Trail Blazing

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail / Credit: Cumberland County Visitors Bureau

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail / Credit: Cumberland County Visitors Bureau

By Karen Hendricks

The rails-to-trails movement–converting unused railroad lines into recreational trails–is “on track” with today’s environmentally-friendly, recycling movement. There are numerous rail trails located in central Pennsylvania, such as York County’s Heritage Rail Trail and Cumberland County’s Cumberland Valley Rail Trail.

In fact, Pennsylvania is one of the top states for trail mileage (1,763 miles) and number of trails (173), according to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to “transforming unused rail corridors into vibrant public places.”

While I was researching rail trails, bike paths, and bicycle-friendly communities, I met some of the kindest, most genuine people who truly care about communities and ensuring that outdoor recreation is part of their community’s mix:

  • Tom Jolin, who has dedicated countless volunteer hours towards the Gettysburg Inner Loop
  • Gwen Loose, who has worked since 1997 as executive director of the York County Rail Trail Authority
  • Kristen Rowe and Aaron Jumper of the Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation/Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau, who truly enjoy promoting their county’s outdoor recreational lineup

Meet some of these trail-blazing personalities, in my latest article for Celebrate Gettysburg magazine: Trail Blazing: Exploring New Paths, Rails & Trails appearing in the May/June issue. I hope it inspires you to explore a new trail this summer!

Enjoy a photo montage of gorgeous views and sweeping vistas seen on central Pennsylvania’s trails, by clicking on any image below:


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