Lackawanna River Heritage Trail
From Scranton's earliest days, people were drawn to the valley's waters and the riches of the landscape.
First, a gristmill on Roaring Brook in the late 1700s and later iron ore fueled the city's settlement. When the Scranton brothers arrived in 1840, they built the iron furnaces that would grow into the Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company. By the middle of the century, steel manufacturing drove the city's economy, and the nation steamed westward on the steel rails that were rolled in Scranton.
Coal and railroading ushered in entrepreneurial prosperity, and other industries followed to the burgeoning industrial center. Scranton earned the title of "Anthracite Capital of the World," and the wealth that was generated is unmistakable in the Victorian architecture that lines city streets. The O&W, DL&W, D&H, CNJ, and Erie Railroads crossed in Scranton, carrying coal out of the valley and bringing in thousands of people seeking new lives. America's electric trolley system and the International Correspondence Schools ("distance learning" by mail) both were born in this center of manufacturing, food processing, and education.
Scranton exploded as industry took hold. Its population grew 1000 fold between 1850 and 1910, from a borough of less than 1,000 to a city of more than 120,000. New arrivals immigrated from at
least fifty countries and, by 1870, nearly half of Scranton's population claimed foreign birth.
Industry and population peaked in the first quarter of the 20th century and, following World War II, both coal mining and railroading were in a decline that marked much of Scranton's last 50 years of the 20th century. In the 1990s, the city experienced a resurgence based largely on revitalization and appreciation of its heritage. The hit television show titled "The Office" also brought attention to the city in recent years. Today, Scranton thrives with a diverse economy, engaged community, rich cultural attractions, and numerous medical and educational institutions.
Health & Wellness
he Downtown Scranton Riverwalk is the gateway to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail system, a 70+ mile multi-use trail along the river from the New York State border to the Lackawanna River's confluence with the Susquehanna River in Pittston.
The Riverwalk is approximately .75 miles long, and it runs from Olive Street to North Seventh Avenue in Scranton where it connects to the Central New Jersey (CNJ) Extension of the Trail, which runs from South Scranton to Taylor. The Riverwalk features a .3 mile long spur trail that provides access to Providence Road across from Scranton High School.
The trail is a free amenity that is accessible to everyone in the community,
and it is used by thousands of people annually for recreation, and health and wellness activities. The Riverwalk is a popular venue for numerous charitable runs and races each year, including the Scranton Half Marathon, the Tour de Scranton, and the Steamtown Marathon.
Its close proximity to educational institutions and the business community makes the Riverwalk an ideal training site for student athletes as well as for runners, walkers and cyclists.