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Free Wednesday walks in Wilkes-Barre begin in June

The Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA is hosting a series of free, guided walks this summer, called Y Walk Wednesdays.

The evening walks begin at 6 p.m., leaving from the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA lobby located at 40 West Northampton Street.

The treks are scheduled each Wednesday from June 7 to Aug. 23. They are around 90 minutes long and are led by volunteers.

The project was funded in part by a grant from the PA Department of Health.

Upcoming walks include:

  • June 7 - Millionaires and Mansions: An architectural and social history stroll past some of the 19th and early 20th century homes of Wilkes-Barre's leading families. Visit Wilkes-Barre's oldest house and learn about its restoration. Walk leader: Tony Brooks, Wilkes-Barre Preservation Society.
  • June 14 - LCTA Walk to their Future Facility: Join the Luzerne County Transportation Authority (LCTA) in a walk to the former Murray Complex to learn about LCTA's new facility HQ as it is under construction and learn about next steps with the agency. Walk leader: Robert Flume, LCTA Executive Director.
  • June 21 - Tour the Luzerne County Courthouse, a newly restored neoclassical gem from the county's coal baron period. Walk leader: The Honorable Richard M. Hughes III.
  • June 28 - Keeping the Susquehanna Out of Our Living Rooms: Emergency management agencies work together to plan and keep the valley safe from flooding. Tour the levee system, pump stations and portals downtown and learn about related public safety efforts. Walk leader: Laura Holbrook, Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority.
  • July 12 - Wilkes-Barre Heights & New Convention and Visitor's Bureau Site: Walk over the historic South Street Bridge through the Heights neighborhood to the Luzerne County Convention & Visitor's Bureau in the newly restored landmark CNJ train station. Walk leaders: Michele Schasberger, YMCA; and Alan Stout, convention & visitor's bureau.
  • July 19 - Murals and Public Art Downtown: From mid-century modern sculptures on Public Square to murals completed this year, Wilkes-Barre's downtown is full of public art. Tour and learn about past and recent works of art. Walk leader: Shelby Monk, Diamond City Partnership.
  • July 26 - Walking Your Way to a Healthier You: Learn about the ways that walking can improve your physical and mental health and develop a healthy walking plan while the following the city's Walkitecture Route. Walk leader: Audrey Urban, National Health Corps member.
  • Aug. 2 - What's New Downtown: Downtown Wilkes-Barre is resilient and adapting and meeting the challenges of today. Learn more about new developments. Walk leader: Larry Newman, Diamond City Partnership Executive Director.
  • Aug. 9 - Journey Through Kings College: Wander through and around Kings' campus and discover the history of the buildings and plans for new facilities and functions. Walk leader: Michelle Landon, director of undergraduate admissions at Kings.
  • Aug. 16 - Walk through Wilkes University: Visit the historic buildings, new structures and landscapes on Wilkes campus and learn about the university's programs and plans for the future. Walk leader: Mike Woods, Wilkes University.
  • Aug. 23 - A Walk on the Wild Side: The Kirby Park Natural Area: Explore the natural wonders of the park's riparian forest and the important role it plays as part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The walk is about 2-hours long, bring shoes that can get muddy. Walk leader: Vinnie Cotrone, Riverfront Parks Committee.