June 25, 2019
A new bike trail will make it possible some day to ride across the country on a "safe, seamless and scenic pathway."
But the project won't be completed for a couple of years.
The Great American Rail-Trail — when completed — will span more than 3,700 miles from Washington D.C. to Washington state, according to the Rails to Trails Conservancy. The project will close more than 90 gaps between some 125 existing trails, including “gateway” trails in 12 states.
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The preferred route includes some 170 miles of trails crossing through southwestern Pennsylvania, connecting Ohio and Maryland. At this point in the project, those trails are could include the Great Allegheny Passage, Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Montour Trail and Panhandle Trail.
The idea for the cross-country trail actually originated more than 30 years ago, Health reports, but has taken some time to research connecting trails and work with local “trail partners” to devise a plan.
According to the Rails to Trails Conservancy, the trail is 52 percent complete.
"The Great American Rail-Trail will be a national treasure. It presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create — together — an enduring gift to the nation that will bring joy for generations to come,” said Ryan Chao, Conservancy president.