Redbank Valley Trail, Allegheny River Trail Named to PA Top 10 Trails List

JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – The Redbank Valley Trail and the Allegheny River Trail were both named to the Rails to Trails Conservancy’s Top Ten Trails in Pennsylvania List.

(Photo by Ryan Cree)

The list notes that the 51-mile Redbank Valley Rail Trail was the winner of DCNR’s Pennsylvania Trail of the Year award for 2014 — in part for its natural beauty and the dedicated volunteers who’ve made the trail a success. The trail is listed as an example of local and regional connectivity at its best.

The pathway follows a rail corridor developed by the Allegheny Valley Railroad in 1872 to carry passengers, coal, and lumber to Pittsburgh and beyond. Ceasing freight service altogether in 2007, the corridor—also a part of the IHTC trail network—now carries trail users along the forested banks of Redbank Creek for more than 41 miles to the Allegheny River and along a 9-mile perpendicular spur to Sligo. Much of the trail runs along Redbank Creek and includes many bridges and beautiful stone arches. The trail also connects schools, soccer fields and rural areas to commercial and residential centers.

Photo by Tom Bilcze

Photo by Tom Bilcze

The opportunity for spotting wildlife along the 30-mile Allegheny River Trail is one of the primary draws listed. With its history as a canoe route for Native Americans and French trappers and the Allegheny River’s designation as a national wild and scenic river, wildlife often spotted along the trail ranges from chipmunks and wild turkeys to deer and even eagles.

About 3.2 miles past the junction to the Sandy Creek Trail is Indian God Rock, a large boulder at the water’s edge with numerous inscriptions, including American Indian petroglyphs. At the trail’s end in Foxburg, trail-goers will find pleasant riverfront dining, wine cellars and the historical RiverStone Estate. The trail is also part of the is also part of the developing 1,500-miles-plus Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition (IHTC) and the 270-mile Erie to Pittsburgh Trail.

The other trails listed in the top ten are the Schuylkill River Trail, the D&L Trail, the Montour Trail, the Pine Creek Rail Trail, the Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail, the Heritage Rail Trail County Park, the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, and the Great Allegheny Passage.

These trails, some of which travel through major metropolitan areas, by some of America’s most treasured historical and cultural sites, and through the breathtaking wilderness, are among some of the best that make up the 188 completed rail-trails to date collectively spanning more than 2,100 miles miles in Pennsylvania, more than rail-trails in any other state in the nation.

Find out more about the other trails that made the top ten list here.

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