ARRA awarded $200K grant to study feasibility of a six-county recreational trail system

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CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – The President of the Allegheny Ridge Recreation Association, Doug Wagner says ATV riding is popular activity across the region.

“In our six-county area which is Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, and Somerset there’s close to 40,000 registered ATV’s,” said Wagner.

The only problem? According to the Director of Visit Clearfield County, Josiah Jones, there’s not many places to actually ride.

“Currently there are no active ATV trails or approved ATV trails from Cambria County here into Clearfield, and into Centre County right now,” said Jones.

But that just might change, thanks to a $200,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Wagner says the money will be used to see if the proposed trail system is even possible. If so, it would stretch close to 130 miles.

“You can get on your ATV in State College and ride all the way to Somerset,” said Wagner.

And the trail wouldn’t just be solely for ATV’s, but for multi-use.

“Walking, horseback riding, hiking, motorized, we want to be able to bring the outdoors to everybody,” said Wagner.

And while Jones admits that the trail will take quite a bit of money to fund,  “you’ve got to be able to create them, maintain them, there’s always some kind of financial piece to keep these trails going.” 

He says it will be well worth it.

“The benefits of having an ATV trail system come through any small town or community is huge. You’re talking about economic benefit, financially for all the small businesses that are there. You’re going to see more businesses pop up you’re talking bed and breakfasts, also maybe different bars and restaurants and you’re also going to see growth,” said Jones.

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