In 1996, Fayette County received a planning grant from Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and selected Mackin Engineering to conduct a trail feasibility study. A major study goal was to define and assess the potential trail route. The 1999 Feasibility Study produced evidence that the Sheepskin Trail was a viable project. As the management entity for the development and construction of the Sheepskin Trail, the National Road Heritage Corridor (NRHC) determined there was a need to update the 1999 Feasibility Study based on the length of time since the original study was completed, changes in land use/ownership and potential impact of the Marcellus Shale industry on proposed and alternate routes. Gibson-Thomas Engineering (Gibson-Thomas) was hired to update the 1999 Feasibility Study.
The intent of this study update is to utilize and update the 1999 Feasibility Study as necessary based on changes to the trail corridor that have occurred in the past 18 years. Trail alignments developed in 1999 were reviewed and updated as necessary. Detailed Feasibility Study Exhibits (FSE) were developed to display the proposed Sheepskin Trail alignments. Based on the project background, field views, public input and segment cost estimates, a ‘Main Corridor Alignment’ was developed that is the recommended alignment of the proposed Sheepskin Trail.