«PENNSYLVANIA TRAILS ADVISORY COMMITTEE Western terminus of the recently completed Great Allegheny Passage, Pittsburgh Year 2013 Annual Report ...»
In 2013, DVRPC awarded $3,988,608 to trail developers, including $2,838,608 for 10 projects in Pennsylvania. These included the Schuylkill River Trail in Phoenixville Borough, the Neshaminy Creek Greenway in Chalfont Borough, Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Creek Watershed in Cheltenham Township, and Cobbs Creek Trail in Philadelphia.
Through three rounds of funding, DVRPC's Regional Trails Program has supported construction of about 20 miles of trails and planning or design of approximately 32 miles. Some projects are already complete, with others scheduled to open soon. The Regional Trails Program connects neighborhoods and communities to the regional multi-use trail network. It expands and enhances outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to Greater Philadelphia.
The Regional Trails Program has provided direct funding for projects which fill trail gaps identified in the 2009-2013 Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan. Funded privately, the Regional Trails Program successfully augmented existing public funding and leveraged new funding to implement a regional plan for trail development generated under the auspices of the regional planning agency, DVRPC. This is consistent with the Outdoor Recreation Plan's funding recommendations which call for cultivating private sources of funding for activities with effects across Pennsylvania.
Sponsors: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Walkers enjoy a recently completed section of the Tacony Commission and the William Penn Foundation Creek Trail.
Submitted by: Chris Linn, DVRPC Penn Street Trail Project Location: Philadelphia, Between Spring Garden Street and Ellen Street along Delaware Avenue and Penn Street Description: The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) was created in January 2009 for the purposes of designing, developing and managing the central Delaware River waterfront in Philadelphia.
DRWC is transforming the waterfront into a vibrant destination for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia.
The Penn Street Trail is the first of its kind in the City of Philadelphia. Running 1,400 linear feet along Delaware Mayor Michael Nutter cuts the ribbon at the opening of the Penn Street Trail.
Avenue and Penn Street in the Northern Liberties section of the city, the trail provides a 12-foot bi-directional bikeway separated from a 10-foot pedestrian walkway, all buffered from the street traffic by plantings and a curb. Other key elements of the trail include rain gardens that help collect storm water runoff, beautiful street furniture, and innovative solar lighting. This short segment of trail demonstrates standard trail building practices that the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation plans to use as it builds out the rest of the 6 mile trail along the riverfront. This trail was funded by a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant received by the City of Philadelphia with the assistance of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
Since opening in June 2013, the Penn Street Trail has provided runners, cyclists, and other waterfront visitors a safe, beautiful experience along the river. Both residents and business owners whose properties border the trail have expressed excitement about the value it provides to their properties. As part of the East Coast Greenway, the trail forms a key connection between Spring Garden Street and Delaware Avenue.
Sponsors: Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Submitted by: Lizzie Woods, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation Green Ribbon Trail Project Location: Montgomery County, Whitpain Township, Railroad Avenue and Mather Road Description: The Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) has been creating and maintaining the Green Ribbon Trail (GRT) for over 30 years. In 2013, it established sections of riparian buffer along Wissahickon Creek.
The trail is now a 12.6-mile grassy trail that stretches from Upper Gwynedd Township almost to the Philadelphia city line. There was one last section of trail that WVWA needed to complete; WVWA received trail and conservation easements from the Cedarbrook Country Club that not only completed the GRT, but protected 6.2 acres of wooded wetlands. Users can now walk the trail from end to end without any obstacles. Hikers cross Wissahickon Creek on the Green Ribbon Trail. Photo by Montgomery County Planning Commission.
Now that the GRT is complete, WVWA expects trail use to increase significantly. WVWA has installed seven stepping stone crossings (poured concrete stones that help get walkers safely across the creek). These improvements, in combination with the new Cedarbrook trail section, make the trail very walkable.
Sponsors: Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association Submitted by: Bob Adams, Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association
HEALTHY, SAFE AND ACCESSIBLE TRAILSPennsylvania trail partners organized and carried out many needed trail maintenance and improvement projects in 2013. The following section describes several of these trail rehabilitation projects conducted over the past year.
Montour Trail – Repairs and Drainage Improvements Project Location: Allegheny County, North Fayette Township, Findlay Township; Washington County, Robinson Township, Noblestown Road to North Star Road.
Description: This project included drainage improvement to 7.7 miles of existing trail, including installation of five pipe culverts and a relocation of the trail around a parking area.
Sponsor: Montour Trail Council Submitted by: Dave Wright, Allegheny County Public Works Department Volunteer work crews help repair the Montour Trail in Allegheny County.
Ligonier Valley Trail Pedestrian Bridge Project Location: Westmoreland County, Ligonier Description: The Ligonier Valley Trail links the town's popular attractions: Fort Ligonier from the days of George Washington and the French and Indian War; the historic Compass Inn for stagecoach travelers; the Ligonier Valley Railroad Museum; and the Southern Alleghenies Art Museum. In Ligonier Borough the trail gives bikers a safe route to restaurants, stores and further afield the trail leads to the countryside of Ligonier Township with its hills and farms. The bike route uses the original Lincoln Highway and extends to a nature trail at the Ligonier Township Municipal Center.
Now, two beautifully crafted arches stand on each side of a new trail bridge over Mill Workers install a new bridge over Mill Creek on the Ligonier Valley Creek, welcoming those who cross from both Trail.
sides. On April 27, 2013 the community was invited by the Ligonier Township Recreation Board to the cutting at the new pedestrian and biking bridge. The event celebrated a cooperative effort between Ligonier Township, Ligonier Borough and the Loyalhanna Watershed Association to bring the Ligonier Valley Trail and the Mill Creek Bridge to fruition.
The bridge is located behind Weller Field and can be accessed from Boquet Street in Ligonier Borough.
Submitted by: Rose Stepnick, Ligonier Township Recreation Board Ghost Town Trail – Site Amenities Project Location: Indiana County Description: To improve visitor services, Indiana Parks and Trails used $30,280 from Indiana County's Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund to add two restrooms and a trail shelter along the Ghost Town Trail. All facilities installed are ADA accessible which improves opportunities for people with mobility challenges.
Visitor support services and facilities like restrooms and shelters are important components for making the Ghost Town Trail a popular attraction for local trail users and tourists who come from outside the region.
Having appropriate support facilities encourages more people to use the trail for outdoor recreation and supports the health benefits that the trail provides. It also makes the trail more attractive for tourists and enhances the regional economic impacts of the trail.
Sponsor: Indiana County Parks and Trails Submitted by: Ed Patterson, Indiana County Parks and Trails Ghost Town Trail Site Amenities Project Stavich Bicycle Trail Rehabilitation Project Location: Lawrence County, Mahoning and Union townships Description: The Stavich Bicycle Trail, running from New Castle to Lowellville, Ohio was completed in 1984 and resurfaced in 1998. In 2013, crews removed some of the old trail surface material, installed new drainage pipes, added erosion and sediment controls, replaced three bridges, constructed a second trailhead with parking, and installed ADA accessible parking spaces. The main trailhead was enhanced with a new native species interpretative garden. Finally, all 7 miles in Pennsylvania were resurfaced with base, binder and topcoat.
The main trailhead is located on West Washington Street in Union Township near State Routes 224, 422 and Interstate 376. The trail is connected to the Great Lake to River Trail in Ohio and is a critical link in the Ohio River Trail Century Loop through Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Click on the photo or on the link below to see a video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiJRMtdYgjY Sponsor: Lawrence County Submitted by: Doniele Russell, Lawrence County Planning Department Stavich Bicycle Trail Upper Shenango River Water Trail Project Location: Mercer and Crawford counties, Jamestown and Greenville Description: Work continued in 2013 to remove deadfall, debris, and downed trees from 23 river miles of the Upper Shenango River Water Trail. Reducing the blockages in the river allowed canoe and kayak users safe and easy access the river. Prior to this project, safe paddling of the river was either impossible or severely limited. Now paddlers enjoy its entire length without any obstructions.
As a result of this work, the river was transformed from an impassable and dangerous nuisance to a first-class recreational amenity. Previously, paddling clubs advised members to avoid the river entirely. Now, it is regularly used by clubs, families, scouts, and church groups. A new kayak outfitting business opened. Tourism in the area increased. A geocaching route was established along the river. The river was officially designated a water trail by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Shenango River Watchers were awarded a Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award by Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
Sponsors: Shenango River Watchers, Lions Clubs of Greenville and Jamestown, Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission Submitted by: Hugh Clark, Shenango River Watchers Upper Shenango River Water Trail clean-up and restoration Clear Creek State Forest – Kennerdale Trail Project Location: Venango County, Kennerdale Description: Pennsylvania Equine Council volunteers worked with a forest technician in Clear Creek State Forest to divert water away from a multi-use trail, improving drainage and preventing trail erosion. The results were better footing and improved access to the trails, leading to greater usage by bikers, horseback riders, hunters and hikers.
Sponsor: Pennsylvania Equine Council Submitted by: Judy Cole, Trail Stewardship Coordinator, Pennsylvania Equine Council
Shawmut Trail Resurfacing Project Location: McKean County, Borough of Smethport, northwest side of the Marvin Creek Bridge Description: After resurfacing the Blacksmith Brook Bridge in 2012, the Potato Creek Trail Association took on the task of improving the surface of the Shawmut Trail. The trail starts on the northwest side of the Marvin Creek Bridge on Smethport's Route 6. The ADA compliant parking area has a trail head kiosk stocked with trail maps and visitor's guides.
From the trail head, hikers, bikers, and skiers cross the Blacksmith Brook Bridge to reach the ¾-mile long flat trail which ends at McKean County's fully functional 'Historic Poor Farm', one of the last Poor Farms in all of Pennsylvania. A culvert was installed there and fencing removed to facilitate access.
The Shawmut Trail was then cleared of brush and prepared for resurfacing. About 530 tons of TSA (2A limestone) for an 8 foot wide path was put on top of landscaping cloth to prevent weed growth.
The newly resurfaced Shawmut Trail is now a popular destination due to its easy access and proximity to downtown as well as the flat surface, which facilitates the use of strollers and bikes.
Sponsor: Potato Creek Trail Association Submitted by: Claudia Caminite, Potato Creek Trail Association Riverfront Park Bike Trail Improvements Project Location: Venango County, City of Franklin Description: This project consisted of upgrading the existing bike path that meanders through Riverfront Park, which is located across the bridge from the Franklin Trailhead of the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail and the Allegheny River Trail. The work resulted in widening the trail from 5-feet to 8-feet-wide and included resurfacing of the entire 620 linear feet. The work also included a newly paved handicapped accessible parking space, an entry garden, and two new signs with wayfinding information.
The improved trail forms a key connection from downtown Franklin and a riverfront neighborhood playground to the Erie to Pittsburgh Greenway trail system.
Sponsor: City of Franklin Submitted by: Tracy Jamieson, Franklin Community Development Department Samuel Justus and Allegheny River Trails Project Location: Venango County, Oil City, Franklin, Cranberry Township Description: The Samuel Justus Trail (SJT) and the Allegheny River Trail (ART) are the oldest, completed sections of the Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail. These local trails were showing signs of deterioration. The Allegheny Valley Trails Association, in partnership with Cranberry Township which owns and operates the SJT, rehabilitated 7 miles of trail surface. A request was made to PennDOT District 1-0 for advice. The pavement experts agreed that the useful life of the surface was nearing its end, but there was still a good base. They recommended a topcoat and assisted with planning documents. With local and state grant funding, a new surface was constructed. Allegheny Valley Trails Association (AVTA) continued the improvements in 2013 for a total of 10 miles of new surface.
These sections of trail will have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years. Trail users have commented on the high quality of the trails, and these sections of trail are often used for community events and fundraisers.