MARTIC TWP., Pa. - Hikers were once again hitting the trail at Kelly's Run trailhead Thursday, about three months after the property owners closed access to it through Holtwood Park because of safety concerns.
But thanks to an agreement between Talen Energy and the Lancaster County Conservancy, the trail is now re-open for good and the park appears to be on the way to re-opening soon.
"We have the parking area open, we have installed porta-potties and you can walk down a paved path to where the abandoned restrooms are and you can access the trail there," Kate Gonick, of the Conservancy, said.
Talen acquired the land from PPL several years ago, and abruptly decided to close Holtwood Park in late April, drawing the ire of hundreds of hikers and Lancaster County residents.
"I was kind of angry about it all because we had been hiking this for years and all of a sudden, this electric company was saying this is our property and you can't hike it," hiker Carol Berthold said.
After three months without consistent maintenance, many of the park fields have become overgrown. The dated playground equipment emerges from weeds that are several feet tall. But for now, hikers are just happy that they once again have access to their favorite trail.
"[They] showed that they're willing to work to make the community happy, so I don't know, it's a start," hiker Ruth Williams said Thursday. "We're happy. We're ecstatic."
The Conservancy and Talen are still hammering out some of the details, specifically who will replace the playground equipment and maintain Holtwood Park.
"We're trying to determine who wants to operate the park, so we're in constant conversations with all our partners regarding that," Gonick said.