«PENNSYLVANIA TRAILS ADVISORY COMMITTEE Western terminus of the recently completed Great Allegheny Passage, Pittsburgh Year 2013 Annual Report ...»
Sponsor: Allegheny Valley Trails Association Submitted by: Debra Frawley, Council on Greenways and Trails Oil Creek Footbridge Project Location: Venango County, Oil City, between Relief Street and Seneca Street Description: This project included rehabilitating a footbridge on an existing railroad bridge over Oil Creek, which is part of the Oil City and Erie to Pittsburgh Trail networks. Twelve galvanized steel cantilever trusses were installed to replace deteriorated trusses, along with other structural components. Deteriorated wooden deck boards were replaced. The deck slopes were modified to be ADA compliant, and a non-slip coating was applied to the deck surface. The hand railing was then reattached, and a permanent project sign was installed.
This bridge is part of the Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail and connects the two downtown business districts to the trail.
This project prompted the Main Street Committee to consider requirements for Trail Town designation.
Sponsors: Oil City, DCNR, Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, Allegheny Valley Trails Association Submitted by: Debra Frawley, Council on Greenways and Trails Game Lands Number 226 Trail Stewardship Project Location: Columbia County, Pennsylvania Game Lands 226 Description: Riding to the work sites on horseback, teams of two to three people trimmed brush, cleaned ditches, and removed trees from a trail that meanders through Game Lands 226. Crews re-opened sections of the trail that had been temporarily closed during logging operations. Workers used a variety of trimming tools, some battery-powered, that could be transported to the site on horses.
The results were impressive: open, well-maintained trails with head room for riders. With fewer obstacles and improved drainage, the trail is now drier, safer, and is open for business.
Sponsor: Pennsylvania Equine Council Submitted by: Lynette J. Fisk, Pennsylvania Equine Council Trail ride near Wellsboro, Pa. Photo by katiemetz at www.flickr.com Mid State Trail – Yellow Creek Bridge Project Location: Bedford County, South Woodbury Township, beside State Route 36 in Loysburg Gap Description: For many years access to State Game Lands 73 used a cable supported swinging bridge over Yellow Creek, a well-known high quality trout stream. The bridge was damaged during a severe flood in 1996, and it became unsafe to cross.
The Mid State Trail, Pennsylvania’s longest footpath, was routed over the bridge during the early 1990s. Mid State Trail Association (MSTA) volunteers led the effort to identify a safer crossing. A new bridge site was identified at a more accessible and stable location. Two private landowners granted an easement to MSTA to allow the bridge construction.
DCNR awarded a PA Recreational Trails grant of $178,800 toward the $223,500 Yellow Creek bridge after flooding in 1996 (above) and after project cost. Numerous Bedford County area replacement in 2013 (below) individuals and organizations contributed matching funds as did hikers from around Pennsylvania. A contract for the work was bid June 2013 and awarded August 2013 for completion before the end of 2013.
Sponsor: Mid State Trail Association Submitted by: Peter Fleszar, Mid State Trail Association Laurel Run Trail Project Location: Union County, west of Laurelton, Bald Eagle State Park Description: The purpose of this project was to create access for horses and other non-motorized users by reestablishing and re-locating the trail on the north side of Paddy Mountain and away from low lying areas and stream banks. The Circle M Saddle Club, in cooperation with the Bald Eagle State Forest, re-located about a ½-mile section of trail on its east end and built a stream bank stabilization crossing with the help of the Pennsylvania Equine Council Trail Stewardship Program.
Stable treads were re-established to protect stream crossings and highly erodible areas on the trail. This trail and others like it require regular care and maintenance to sustain long term horse traffic.
Sponsors: Circle M Saddle Club, Pennsylvania Equine Council and DCNR Bald Eagle State Forest Submitted by: Roger Baker, Circle M Saddle Club Reeds Gap Spur Trail Project Location: Mifflin and Centre counties, between Reeds Gaps State Park and Poe Paddy State Park Description: 8 new sign posts, provided by Bald Eagle State Forest were installed between Reeds Gap State Park and the junction with the Long Path section of the spur east of the Bear Gap Picnic Area. Deadfall branches were also cut and removed on this section of the trail. Volunteers continued the clearing and blazing of the remote White Mountain Ridge Trail.
Fourteen Keystone Trails Association (KTA) Trail Care volunteers contributed 163 hours of work on the project in September 2013 Sponsors: Keystone Trails Association, DCNR Bureau of Forestry Submitted by: Edward Lawrence, KTA Panoramic view from Bald Eagle State Forest Great Allegheny Passage Garrett Underpass Construction Click on the photo or on the link below to see the video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbB3sSNtGlM D&H Rail-Trail Project Location: Susquehanna County, Clifford Township, north of Forest City, parallel to State Route 171.
Description: The Rail-Trail Council is a non-profit organization working to establish public rights-of-way in northeast Pennsylvania. The Council owns the 38-mile D&H Rail-Trail and is making improvements as funds become available.
To date, the Council has worked to improve 10 miles of trail with Pennsylvania Transportation Enhancement and DCNR funding.
In 2013, the Clifford Township cleanup took place on Saturday, April 20 D&H Rail-Trail illegal dump site cleanup project crew with 20 volunteers including machinery and manpower from JS Wright Excavating, Carbondale. The area is east of the D&H Rail-Trail on a steep bank bounded by a little used road. Dumping had been occurring there for almost 50 years according to locals. Over 100 tires and almost seven tons of trash were collected. The area was later seeded and mulched and “No dumping” signs were installed.
The Harmony Township cleanup was conducted on April 20 and 21 by a newly formed group “Friends of the Starrucca Creek” along the northern section of D&H Rail-Trail that parallels the Starrucca Creek. Over 70 participants removed 36 tons of trash and 1800 tires from the trail and the creek.
Both cleanups were sponsored by Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), USDA and Pennsylvania American Water Company.
The Council is also developing the Endless Mountains Trail in Montrose and the O&W Rail-Trail in Simpson and is working to make the D&H connect to the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail to the south and the Susquehanna River Trail to the north. In addition, there are possible connections to the D&H Gravity Railroad system towards Waymart.
Sponsors: Rail-Trail Council of Northeast Pennsylvania Submitted by: Lynn M. Conrad, Rail-Trail Council of Northeast Pennsylvania Schuylkill Banks Bridge Lighting Project Project Location: Philadelphia, several bridges crossing the Schuylkill River Description: The Schuylkill Banks Bridge Lighting project upgraded and restored lighting that was originally installed as part of the City's Millennium Celebration in 1999. This includes flood lighting, LED string lighting and pier lights. The Walnut Street, Market Street, JFK Boulevard, and SEPTA Bridge fixtures were refurbished to provide dependable and energy efficient service. Design was provided by Burris Engineers. Work was performed by Carr & Duff, Inc. The project was funded by a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant.
The Bridge Lighting project has enhanced users’ night time experience of the Market Street Bridge and Schuylkill Banks Greenway Schuylkill Banks trail and greenway. The re-lighting of the bridges draws greater attention to these historically significant structures. Impressive reflections on the water also add to the greenway's aesthetics. A dedication ceremony for the re-lighting was held on the evening of September 26, 2013.
Sponsor: City of Philadelphia Submitted by: Zoe Axelrod, Schuylkill River Development Corporation Keystone Trails Association—Trail Care Events Project Locations: Statewide Description: One of the most important and rewarding aspects of involvement with KTA is volunteering to help maintain Pennsylvania's extensive system of hiking trails. Each year, on designated weekends between March and November, dedicated trail care volunteers gather, and, equipped with blaze paint, limb loppers, pulaskis and brush cutters, clear and upgrade hiking trail corridors and pathways. Many participants choose to camp on Friday and Saturday evenings and work on Saturdays and Sundays.
In 2013, 16 Keystone Trail Association trail care events were held with 130 total participants who contributed 3,456 hours of labor.
Long distance hiking trails that benefited from KTA’s Trail Care programs included the Mid State Trail, Thunder Swamp Trail System, Susquehannock Trail System, Long Branch Trail, Reeds Gap Spur, Bucktail Path, North Country Trail, and Standing Stone Trail.
State forest and state park staff that worked with KTA's Trail Care program in 2013 included staff at Cowans Gap State Park, Gifford Pinchot State Park, French Creek State Park, Moraine State Park, Sproul State Forest, Little Pine State Park, Ole Bull State Park, and Hills Creek State Park.
In other more extensive trail care activities, volunteers chose one or more of five trail crew opportunities in June, spending a full week doing trail work. The trail care program is for all ages and abilities, with no prior experience or special skills necessary, and participants are Trail Care volunteers logged 3,456 hours in 2013.
welcome to sign up for the days and times their schedules allow. Most trail care events have camping or cabin facilities available.
Sponsors: Keystone Trails Association, DCNR Bureaus of State Parks and Forestry Submitted by: Curt Ashenfelter, Keystone Trails Association Trail Assistance Mini-Grant Program Project Location: Cambria, Blair, Montgomery, Washington, and Jefferson counties Description: The mini-grant program managed by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) was begun as a way to assist trail organizations and municipalities who need to make small repairs and improvements to their trails outside of the regular DCNR grant schedule and well below the higher dollar amounts usually requested for major grants. Beginning in 2013 a competitive application process was developed by Rails-toTrails Conservancy. Applications were accepted in January and February for projects that were to be completed by September 2013.
In 2013, the following trail mini-grants were
Path of the Flood—Cambria County
Conservation and Recreation Authority:
Volunteers created a new trail surface and installed fencing and signage on a ¾-mile section of trail to connect to the National Park Service Staple Bend Tunnel. Mini-Grant Program volunteers make safety improvements to the Montour Trail Bells Gap Rail Trail: Volunteers installed drainage pipe and fencing along five sections of the trail to improve the surface and enhance the safety of the trail.
Pennypack Trail: Staff of Montgomery County Parks repaired I-beams, and installed new wood decking and railings on an existing railroad bridge of the trail adjacent to Lorimer Park.
Montour Trail: Volunteers from the Montour Trail Council installed signage, approach markings, bollards and fencing for the 100-foot Brush Run Bridge.
Five Bridges Trail (formerly Mill Creek Trail): Volunteers rebuilt five existing railroad bridges along the trail by replacing all ties and installing treated wood decking and railing.
Path of the Flood Trail – Woodvale: One volunteer and one township supervisor established a new 20-foot x ¾-mile trail surface, replaced bridge decking and installed fencing in East Conemaugh Twp.
Sponsor: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Submitted by: Pat Tomes, RTC
PROMOTING PENNSYLVANIA’S TRAILSThe following section describes activities that drew public attention to Pennsylvania’s trails in 2013, appealing to people of all ages and abilities, demonstrating the economic and health benefits of trails, and building local support and capacity.
River Town Program – Mon River Project Location: Southwestern Pennsylvania: Allegheny, Washington, Fayette, Greene and Westmoreland counties Description: The River Town Program, a project of Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), helps communities recognize the river as an asset around which potential community and economic development can occur, and thus a resource worthy of protection. For PEC, this program serves as a model for implementing collaborative solutions to environmental protection and restoration. Success is built from the work of partners that recognize the inextricable links between the environment, the economy, and quality of life.
The Mon River Town Program builds on the successes and lessons learned. More rural in nature than the Allegheny River Towns, these communities have the potential to draw visitors from the Morgantown and Pittsburgh regions. Historic buildings, dating back to the Revolutionary War, and remnants of the region’s historic key industries—glass and clay making, as well as ship building and river navigation—attract historians, while canoeing and kayaking opportunities, hiking and biking trails, and a vibrant boating culture satisfy outdoors lovers.
Examples of Projects:
Educational workshops on topics such as effective marketing for leasing or selling a building, websites and social media for small businesses, and financing opportunities for new or expanding businesses.
Branding and promotion, including design of a River Town logo, creation of gateway signage for each community, production of window clings for vacant buildings to improve street level appearance, and creation of a website.
Assessment of existing attitudes towards the river, via a professional survey of residents before River Town Program - Mon River Sojourn River Town activities began. A follow-up survey will help us to gauge how effective the program has been.
The program was initially funded through a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The Student Conservation Association, a national non-profit organization providing internships in conservation, established a River Town Outreach Corps to assist the program. For more information, including events listings, visit http://www.monrivertowns.com.