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Ligonier Valley Trail group set to develop next phase

| Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Daniel Kubus | For The Tribune-Review
Marte Louw of Squirrel Hill runs on the Rose Stepnick Crossing at the Ligonier Valley Trail. Taken on July 21, 2013 in Ligonier, PA.
The new Ligonier Valley Trail logo features the archway across Mill Creek.
The next portion of the Ligonier Valley Trail, from Peoples Road to the Mill Creek bridge near Cool Springs Express, will soon get underway.

Ligonier Valley Trail & Bikeway committee members and volunteers will soon begin developing the next section of the north end of the trail, thanks to additional funding from the Allegheny Foundation and the Larson Family Charitable Gift Fund.

The foundation provided $25,000, and $3,000 in grants monies was received from the Larson fund to be used for developing the trail north of Peoples Road.

“We will go on the old Ligonier Valley Rail Road bed until we get to the Golden property, then across their land and onto Ligonier Camp and Conference Center property,” said Larry Shew, who was named project manager in May after Rose Stepnick moved out of state. “Once on LCCC land, we angle towards Route 711 and the soccer fields.”

The trail will continue north in the field but on top of the new water line recently installed coming from Johnstown. The trail will continue to the Route 711 bridge crossing Mill Creek near the Cool Springs Express restaurant.

“Our goal for this next phase of trail development is to complete it this year,” said Shew.

An 11-foot-span pedestrian bridge was erected across Mill Creek in May connecting the first portion of the trail from Peoples Road to the sports complex near Weller Field.

Future plans include extending the north section of the trail to the recreational area behind the Ligonier Township Municipal Building.

The group recently received a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant in the amount of $1,800 acquired through the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor. It will be used for signage for the new and existing trail, the bridge area and the borough section of the in-town trail. The signs will feature a trail logo designed by Laick Design of Uniontown. The logo features the bridge's unique archways designed and constructed by Shew.

“We greatly appreciate the funding and interest in improving our community through this project,” said Shew. “With the completion of the bridge over Mill Creek a few months ago, we see folks walking or riding bikes on the trail every day.”

Shew said he thinks more people are realizing the value of exercising for a more healthy lifestyle.

“We also anticipate that when school starts this fall, many parents we be using the trail while their children are participating in sporting events at Weller Field,” said Shew.

Shew credits the efforts of the neighboring municipalities for the success of the trail to date.

“Township, borough and community support has been excellent and we sincerely thank all those who have provided funding or a helping hand,” he said.

New “Friends of the Ligonier Valley Trail” members are always welcome. To join the group or make a donation, call 724-238-2725 or email

Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or