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Glen Onoko

Published June 23. 2011 05:00PM

Reality One

The Glen, with its cascading stream, waterfalls, towering cliffs, and primitive setting, is one of the most beautiful areas in Carbon County; hence, its allure.

Reality Two

The Glen is an unsafe, dangerous attraction. Periodic rain, blown spray from the waterfalls, a canopy of trees that block the sun all combine to keep the footing slick and slippery. People have been seriously injured and a few killed in the Glen over the years. It has been a nightmare for local fire companies and emergency rescue services.

In the mid 1800s the Wahnetah Land and Improvement Company built stone steps up the hillside with railings and bridges across the cascades. These safety features, all but nonexistent now, allowed the not-so-agile safe passage. Today, the Glen should be designated "for extreme sports enthusiasts." The risk of falling is simply too great for the average user.

Reality Three

The land containing this hazardous jewel is owned by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Another reality is that hunters, at least the ones interviewed, do not hunt the area.


Would the Game Commission deed the Glen area to a "Friends of Glen Onoko" group who would reconstruct the few strategically placed stone steps, railings, and bridges? Would the Game Commission accept an in-kind or greater acreage of private "huntable" land in trade? Or, perhaps the Game Commission would simply allow improvements to enhance safety while retaining ownership and the current access "at your own risk" designation?

If you are interested in joining a group active in pursuing a remedy for the Glen Onoko dilemma email

John Drury

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