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In Pennsylvania, Community Explores Connection to Appalachian Trail

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 Township.

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 Greener program.

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

 


Posted Fri, Dec 30 2011 12:34 PM by Jake Lynch

Comments

Andrew Chermak wrote re: In Pennsylvania, Community Explores Connection to Appalachian Trail
on Thu, Jan 12 2012 3:13 PM

Even when the snow is feet deep, these trails can be used by cross-country skiers!

 

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