Borough Council voicing its support for developing their section of the former Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority corridor, an important connection in the trail's extension to Quakertown.
"We could send a message to other townships that we're doing our part," councilman Steve Lundy was quoted as saying in the Hellertown-Lower Saucon Patch. "It could encourage the other townships to follow."
According to Patch, the Coopersburg Borough Council raised the possibility of the rail-trail extension as part of a brainstorming session for stimulating economic activity in the borough. In Pennsylvania, they need not look far for dozens of examples of rail-trails energizing local tourism and real estate markets, and providing a hub for local businesses.
"This is the kind of thinking I'm trying to encourage," said council president John Felch. "(Rails to Trails) is part of our vision that won't happen tomorrow, but it will happen."