An Epic Story of Trail Bridges, Rail Tunnels, & other cool relics

Part of a Series of Self-Guided Itineraries

Redbank Coaling Tower, Armstrong Trail

You don’t need to be a bridge or rail history buff to take pleasure in the “epic infrastructure” along the IHTC trails. Feel the cool air as you pedal through converted rail tunnels. Look out upon river valleys from elevated rail bridges and experience awe. Have fun and connect to regional industrial heritage with our Epic Infrastructure Story Map.

Our Epic Infrastructure Story Map showcases:
  • Nineteenth Century truss bridges (Caperton Trail, Oil Creek State Park Trail, and others)
  • 17 rail tunnels-turned-places to play (including 10 on the North Bend Rail Trail alone)
  • A covered bridge (Sheepskin Trail)
  • An old railroad turntable and a 1930 coaling tower (you’ll pass right under it) (Armstrong Trail)
  • A floating bridge (Towpath Trail)
  • Suspension bridges (Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Towpath Trail, Wheeling Heritage Trails)
  • Five stone arch bridges in a 15-mile span (West Penn Trail)
  • Beehive coke ovens and old canal locks (Sheepskin Trail, Towpath Trail)

This Story Map highlights dozens of bridges, tunnels, and other epic infrastructure – both new and old. The sites are spread across three states, so feel free to take your time and discover them at your own pace. This Story Map can easily be paired with our others:


Trail Itineraries Galore!


See our Trail Trips page to plan your next ride

Tired of the same old trail rides? Whatever your speed or desired mileage, we probably have the trip for you. We’ve got eight self-guided itineraries along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, Allegheny River Trail, Ghost Town Trail, Montour Trail, and more. The shortest one is nine miles (the Towpath Trail through Cuyahoga Valley National Park). The longest is closer to 90 (Armstrong and Redbank Valley trails).

Find all eight itineraries – in both mobile-friendly and “print and fold” formats – on our Trail Trips page. There, you’ll also find a number of Story Maps, thematic itineraries that cover the whole IHTC region. With these, you can just plug in wherever you are or make it a goal to see all the sites. We’re really excited about the Story Maps because they highlight a lot of points of interest beyond the trail and there’s so very much to see. Here’s what we’ve got with these:

Scoops ‘N Suds (beer and ice cream, yeah!)

Epic Infrastructure (bridges, rail tunnels, and other neat old relics from our industrial past)

Modern Day Makers (think pottery, marbles, refurbished bikes, and baseball bats)

Boats Along the Trails (this is for those of you that are looking to get out on the water or perhaps have a pedal/paddle experience)

Not sure where to start? Check out our Open Trails Story Map for an overview of all of the places you can ride, where to park, and some other good info.

Get Social to Stay Posted This Fall

If we’ve piqued your interest, follow us on Facebook and Instagram (hashtag #rideihtc) this fall. We’ll be posting about a lot of the sites there and welcome you to send us some of your fall foliage bike photos at We might just post them for others to see your trail adventures!

About the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition (IHTC)

The Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition (IHTC) consists of more than 100 organizations and stakeholders collaborating to complete and connect a system of 1,500 miles of shared use trails in a four-state area of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia. The system is currently 47% complete, with over 700 miles of trail to be discovered and enjoyed.

The coalition includes government, nonprofit and private foundation entities, as well as land managers and railroad interests, working together to position trail development as a regional priority. Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) lead and staff the regional effort. The National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) provides additional staff and technical support.