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«PENNSYLVANIA TRAILS ADVISORY COMMITTEE Western terminus of the recently completed Great Allegheny Passage, Pittsburgh Year 2013 Annual Report ...»

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Sponsor: Pennsylvania Environmental Council Submitted by: Cathy McCollom, McCollom Development Strategies, LLC Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Logo Project Location: Seven western Pennsylvania and New York counties: Chautauqua County, New York; Erie, Crawford, Venango, Clarion, Armstrong, Allegheny counties Description: The Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance adopted a logo for the regional trail system. As the system links each of the individual trail segments between the two major cities, a unifying brand guides trail users to the various destinations along the route. The logo is used on signs and other promotional materials. The logo is now being used consistently by each of the member groups in identifying with the regional trail on their websites and other materials.

Twenty blue, green and white Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail signs were installed along the Queen City Trail this fall, the first segment to complete the installation. Also, new mile markers along the Allegheny River Trail now showcase the logo. Thirty four logo signs were placed along the McClintock Trail.

This project unified the regional trail system and made the trail users’ experience easier. It also began the process of developing the Trail Town concept along the corridor. Many non-local trail users that use the parking area at the northern end of Oil Creek State Park did not realize that the Queen City Trail segment continued north into the city of Titusville. The new signage helps to direct trail users into town. In the same way, the regional signage aids long distance or multi-day trail users who continue to other trail towns like Oil City and Franklin.

Sponsor: Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance Submitted by: Debra M. Frawley, Council on Greenways and Trails Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Logo West Penn Trail Triathlon Project Location: Westmoreland County, Saltsburg and the Conemaugh River Description: Organized by the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, the first ever West Penn Trail Triathlon was held on Saturday, October 12, 2013. The boat-bike-run event showcased the unique natural features and design of the West Penn Trail. The first leg was a 7-mile flat paddle from the Conemaugh Dam to Saltsburg, the second leg was a 14-mile bike over flat and hilly sections of the West Penn Trail, and the third leg was a 3.2-mile (5-km) run on flat portions of the West Penn Trail along the Kiskiminetas River.

For its inaugural event, the West Penn Trail Triathlon was extremely successful. Registration reached capacity with more than 100 participants. One of the goals of the event was to showcase the terrific biking and boating opportunities in the corridor. This event gave the Kiski-Conemaugh River, West Penn Trail and historic Saltsburg great visibility. Organizers were pleased by the number of local participants as well as the number of visitors from outside of the area. Verbal feedback and written evaluations were all very positive, and participants requested that more than one such event be held each year. Local civic and school groups sold refreshments to participants after the event, benefiting the groups and the participants, and making the event more of a community effort.

While most proceeds are being put toward trail maintenance, some funds were redistributed to local groups and services. The 2014 West Penn Trail Triathlon is already being planned for Boaters complete the first leg of the West Penn Trail Triathlon Saturday, October 11, 2014 with even more on the Conemaugh River.

plans to engage and benefit local businesses.

This triathlon addressed several of the goals of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan, namely to develop support networks to engage new and diverse audiences in outdoor recreation; package and publicize outdoor recreation events as service learning opportunities; maximize outdoor recreation and tourism potential of Heritage Areas; develop marketing packages that connect and build upon relationships between recreation, tourism, and businesses; identify and implement projects linking historic and cultural features with trails and other recreation amenities; and develop trail events and other recreation features within conservation landscape regions highlighting different local economies.

Sponsor: Allegheny Ridge Corporation - Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway Submitted by: Laura Hawkins, Allegheny Ridge Corporation Clearfield County Geo Trail “geocoin” Buffalo Creek Water Trail Guide Project Location: Union County, west of Lewisburg Description: Buffalo Creek winds, twists, and meanders across much of Union County until it meets the West Branch of the Susquehanna at Lewisburg. For many local residents it has always been a favorite paddling destination, but outside local circles it has remained relatively unknown.

With assistance from a Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) mini-grant, the Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance (BCWA) wants to increase awareness of the water trail.

BCWA developed a two-sided, full-color Buffalo Creek Water Trail Guide that helps paddlers safely navigate and enjoy this special resource. The brochure includes maps of Buffalo Creek as well as information about its natural and human history.

The water trail guides are available at different outdoor and tourism agencies throughout Union Kayaker on the Buffalo Creek Water Trail. Photo by County. You can also access a digital version of the Canoe Susquehanna guide at http://www.susquehannagreenway.org/watertrail-guide-published. To learn more about BCWA, visit: www.buffalocreek.org Sponsor: Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance, Susquehanna Greenway Partnership Submitted by: Allan Grundstrom, Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance Appalachian Trail Visitor Center Project Location: Cumberland County, Boiling Springs Description: The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) Mid-Atlantic Regional Office celebrated the unveiling of its redesigned visitor center on Friday, April 12, 2013 in Boiling Springs.

This updated space was made possible by a grant provided by the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau. It features a series of new informational panels, which provide visitors a comprehensive overview of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and the ATC.

Visitors can learn about the trail’s history, volunteerism, and the ATC’s work with conservation, trail management, community engagement, and youth outreach. The visitor center also features an oversize strip map of the A.T. Appalachian Trail Visitors Center in Boiling Springs, Pa.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to showcase the beauty and splendor of the Appalachian Trail with our new exhibits,” said Karen Lutz, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of the ATC. “Our hope is that these renovations will provide the public with excitement and inspiration about the trail and get them out and active.” The center is open year-round on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It is closed on weekends and federal holidays, though volunteers may be on-site during summer weekends. An information desk is available where visitors can find answers about hiking the A.T. and other trails in the area. A gift shop is also onsite where people can purchase postcards, maps, guidebooks, and souvenirs. Services to hikers are also available, such as fuel for stoves and running water. Last year the center attracted over 4,500 visitors.

The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. The A.T. is a unit of the National Park System, stretching from Georgia to Maine, at approximately 2,180 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours of their time doing trail-related work each year and about 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year.

For more information, visit www.appalachiantrail.org.

Sponsor: Appalachian Trail Conservancy Submitted by: Javier Folgar, Appalachian Trail Conservancy Pennsylvania East Cast Greenway map Pennsylvania Equine Council Trail Stewardship Program Project Locations: Statewide Description: The Pennsylvania Equine Council's Trail Stewardship Program promotes sustainable trails by conducting trails stewardship meetings and workshops.

Topics include trail layout, construction, and maintenance.

Participants learn hands-on techniques for making shared use trails environmentally friendly.

Workshops and meetings are free to volunteers and very affordable for agency participants. Workshops cover volunteer labor policies and procedures as well as how to build effective working teams and relationships.

The first day in the classroom covers fundamental topics such as how to design, construct and maintain sustainable trails; best management practices (BMPs) to create sustainable trail surfaces; and proper and safe use of tools for trail work.

The second day is in the field, putting into practice what was discussed in the classroom. The third day covers additional BMPs that agency staff and volunteers will use, as well as how to organize a trail project from start to finish.

There are also night classes, outlining Leave No Trace techniques and other BMPs for trail building. These Pennsylvania Equine Council Trail Stewardship workshops are great opportunities for volunteers to learn Program volunteers work to improve Wissahickon skills that can help protect access for equestrian and shared Valley trails.

use trails.

The three-day Trail Stewardship Workshops are conducted in State College. One to three-hour programs as well as one-day Trail Stewardship Workshops are conducted statewide anywhere in Pennsylvania. In addition, two-day Packing Clinics are conducted.

The Trail Stewardship Program has educated equestrians and other non-motorized trail users to be aware of the different land management agencies, how the agencies work, as well as environmental laws and regulations. The program has educated volunteers and agency personnel to work together to keep trails sustainable and safe which encourages increased trail use.

Sponsor: Pennsylvania Equine Council Submitted by: Gwen and Bud Wills, Pennsylvania Equine Council Sponsor: Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism and the Council on Greenways and Trails, Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks Society and DCNR Submitted by: Kent Taylor, DCNR and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy September 11th National Memorial Trail Story Map Project Location: On-line Description: Getting the word out about the 9/11 Trail and gathering supporters for the trail are important goals of the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance. Sponsors of the multi-use trail, which connects the three 9/11 national memorials, are continually looking for ways to demonstrate the benefits of the trail and spur others to support it with planning and funding. Many sections of the trail have been completed while some parts need additional involvement from citizens in communities where the trail needs work.

Now a new online tool makes it possible for people to see what the trail is like and how it’s taking shape.

Called a “story map”, this new tool does more than just highlight tangible successes. Story maps draw attention to events, people and perspectives that educate and inspire. They are windows into explanations and descriptions of important places and experiences along the way.

The story map is an interactive web map that places supporting information in and around the map for additional context. Photos, videos, information windows, and text are all integrated with the map. The story map becomes a virtual tour of the sightings, people, and places where important things are happening. For more information, visit http://911memorialtrail.org/ or http://goo.gl/QDaQv9.

Sponsor: September 11th National Trail Alliance and DCNR Submitted by: David Brickley, September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance BuildPAtrails – http://maps.dcnr.pa.gov/BuildPAtrails Project Location: Statewide Description: Trail planning professionals need simple web-based tools to accurately visualize locations and attributes of trails and greenway projects, plans, and trail gaps.

BuildPAtrails is a new trail planning visualization tool. It helps answer questions about existing and planned trails, their status, gaps, key partners, nearby grant projects, and other public and roadway projects affecting trails.

Users can determine the status of a trail project, draw on the map, edit data, and take a snapshot of the map to share with others. The site is open only to registered users.

BuildPAtrails is a new online tool for trail planners.

Within three months of the launch, 53 professional trail planners had signed up to use the online tools at

BuildPAtrails. Some of the tasks performed included:

 Find a trail project  Map a new trail  Check trail status  Search for trail gaps  Measure distances  Plot elevations  Download maps and GIS data Join other trail planners and learn more about BuildPAtrails by registering at http://maps.dcnr.pa.gov/BuildPAtrails. Or for general information about trails, visit ExplorePAtrails.com to view and share maps, photos, tweets, Facebook posts, calendar events and YouTube videos. To find out more, visit the site or contact NR-ExplorePAtrails@pa.gov.

Sponsor: DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation Submitted by: Kent Taylor, DCNR Trail of the Year Project Location: Statewide Description: Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Ellen Ferretti recently announced that Redbank Valley Trails in Armstrong, Clarion and Jefferson counties is the 2014 Trail of the Year in Pennsylvania. This new designation is coordinated by the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee to elevate public awareness of the thousands of miles of trails available for public enjoyment in Pennsylvania.

“Eighteen fantastic trails were nominated during this inaugural year for this designation,” Ferretti said.

“Redbank Valley Trails stood out because of the dedicated work of tremendous volunteers; its scenic beauty;

connection to other trail systems; and quick and efficient pace of development.”

Redbank Valley Trails is Pennsylvania’s 2014 Trail of the Year

Much of the 51-mile Redbank Valley Trails runs along Redbank Creek and includes many bridges and beautiful stone arches. The trail connects schools, playing fields, and rural areas to commercial and residential centers.

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