Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined state park, other DCNR and PennDOT officials to dedicate the site of a trail connector project that will close one of Pennsylvania’s top 10 trail gaps.

The project includes half a mile of new trail construction, six-tenths of a mile of trail, two trail bridge replacements and other work, which will connect Canoe Creek State Park to the Lower Trail, when completed.

Trail users will be able to access to the 17.5-mile Lower Trail from the park’s day use area because of the project.

“We at DCNR are proud to have this important project underway, as it will help close the third biggest trail gap we’ve identified in Pennsylvania’s diverse and expansive trails system,” Dunn said. “I look forward to seeing this completed project and the added recreational value it will provide to the region. Thank you to our community partners, Rails to Trails of Central Pennsylvania, PennDOT and all of the other entities who helped make this great project possible.”

The beautiful, 961-acre Canoe Creek State Park features a 155-acre lake, wetlands, old fields, and mature forests, which provide critical habitat for migrating birds and other wildlife.

DCNR has worked with Rails to Trails of Central Pennsylvania to help develop and maintain Lower Trail, awarding more nearly $500,000 to six projects in the last 20 years.

Others who were instrumental in the Lower Trail project include the Blair County Commissioners, Frankstown Township Commissioners, and Friends of Canoe Creek.

“People will be able to walk or ride safely from Alexandria and Williamsburg because of collaborative effort to improve access to this park,” said Canoe Creek State Park Manager Joe Basil. “I am excited for this project and the expanded recreational opportunities it will provide for this beautiful this park.”

To help achieve its goal of providing a trail within 10 minutes of every Pennsylvanian, DCNR focuses on closing priority trail gaps, working with local trail managers to connect existing trail sections that are typically less than five miles long and are official recognized in a local trail plan.

To date, DCNR has closed 46 priority trail gaps.

DCNR has increased its efforts to close trail gaps across the commonwealth under the leadership of Governor Tom Wolf and its Recreation for All Plan.