Leave Your Trace Behind: 2015 Pennsylvania Rail-Trail Sojourn

Posted 02/06/15 by Tom Sexton in Trail Use, America's Trails

They say that to preserve America’s resources for future generations, we should “leave no trace behind.” But for those who love trails and the awesome opportunities they make possible—sometimes it’s about doing just the opposite.

This year, RTC’s 14th Annual Pennsylvania Rail-Trail Sojourn will highlight what trails are all about—leading 300 bicyclists of all ages along a 200-mile route on the Montour Trail and legendary Great Allegheny Passage between Coraopolis, Pa., and Cumberland, Md.

Registration is going on now for RTC’s 14th Annual Pennsylvania Rail-Trail Sojourn, and space is limited. Register now to reserve your spot!

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Bill Trainer enjoys a little ice cream in Confluence during the 2014 sojourn| Photo courtesy Bill Trainer

And while this ride will certainly be an unforgettable experience—six days, incredible vistas, welcoming communities, unique historical sites and comradery that lasts long after the sojourn ends—it will also be a way for riders to leave their positive trace on communities along the route.

RTC sojourns are designed to draw attention to gaps in would-be trail networks that, if completed, could help spur tons of new benefits in their local areas, including trail tourism, economic development, community pride and much more.

The influence that trail networks have on economic development, in particular, is well proven. For example, in 2013, an RTC study of the central leg (six connected trails) of the developing 270-mile Erie to Pittsburgh Trail in northwest Pennsylvania determined that in 2013, a total of more than 158,000 annual user visits had an economic impact of almost $7.5 million. Wow!

RTC sojourns unite a set of trails for a short period of time—serving as “dry runs” to benchmark how those trail-network improvements could make local areas more bikeable and walkable, and help ignite similar benefits.

Riding the Panhandle Trail during the 2014 sojourn | Photo by Katie Harris

Last year, the Pennsylvania Rail-Trail Sojourn generated $214,000 in positive economic impact for communities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland in just six days. Another wow!

And the more we show this type of impact, the more communities are taking notice and demanding new trail connections.

By participating in our Rail-Trail Sojourns, you can make a lasting impact on America and help inspire the creation of biking/walking networks that boost our local economies and our quality of life.

And of course, the experiences you’ll have as a sojourner—the positive trace these rides will leave in you, so to speak—are just as impactful. In addition to seeing some amazing places, you’ll be able to interact with people from all across America, different in age, background and biking ability, but united by a commonality: a passion for trails.

Join us, and experience this unforgettable ride for yourself!

Get more info and register for the 2015 Pennsylvania Rail-Trail Sojourn on the Wilderness Voyageurs website.

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