Honesdale is a borough in and the county seat of Wayne County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is located 32 miles (51 km) northeast of Scranton. The population was 4,480 at the 2010 census. Honesdale is located in a rural area that provides many recreational opportunities including: boating, fishing, hiking, hunting, skiing, biking, skateboarding, and rafting. Located in a coal mining region, during the 19th century it was the starting point of the Delaware and Hudson Canal, which provided for transport of coal to Kingston, New York and then down the Hudson River to New York City. In the 19th century the expansion of railroads eventually superseded regular use of the canal.
Places and activities:
Honesdale, the County seat, hosts the annual Wayne County Fair, starting on the first Friday in August as it has for over a century. The Fair spans nine days and draws thousands of visitors. It features typical county-fair events like horse racing, tractor pulling, livestock exhibits, concerts and other entertainments, many rides for children, crafts, home goods, and much more.
The famous children's magazine Highlights for Children was founded at Honesdale. The publisher maintains its editorial headquarters in Church St., Honesdale, despite having relocated many of the operations to Ohio.
Honesdale High School is part of the Wayne Highlands School District. The school's sports teams are called the Hornets. The school is located on the top of Terrace Street and overlooks the town.
Honesdale was home to the Roman Catholic St. Vincent's Elementary School, located on Cliff Street. The school closed at the end of the 2008-2009 school year after declining enrollment. Nonetheless, two Catholic churches continue with vigorous participation, as do churches of other denominations and a synagogue.
Honesdale has hundreds of Victorian age structures, and features several tall church steeples, historically significant buildings of many kinds, and a memorial Central Park beside the Wayne County Courthouse. While current zoning laws do not require building remodelling to remain historically accurate, the vast majority of houses and structures remain architecturally as they were constructed, often more than a century past.
Irving Cliff, 300 feet high, named for Washington Irving who loved its prominence, overlooks the town and offers a compelling view of the Confluence of the Lackawaxen River and Dyberry Creek and virtually everything else in the valley. The cliff is surmounted by a 50 foot electric framework for a Christmas Star and Easter Cross that are visible for miles during holiday nights. Fireworks are fired from the cliff for July 4 festivities.
The Honesdale Roots and Rhythm Music and Arts Festival is held throughout Honesdale on the third Saturday in June. The main stage is set up along Court Street playing to festival goers in Central Park. Artists and food vendors are lined along the park on 9th and 10th Streets. Several other stages are set up throughout the town offering music all day. The festival was established in 2006.
Many summer camps are located in and around Honesdale, including Bryn Mawr Camp, Camp Cayuga, Indian Head Camp, Camp Lavi, Camp Morasha, Camp Moshava, Camp Nesher, Camp Ramah in The Poconos, Camp Raninu, Camp Seneca Lake, Summit Camp, Camp Towanda, Trail's End Camp, Tyler Hill Camp, Camp Watonka and Camp Wayne. Many campers travel from the New York Metropolitan Area, New England, Philadelphia and further afield to attend camps in the area, as they have for many decades. The camps are the county's largest industry.