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Fall & Winter 1997
Fall and Winter 1997

The Yough River Trail - McKeesport to Confluence in 1998

Named by "Travel and Leisure Magazine" as one of the best 19 trails In the world - and it's not only beautiful (Let's Keep It That Way) It's Also Free!!

Trail News Update

The 5th Annual YoughtoberFest 97 on Saturday, October 11th in Boston kicks-off at 7 AM with a pancake breakfast at the local Methodist Church with Festival activities starting at 9 AM and running until 6 PM. Sponsored by the Mon-Yough Trail Council, the event will have Information Booths, Demonstrations, Hot Air Balloon, Medivac Landing and Inspection, Entertainment, Prizes including a mountain bike, Fun Ride and games for kids. Take Route 48 to the Boston Riverfront Park - under the Boston Bridge off Route 48 (Orange Belt). Call 724-754-1100 for information.

The Yough River Trail Council will do its annual Fall Foilage Ride and Lunch on Sunday October 19th leaving from the River Front Park in Connellsville. Call 724-628-5500 for more information.

According to Trail Director Bob McKinley the entire Trail will be completed from McKeesport to Confluence by the fall of 1998. "Recent developments have eliminated some of the final hurdles, so now we will push entirely through". Plans are to do one more mile north of Dead Man's Hollow this year, (Mile Posts 18/19) near McKeesport. This Hollow is the former site of a Major Clay Pipe Manufacturer. Recently, over 200 acres were purchased by the Allegheny Land Trust to create a nature preserve and restore the land to its original condition. The Trust is developing hiking trails, with bike parking racks at access points to permit trail users to enjoy the Preserve. The Hollow is very deep rising 400 feet, with brilliant displays of Trillium coverage both white and painted. Other interesting displays of flora and fauna can be seen.

With the assistance of McKeesport's Streets and Road Department and United Way's Day of Caring, 4000 feet of trail will go through the city on East side of the 14th Street Bridge to McKees Point Marina, a modern Marina facility with boat storage.

Director McKinley is also putting together a program to deal with Trail Maintenance, a potential major issue, since grant funding is scarce for this purpose. Plans for a Yough 200 Kilometer Pledge Ride from McKeesport to Confluence and back (70 miles) over two days in October of 1998, complete with camping/meals will go towards maintenance. "It will be one heck of a rider" promises Director McKinley.

From nearby Elizabeth, and the Trail Towns of McKeesport, Boston, (and Ceder Creek Access Area), West Newton, Smithton, and soon to be on -Whitsett - A Warm Welcome

In other developments, state and matching funds for the Sheepskin Trail (Access to be above Connellsville through Dunbar, Uniontown to Point Marion -32 miles) feasibility study are in place and RFP's are out. Much of the former Pennsylvania Railroad right-of-way is still intact, making potential development easier.

Both Ohiopyle State Park and a group of Connellsville Eagle Scouts have made life easier for Trail Users on Horseback. The State Park opened trails for riding, and the scouts have set up a Horseback Rest Station near River's Edge Family Campgrounds, down river towards Dawson. The advocacy of the Fayette County Horseowners Association for the trail will be covered in the magazine on an on-going basis on another page.

Ohiopyle State Park is also now renting walled tents (already to put up) to Trail users.

One obstacle faced by the 5 Star Trail may have been removed as Amtrak's Vice-President for Community Affairs inspected the tunnel under the Conrail Right of Way which would permit the Trail to access Lynch Park in Greensburg. Amtrak needs to provide permission. The official told local authorities that he did not see any major issues.

Trail completion between Smithton and Dawson is also "on track" for 1998 and will for the first time unite the "close-in-river" beauty of the Whittset section, the history of Perryopolis, and the more remote beauty of Layton to Dawson sections. This part of the Trail will be truly spectacular and will only enhance the Trail's reputation.

In other developments, a meeting of local officials, attractions and businesses of the River and Trail Communities as well as Trail Director McKinley was held at Linden Hall, August 18th. Various issues pertinent to tourism promotion and infrastructure were discussed. At the request of Fayette County Board Chairman Vince Vicetes, these issues will be reported to the Fayette County Commissioners at an up-coming meeting.

 
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