The 2023 Pennsylvania Greenways & Trails Summit took place September 17-19 in Scranton. Over the course of three days of programming, 256 Summit attendees experienced:

  • 80+ hours of instruction in 37 sessions in the conference room facilities of the Hilton Scranton, featuring 92 session guest speakers;
  • 20+ hours of mobile seminar field trip excursions in downtown Scranton, along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, visiting parks, trails, and preserves all over Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties, and beyond, traveling by bus, bike, kayak, trolley, or on foot; and,
  • 10+ hours of receptions and meals featuring five distinguished guest speakers from government as well as the private sector.

DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn speaks at the Monday morning plenary breakfast prior to the keynote address as keynote speaker John Simmerman of Active Towns looks on.

Attendees rated the Summit fairly highly across the board, with average scores from returned participant evaluations of:

  • Overall Summit: 4.5 out of 5
  • Session Average: 4.6 out of 5
  • Keynote presentation: 4.3 out of 5
  • Social and networking opportunities: 4.4 out of 5

Session highlights from the Summit.

  • “Great variety of sessions, schedule was about the right amount of activity and breaks, good mixture of mobile sessions.”
  • “In a word, wonderful! We are inspired and empowered to try some new approaches to our programs and events because of what we learned.” 
  • “Extremely well organized, impressive attention to detail. Wonderful mix of presenters and exhibitors. Committee members were always on hand to answer any question. Very friendly vibe!”
  • “The 2023 summit was excellent – the session/workshop content was terrific, informative, and worthwhile. Plus, the lodging/accommodations were of a very high quality and the food options were outstanding. The reception and field workshops were all also terrific and very much appreciated.”
  • “Really enjoyed the [opening night reception] event at the Iron Furnaces (despite the rain) and loved the trail-themed local beer!”

Opening Night Reception at the Scranton Iron Furnaces. Despite the rain, the mood was festive with an Oktoberfest themed catering spread and an honest to goodness Oompah band (The Schutzengiggles).

Link to the Summit keynote address by Active Towns’ John Simmerman (published on the Active Towns YouTube channel).

PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll speaks to the Monday night dinner audience.

Check out this in-depth coverage of the 2023 Pennsylvania Greenways & Trails Summit in Scranton by local public media outlet WVIA.

Join us in 2025 for the next Pennsylvania Greenways & Trails Summit in Harrisburg (Dauphin County)!