The Trail of the Month for October is the Back Mountain Trail, which runs through Luzerne Borough, Kingston Twp. and Dallas Twp. Log your miles at location “Back Mountain Trail” to participate in the Trail of the month! Sign up for free at TailontheTrail.org!
An Easily-Accessible Trail in Luzerne County
A true, community-oriented trail.
Tucked between a major road and the backyard of a community, the Back Mountain Trail provides an opportunity for recreation and safe, off-road transportation through Rt. 309 Corridor of the Back Mountain area.
The Back Mountain Trail is an extremely popular, stone-surface trail with regular visitors who enjoy to hike, bike, and walk their leashed dogs. The trail begins in Luzerne Borough and travels 2.2 miles parallel to Rt 309 into Trucksville. This uphill section of trail has many beautiful spots including visitor favorites – the Toby Creek Waterfall and the ‘hidden bench’. This section of the trail ends at Carverton Road, follows Memorial Highway for .2 miles, then picks up again on Harris Hill Rd. The .7 mile Harris Hill Rd. portion of the trail is relatively flat and great for beginners and people with limited mobility. After this section, the Back Mountain Trail travels through small towns on low-volume roads before reconnecting to the trail in Shavertown and ending at Lower Demunds Rd. To visualize these trail connections, download the interactive Back Mountain Trail map, which includes some of the points of interest mentioned!
Near the trails’ northern terminus is the David and Judy Rimple Loop Trail, which is a wooded oasis in the midst of the built-up area of Dallas Township. Although the short loop trail is in close proximity to Memorial Highway, you won’t believe how quiet and peaceful the area is. On a nice day, songbirds, chipmunks, and even an occasional deer can be found within the wooded area. The trail also surrounds a small pond where turtles can be seen basking in the sun.
The Back Mountain Trail is managed by the Anthracite Scenic Trails Association(ASTA), a non-profit volunteer group with a mission to promote the acquisition, preservation, and conservation of abandoned railroads in Luzerne County. In addition to the Back Mountain Trail, ASTA also maintains the Black Diamond Trailhead of the D&L Trail, and Luzerne Creekwalk Trail, and the David and Judy Rimple Loop Trail in Dallas. ASTA also has other ongoing projects in Luzerne County with a vision of expanding the Back Mountain Trail and making the statement “all trails lead to Wilkes-Barre” a reality.
The Anthracite Scenic Trails Association has two volunteer councils that keep up with this maintenance of the trails and keep them safe for users – the Back Mountain Trail Council and the Mountaintop Trail Council. Message the webmaster on their page to learn more about volunteer opportunities. You can also support ASTA and other Back Mountain organizations by attending their annual New Years Eve Back Mountain 5k.
While you’re in the area, try every local’s favorite family pizzeria – Pizza Perfect. This cash only staple serves up thick, Sicilian crust pizza with your choice of toppings and comfort-food sides. Whether you’re visiting with the family or by yourself, you don’t want to miss out on a stop at Hillside Farms. A short drive from the trailhead, the farm serves up farm-fresh milk in glass bottles, homemade ice cream, and lots of locally made goodies! The barn is often open for visitors to see all the animals and the farm also offers educational events throughout the year. If you’re starting your trek from the Luzerne trailhead, there are plenty of unique consignment shops, cafes, and stores along main street to round out your visit.
Length: 7 miles
Surface: Relatively flat, crushed stone
The Back Mountain Trail runs approximately seven miles from the Borough of Luzerne through Kingston Twp. to Dallas Twp. The trail features a flat, crushed stone surface and passes through dense forests, open meadows, along a stream and near a waterfall. It’s open to hikers, joggers and cyclists. The Harris Hill section of the trail is wheelchair accessible.