TRAILS AND TOWNS OF PENNSYLVANIA's NORTHERN LAUREL HIGHLANDS
TO HOST 250 CYCLISTS FROM 24 STATES
9th Annual Greenway Sojourn, a bicycle tour organized by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
Tuesday, July 19 Sunday, July 24, 2011
Tuesday: Ebensburg to Johnstown and back, along Path of the Flood and Staple Bend Tunnel Trails.
Wednesday: Ebensburg to Nanty Glo, Vintondale and back, along the new C&I Trail.
Thursday: Ebensburg to Saltsburg on Ghost Town and West Penn Trails.
Friday: Kayak/canoe trip from the Conemaugh Dam to Saltsburg. Some Sojourners will also ride the Westmoreland Heritage Trail to Slickville and the Roaring Run Trail to Apollo.
Saturday: Saltsburg to Indiana on West Penn and Hoodlebug Trails.
Sunday: Indiana to Ebensburg on the Hoodlebug and Ghost Town Trails.
POINTS OF INTEREST & OPPORTUNITIES
- Mountain Bike World Champion and 2000 Olympian Ruthie Matthes will be along for the ride and is available for interviews. She is representing Focus Bikes (www.focus-bikes.com), which is raffling two bikes to Sojourn participants.
- 12 young students from inner-city Pittsburgh schools will tackle the Sojourn as part of RTC's Youth Scholarship program.
- Wednesday will mark the first-ever ride of the Cambria and Indiana Trail (C&I), connecting with the nationally renown Ghost Town Trail—yet another tremendous riding, hiking and tourism asset for the region. Ebensburg residents are invited to join the Sojourn for Wednesday's ride along the new trail; $25 gets you on the ride and buys lunch and dinner. To register, call the Young Peoples Community Center, Ebensburg, at 814.472.4277.
- Wednesday night in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials will unveil new plans for the future of trail development and promotion in the region.
- The 200-plus mile route visits more than 20 nationally registered historic sites, including the oldest railroad tunnel in America at Mineral Point, and the world's steepest vehicular inclined plane in Johnstown.
- The Army Corps of Engineers will release water from the Conemaugh Dam to allow Sojourners to canoe/kayak along the Conemaugh River to Avondale on Friday. (Canoe leg kindly supported by the Benscreek Canoe Club).
- Talk with land management and trails development staff about the substantial investment in trail and bridge improvements made ahead of the Sojourn.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 150,000 members and supporters, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information visit www.railstotrails.org.