The vision of a trail connecting Erie and Pittsburgh is a little closer to reality. The Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance received funding from DCNR for trail development, capacity building, and training. Trail groups learned sustainable self-building techniques and how to leverage volunteer time to secure more funding. Funding came from the Environmental Stewardship Fund.

Ribbon cutting for the expanded East Branch Trail.

The Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance is a coalition of trail groups and municipalities working together to create a multi-purpose, non-motorized trail system connecting downtown Erie and Point State Park in Pittsburgh. “We are so grateful for receiving the DCNR partnership funding that, combined with private funds, has enabled the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance to offer real, on-the-ground assistance to trail groups along the larger trail corridor,” said Kim Harris, manager for the project.

Stakeholders meet on site to discuss the Ritchey Run Bridge project in Emlenton.

That assistance has accelerated trail development. The East Branch Trail in Crawford County, for example, added 2.4 miles of length through self-build techniques. The new section connects to Hydetown Borough and is that municipality’s only trail. Elsewhere, along the Allegheny River Trail, several infrastructure projects are underway with technical assistance from this grant, including the rehabilitation of a railroad bridge in Emlenton.