If you have a favorite trail and think that it is the best in the state, nominate it for 2018 Trail of the Year. The designation is coordinated by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Trails Advisory Committee to elevate public awareness of the thousands of miles of trails available for public enjoyment in Pennsylvania.
During the International Trails Symposium on May 9, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary received the Trail Accessibility Award from the American Trails National and International Trails Awards Program for its ADA-approved Silhouette Trail.
The National and International Trails Awards Program, hosted by the American Trails organization, recognizes the tremendous contributions and successes of exemplary people and organizations across the globe who are working to advance trails. The awards are presented every two years. The Trail Accessibility Award recognizes a successful trail project that demonstrates the integration of accessibility characteristics into its design and construction.
Hawk Mountain’s Silhouette Trail, which opened in the summer of 2015, is a 900-foot, accessible trail that serves as an alternative route to the Sanctuary’s South Lookout, where hawk-watching and educational programs occur. It includes a trailside display of full-sized, in-flight, metal silhouettes of endangered birds of prey, adding an element of education to the wheelchair-accessible trail. A free brochure describing the displayed raptors and their importance is available at the Hawk Mountain Visitor Center and for download at hawkmountain.org.
On July 13, the Indiana County Commissioners passed a proclamation praising the Indiana County Parks and Trails Commission on its 50th anniversary. Commissioner Rodney Ruddock called the county’s network of parks, trails, historic sites, and natural areas “the strongest program for parks and trails in the state.” The proclamation coincided with the publishing of a new booklet that details the history of county-owned recreation sites compiled by Parks and Trails Commission Director Ed Patterson, Indiana County Parks and Trails 50th Anniversary: 1967-2017. It describes the history of the park system and the people who were instrumental in helping it grow.
See the Indiana Gazette article for more information about the proclamation and new trail projects on the horizon in Indiana County.
The D&L will announce the designation on June 3 at 11:00 am at the National Canal Museum, located in Easton’s Hugh Moore Park, located at 2750 Hugh Moore Park Road, Easton, Northampton County.
The announcement stems from the recent merger between the D&L and the National Canal Museum. The D&L preserves the historic pathway that carried anthracite and iron from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia.
Today, the Corridor and 165-mile D&L Trail are a vital connection to nature, recreation, America’s industrial heritage, and more than $250 million in annual economic impact. The National Canal Museum is a regional leader in educational programming for children and adults.
The announcement on June 3 will coincide with National Trails Day on the D&L Trail and the National Canal Museum’s 2017 season opening. The Museum’s special exhibit, The Hidden History of Island Park will open to the public on the same day.
For more information programs, initiatives and upcoming event, visit the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor website.
On January 26, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced the Montour Trail in Allegheny and Washington counties as the state’s 2017 Trail of the Year.
“With a history of support dating back to the late 1980s, and annual user numbers surpassing 400,000, the Montour Trail deserves to be singled out in this fourth year of very special recognition,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Quality, benefits to the region, and a strong volunteer network and multitude of partnerships qualify Montour for this honor.”
The designation is coordinated by DCNR’s Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee to elevate public awareness of the thousands of miles of trails available for public enjoyment across Pennsylvania. In honor of the achievement, the committee and DCNR will work to produce a poster for statewide distribution and plan a public celebration.
The 63-mile Montour Trail occupies the former Montour Railroad and Peters Creek Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad between Coraopolis and Clairton in suburban Pittsburgh, making it one of the nation’s longest non-motorized suburban rail-trails. The trail connects with Pittsburgh International Airport, the Panhandle Trail, and the Great Allegheny Passage, which stretches over 330 miles from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.
The Montour Trail Council was created in 1989 to oversee the construction, maintenance, and operation of the trail. The all-volunteer organization relies on volunteers, friends groups, and community organizations to keep the trail in excellent condition for its 400,000 annual users.
“The Montour Trail is deeply honored to be named Trail of the Year,” said council president Ned Williams. “The volunteers have worked tirelessly, for many years, to turn this old rail line into the recreational jewel that it is today. We keep making it better, so that even more people will be drawn outdoors to stroll or travel the trail, and enjoy its striking beauty.”
For additional information about the Montour Trail, and the more than 600 trails covering nearly 12,000 miles in Pennsylvania, visit www.explorepatrails.com.