Following the great success of trail networks in neighboring
regions, Franklin County in southern Pennsylvania is exploring the possibility
of cycling and walking connections to the popular Chambersburg Rail Trail.
Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Appalachian Trail
Conservancy (ATC), Greene Township will study the feasibility and benefits of a
non-motorized connection between the Chambersburg Rail Trail, which runs through downtown Chambersburg, and Caledonia State
Park, 10 miles to the east.
Local officials will also explore the development of a trail
connecting Greene Township Park in Scotland with Norlo Park in Guilford
Linking local towns with the Caledonia State Park would be a
boon for area businesses. In addition to 10 miles of forested hiking trails,
the park also connects to the world-renowned Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
Thousands of visitors travel the trail each year, seeking food and
accommodation in communities along the 2,000-mile route.
ATC has overseen the South Mountain Partnership Mini-Grant Program
since 2009, during which time $188,600 in grants have been awarded, triggering
almost $390,000 in grantee matches. The mini-grant program is funded in part by
the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Growing
The South Mountain Partnership Mini-Grant awards also
brought good news for rail-trail proponents nearby. A grant of $2,500 will
allow Shippensburg University to conduct a user and demographic survey on the Cumberland
Valley Rail Trail. The Cumberland Valley Rails-to-Trails Council was awarded
$3,000 to install interpretive panels highlighting the trail corridor's Civil
War and agricultural history.
The Borough of Gettysburg will receive $11,500 to widen and
resurface an initial section of the Gettysburg Inner Loop bicycle trail, which
will provide transportation options between historical attractions, community
amenities and the downtown business district.
For more information about the Appalachian Trail
Conservancy, visit www.appalachiantrail.org
Even when the snow is feet deep, these trails can be used by cross-country skiers!
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