News for Immediate Release
Sept. 19, 2012
DCNR Joins Borough Officials to Dedicate Jersey Shore Connector to the Pine Creek Rail-Trail
Jersey Shore, Lycoming County – Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan today joined local officials celebrating the completion of a connector from the Pine Creek Rail-Trail through the Borough of Jersey Shore to the Susquehanna River.
Allan and Jersey Shore Mayor Dennis Buttorf cut the ribbon on the new 1.4-mile trail and “share the road” coarse with a host of local officials, partners and trail enthusiasts at the trailhead on the edge of town. The Pine Creek Rail-Trail runs along the belly of the Pine Creek Gorge in Tioga and Lycoming counties.
“Trails are all about connections, and in the case of this extension, it will connect one of the best hiking and biking trails in the country to a host of facilities and local businesses in Jersey Shore,” Allan said. “Now, travelers along the trail can end their memorable experience viewing dramatic rock outcrops, waterfalls and wildlife with a meal at a local establishment, or at overnight accomodations in the borough.”
According to a user survey done several years ago, the Pine Creek Rail-Trail provides more than $5 million per year into the local economy.
Allan added that this extension also will provide the residents of Jersey Shore with a first-class recreational asset right outside their doorsteps.
DCNR has invested around $7 million in the Pine Creek Rail-Trail, including $418,000 in the connection through Jersey Shore.
The route runs from the trailhead just outside the borough along the railroad bed before turning on to Seminary St. until it meets the riverfront.
“This connector is a continuation of our efforts in the Pennsylvania Wilds to work with local communities to make sure this area can be enjoyed by all, but also retains its charm and remains protected for future generations,” Allan said.
Partners in the trail connector include the borough, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Lycoming County, SEDA COG Joint Rail Authority and the Lycoming Community Foundation.
The Pine Creek Rail-Trail opened in 1996 through the bottom of the Pine Creek Gorge, often called the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, along an abandoned railroad bed. The 65-mile, multi-use trail for hiking, bicycling, and cross-country skiing runs from Wellsboro to Jersey Shore.
Trail users can see wildlife like eagles, ospreys, coyotes, deer, wild turkeys, herons, river otters and black bear. Diverse plant life, scattered old-growth timber, historic pine and spruce plantations and several structures from the Civilian Conservation Corps era can also be found along the trail.
The trail work is part of ongoing efforts to improve recreational opportunities and increase nature tourism in the region known as the Pennsylvania Wilds. The region includes 27 state parks, 1.5 million acres of state forest and game lands, the Allegheny National Forest, the largest elk herd in the northeast U.S., and the darkest nighttime skies at Cherry Springs State Park.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Wilds, Pine Creek Gorge or any of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests, visit the DCNR website at www.dcnr.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101