The Glen Onoko Falls trail in Jim Thorpe is a popular destination for hikers, but the Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking to close the trail to the public. The falls are a constant source of 911 calls in the summer months for rescues.
We've been told the recent talk of closing down the trail is not that new. According to the Times News, an official from the game commission says they plan to close the trail on May 1st.
"They are currently planning to close off admittance to the Glen Onoko trail that goes up to the falls." said Carbon County EMA Director Mark Nalesnik
Nalesnik said representatives from the PA Game Commission, fish and boat commission, and the DCNR met with Carbon County fire chiefs last month during a quarterly meeting and say they have a tentative plan to close the trail. Nalesnik said every time there's an incident about 20 people must respond for a rescue.
"It's almost automatically right off the bat at least three fire departments. and then often times fire chief or the incident commander makes a determination that they may need one or two more departments to respond." Nalesnik said.
At the trail, we spoke with hikers like Jarred Markel who said the trail should not be closed. He said the few incidents a year shouldn't spoil it for the thousands of responsible and safe hikers.
"I say it would be a shame." Markel said, "It's a beautiful trail. Even though it rained over night it wasn't actually all that difficult to hike. It's clean, and the views are spectacular. I don't see why they would want to close it."
Glenn Davis also agrees the trail should remain open, but he says the trail can be tricky if you don't have the proper footwear.
Davis said, "I've been up a couple times and if you're not prepared definitely you could probably take a slip and hurt yourself or need some help."
He also understands the strain all the 911 calls put on the same people who respond every time.
"With it being such a small community, the volunteers probably do get tired of being called out time and time again." He said, "There's got to be some expenses involved with that as well."
We have tried reaching out to the game commission for a statement and details, but they have yet to respond. Other hikers we spoke with are curious about how this will be enforced.