IHTC: Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

Building a Destination

Trails are community assets that attract people to visit our region and make it easier for residents to be active for recreation and exercise. They provide views of scenic river expanses and dramatic cliff faces, offering city-dwellers a means of escape from the stress of urban life. Passing through tunnels and across former railroad bridges, and within sight of artifacts from an earlier time – like old coaling towers or turntables – trails serve as a living connection to our region’s industrial heritage. Yet, unlike many of the local economies those industries once anchored, trails are here to stay. They are resources that cannot be exported or outsourced.

For all of these reasons and more, PEC is proud to be part of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition (I Heart Trails or IHTC for short), a multi-state coalition of trail advocates including government, non-profit, and private foundation entities working to create a shared-use system of trails that will ultimately connect 48 counties in western Pennsylvania, New York, eastern Ohio and West Virginia. IHTC stakeholders are united by a shared vision of trail-linked communities comprising a larger regional destination, allowing local and visiting trail users to bike from trail to trail, city to city, and town to town. We are already nearly halfway to our eventual goal of more than 1,450 miles of trails…

To read more of this article published on the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s website, click here.