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Glen Onoko trail to close; surrounding ones to remain open

The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced that most of the Glen Onoko Falls Trail on State Game Lands 141 near Jim Thorpe is closed due to hazardous trail conditions. The 0.4-mile closed portion of the trail runs from the trail head to the Upper Falls.

The Game Commission cites stormwater damage, unstable surfaces and a history of accidents along the trail as factors that prompted closure. Severe injuries and fatalities have occurred over the years despite posted signs warning visitors to be cautious, wear appropriate footwear and avoid dangerous areas near the three major falls.

“Volunteer emergency personnel spend significant time rescuing people that hike the Glen Onoko Falls Trail,” said Game Commission NE Region Land Management Group Supervisor Michael Beahm. “A typical rescue for an injured hiker will involve 20 to 25 volunteer first responders and require a minimum of four to six hours.”

Heavy rainfall during the past year changed trail conditions considerably and several areas are washed out below the middle and lower falls. Sections of the trail are now unrecognizable and have become part of the stream channel. Hikers have been using alternate routes around these areas – negatively impacting soils and vegetation.

Signs and physical barriers will warn visitors of the trail closure at the Glen Onoko Falls trailhead and at other appropriate locations.

Other hiking trails in the area remain open, including the Overlook and Shortcut Trails that connect to form a 1.6-mile loop offering a panoramic view of Jim Thorpe. The Upper Falls can be accessed via Overlook Trail.