National Trails Day is a nationwide celebration of America's trail systems that takes place each year on the first Saturday in June.

This year's celebration on June 5 has special significance for Carbon County and Jim Thorpe: the D&L Trail between the community and adjoining Lehigh Gorge State Park will be officially opened to the public.

This means that thousands of D&L Trail users who previously were confined to the east side of the Lehigh River, now can cross the Nesquehoning Trestle and follow 1.4 miles of the D&L Trail into Jim Thorpe where they can shop, dine, sleep, and visit the town's historical and cultural attractions.

To commemorate this long-anticipated event, the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and Carbon County Commissioners will co-host a trail dedication featuring Pennsylvania Speaker of the House, Keith McCall, who was instrumental in the trail's completion. The dedication begins at 10:30 a.m.

The dedication will be followed by four bicycle rides geared to a variety of skill levels. For a $20 ($50 for a family of five or fewer) donation to the non-profit D&L, Pocono Biking will shuttle riders to Rockport or White Haven from the dedication site. Those who shuttle to White Haven will ride the 26 miles back to Jim Thorpe on their own and at their own pace. People who get off at Rockport - 13 miles north of Jim Thorpe - have two options: ride back to Jim Thorpe on their own, or ride back with a guide who will point out historic features along the way.

Shuttle riders will receive wrist bands that identify them as National Trails Day participants and make them eligible for discounts and free gifts at many Jim Thorpe businesses.

The fourth ride being offered is a six-mile, family-oriented round-trip from Jim Thorpe to Glen Onoko and back. The family ride does not require a donation to the D&L, although riders who do make a donation of $10 will receive a wrist band and also become eligible for discounts and free gifts in Jim Thorpe. Non-riders also can receive wrist bands for a $10 donation.

Wrist bands can be purchased for $10 at the trailhead dedication site on National Trails Day or they can be pre-ordered on or before June 3 by visiting the D&L website store www.delawareandlehigh.org http://www.delawareandlehigh.org/ (in the EVENT category). The website also lists the 20 Jim Thorpe businesses and attractions taking part in the National Trails Day promotion. Included is a limited number of free bike shuttles at 8 a.m. and reduced-rate bike shuttle rides at 10 a.m. and 12 noon from Blue Mountain Sports & Wear.

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor fosters stewardship of historical, cultural and natural resources along the early canal and railroad systems that carried anthracite coal from mine to market in eastern Pennsylvania.

For more information, please contact Dennis Scholl at 610-923-3548 x225 or dennis@delawareandlehigh.org.