The Saucon Rail Trail Advisory Committee met March 28 in Upper Saucon Township to continue discussing completion of the trail. Due to a schedule misprint many of the meeting's attendees arrived two hours late, just as the meeting was finishing up.
Lower Saucon Township Manager Jack Cahalan summarized the beginning of the meeting for late-comers and reminded everyone that all future meetings will begin at 5pm, including the committee's next meeting, which will be held Monday, April 25 at Lower Saucon Town Hall. Coopersburg and Hellertown did not have representatives present at the meeting but are expected to at next month’s meeting.
The beginning portion of the meeting was spent discussing how donations to the rail trail will be divided between Hellertown, Lower Saucon, Upper Saucon and Coopersburg, Cahalan said. Money which is specified for one of the four communities through which the trail passes will be allocated there directly, while unspecified donations will be divided equally among the four districts. Hopefully, committee members agreed, this financial agreement will allow the trail to flourish as a shared resource.
The committee is still planning an end-of-April opening for the trail, which appears attainable now that all four municipalities are on board with the draft intergovernmental agreement that will establish the rules for the trail. While it hasn’t been officially approved by Coopersburg or Upper Saucon, the agreement is currently under review and is expected to be approved as early as next week.
Although the trail remains closed to the public, and Lower Saucon Township has posted a reminder of that fact on its website's Saucon Rail Trail information page, some people have already been exploring the new pathway by walking sections of it.
Linda Wheeler and Naomi Williams, long-time area residents, came to represent local geocachers seeking approval to use the trail for their adventurous hobby.
Wikipedia defines geocaching as "an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called 'geocaches' or 'caches,' anywhere in the world."
Wheeler and Williams said they believe the opportunity for geocaching will bring more people to the trail.
Geocaching along the trail is something the committee has discussed previously, with members generally agreeing that they do not foresee any problems with it as long as visitors to the trail remain respectful of rules for the trail's use.