August 5, 2019 Press Release from Lamont McClure and the Northampton County Department of Parks and Recreation
Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure will bolster the development of Northampton County’s regional trail system by signing an Agreement of Sale with Norfolk Southern Railway Company to purchase approximately 1.4 acres in Plainfield Township.
The property, owned by Norfolk Southern, is a major connector piece, part of the Two Rivers Area Trail Gap 9A & the September 11th National Memorial Trail. The connection will link the Stockertown Rail Trail & Plainfield Township Recreation Trail together, while simultaneously provide a connection to Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center. The former railroad right of way is located between Sullivan Trail and Route 33 North in Plainfield Township. It is identified as Trail Gap #9 in the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s Lehigh Valley Trails Inventory.
The closure of this trail gap is a top priority in the Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan 2014-2019 and the Livable Landscapes – An Open Space Plan for Northampton County. This acquisition supports goals of the Commonwealth’s Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape, to connect people to greenway and trail opportunities to promote healthy living, recreation, and the region’s green assets.
“Connecting our communities throughout the County through our trails benefits our quality of life, this acquisition will bolster those opportunities,” said Bryan Cope, Superintendent of Parks & Recreation. “Northampton County is one of the largest hubs of 100+ mile trails in Eastern Pennsylvania, with five of these trail systems already present.”
THE LINK is an interconnected network of safe, beautiful multi-use trails offering Lehigh Valley residents and visitors the opportunity for year-round outdoor recreation, alternative transportation, and healthy living. Northampton County is a proud regional partner in the Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape and THE LINK Trail Network (www.thelinktrails.com) to close trail gaps and continue trail connections.
At the July 9, 2019 meeting, the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Advisory Board recommended the Norfolk Southern fee simple acquisition to be approved by Northampton County Council. At the August 1, 2019 meeting, Northampton County Council authorized the purchase through a fee simple acquisition, of approximately 1.4 acres, more or less in Plainfield Township by Northampton County from Norfolk Southern Railway Company.