Trails and Greenways Library Collection at ConservationTools.org
WeConservePA has published dozens of guides, model documents, and other tools as well as collected and curated resources to help people plan, development, and maintain trails as well as acquire the property interests for greenway and trail corridors.
Universal Access Trails and Shared Use Paths: Design, Management, Ethical, and Legal Considerations
How can trail groups, local governments and land trusts responsibly plan, develop and operate trails that are accessible by all people, including those with limited mobility? This is the leading resource nationwide on the subject.
Manuals and Guides for Trail Design, Construction, Maintenance, and Operation, and for Signs
A collection of guidance assembled by the Recreational Trails Program of U.S. Department of Transportation.
Rails to Trails Conservancy Resource Library
A collection of studies and reports related to rail-to-trail activity across the country.
Towns and Trails Toolkit
A resource to help people create trail-friendly communities
Trail Crossings: Signs, Markings, and Lights
LTAP training document on the placement of trail crossing signs, markings, and lights.
Pennsylvania Trail Design and Development Principles: Guidelines for Sustainable Non-Motorized Trails
A compilation of best practices and guidelines for the planning, design, construction, and management of non-motorized trails that are both physically and environmentally sustainable.
Protect the View
Social media and resource toolkit for Protect the View, a science-based campaign and call to action to protect threatened trail views from 6 Circuit Trails.
COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Pennsylvania’s Non-Motorized Trails: Fall 2020 Update
Report by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council on the impact of COVID-19 on non-motorized trails throughout PA.
Whether you are building a new multi-purpose trail or already maintaining one, it is critical to determine your maintenance costs. Once you determine baseline costs you can more accurately determine if your practices, materials, and design are cost-effective. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has created a peer-reviewed worksheet to enable you to capture your maintenance costs, plus compare them to other trails to gain additional insight.
Routine Trail Maintenance Costs Per Mile
Here are some examples of different rail-trail types and locations that have completed the worksheet.
Trail Maintenance Budget Worksheet
Use this worksheet to determine your costs. Please share your results with Rails to Trails Conservancy to help create a better resource for all trail managers.
Funding for Trails
Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program (Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development)
Multimodal Transportation Fund (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation)
Rails-to-Trails Mini-Grants (Rails to Trails Conservancy)
Regional Trail Workshop Grants (WeConservePA)
Pennsylvania RecTAP Grants (Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society)
Transportation Alternatives Program (PennDOT)
Created by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, ExplorePAtrails.com provides a resource for searching, discovering and sharing trail information on trails across Pennsylvania.
GoToTrails.com provides a digital map, whiteboard, and forum for trail planners, builders, and others to share information, plan and manage trails, and explore recreational opportunities.
TrailLink by Rails-toTrails Conservancy helps you search and explore trails and plan outings with desktop and mobile apps. Free and unlimited accounts accounts are offered.
AllTrails.com by AllTrails provides detailed trail maps, reviews, and photos crowdsourced from millions of registered hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners on desktop and mobile apps. Free and paid services are offered.
Pennsylvania Land and Water Trail Network Strategic Plan
PA Department of Natural Resources’ trail network strategic plan for 2020-2024.
County Greenway Plans
A PDF document of county and multi-county greenway plans. The plans might serve as companion documents to other plans or directly address closely related greenway topics such as open space protection, parks, and outdoor recreation.
Pennsylvania Greenways: An Action Plan for Creating Connections
This 2001 plan is the end product of the Pennsylvania Greenways Partnership Commission, which was established by Governor Ridge in 1998. It was completed with the help of the Greenways Partnership Advisory Committee.
Exploring Pennsylvania’s Top Ten Trail Gaps
Interactive GIS map illustrating the top ten trail gaps in Pennsylvania, featuring photos and information. The intent of the the top ten trail gaps is to establish the top priority trail projects for Pennsylvania and to raise public awareness of the need for funding and interagency cooperation to complete these gaps. These were selected as the top ten trail gaps out of 38 nominations submitted by trail partners throughout the commonwealth.
Outdoor Recreation Access Interactive Maps
Interactive map developed through a partnership between PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and The Trust for Public Land that seeks to help implement Pennsylvania’s vision that enjoyable outdoor recreation is welcoming to all and accessible in every Pennsylvania community.
Pennsylvania Major Greenway Corridors
This PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ map identifies nearly 50 major greenway corridors, which the agency defines as existing or planned, linear open space features, fifty miles or more in length, passing through two or more counties, and recognized in an official planning document. Included are all water trails designated by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Pennsylvania Conserved Lands Map
Map of Pennsylvania conserved land compiled by WeConservePA
Miscellaneous PA State Government Resources
Pennsylvania Annual Trail Reports
The reports document trail accomplishments in the commonwealth.
DCNR Greenways Webpage
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is working with key stakeholders to develop a network of greenways across Pennsylvania. This page provides links to key resources and updates on ongoing efforts.
Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee
The 20-member Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee represents both motorized and non-motorized trail users and advises the Commonwealth on the use of state and federal trail funding. The Committee helps implement the recommendations of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan to develop a statewide land and water trail network.
PennDOT Historic Bridges for Sale
In an effort to preserve some of Pennsylvania’s historic bridges, the commonwealth is marketing a number of them for adaptive reuse (e.g., for use as trail connectors). PennDOT primarily markets truss bridges because they were designed to be disassembled and moved as needed, thus making it easier to preserve them through relocation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Stormwater Permitting and Trail Development
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about trail development and permitting for PA Code, Title 25, Chapter 102 – Erosion and Sediment Control, and Chapter 105 – Dam Safety and Waterway Management.