A Big Step Forward for Trail Connections

Armstrong County and Armstrong Trails have greatly boosted the RCTC’s efforts to connect the Baker Trail and Rachel Carson Trail. The Kiski Junction Railroad has been acquired by Armstrong County in the longest rail-to-trail acquisition east of the Mississippi in 2022.

The 14-mile purchase includes the three-mile Baker Trail stretch along the corridor between Schenley and Godfrey. More importantly, it also includes the Kiski River railroad bridge! Chris Ziegler of Armstrong Trails is laser-focused on constructing the new trail, including repurposing the bridge, in 2023.

This fall, Allegheny Township is extending the Tredway Trail north from beneath the Route 356 bridge toward the Kiski bridge along the flats of the Allegheny River. While this new segment in Allegheny Township is ideal for bikes and easy level walks, the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy will continue to oversee the Baker Trail route that hugs the ridge with views of Freeport and the Allegheny Valley.

All this action on the Westmoreland County side of the Allegheny River has led the RCTC to prioritize our efforts to extend the Rachel Carson Trail down the slope from Harrison Hills Park to the Route 356 bridge.

While amazing progress is being made, there's plenty more to do. The next challenge is to construct a safe rail crossing on the southern side of the Kiski river. Our trail building partners in Allegheny Township, Armstrong Trails, and Westmoreland County are leading the way on that project.


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