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.