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Trail talk highlights Donegal Township meeting

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By Josh King
Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
 

The idea of Indian Creek Valley Bike and Hike Trail intersecting state Route 31 in Donegal Township and picking back up at state Route 381 was discussed Monday's meeting of the Donegal Township board of supervisors.

For several years, the Mountain Watershed Association has been working on the trail located in the township, as well as Saltlick and Springfield townships in Fayette County.

The project includes the trail's northern end in Donegal Township.

“The total length of the trail would be about 26 miles if we succeed in getting easements on all the parcels through which the trail runs,” said Bev Braverman, the association's executive director. “We have easements on eight parcels, plus we own two sections, the one from Champion almost to Route 31 in Donegal Township and about two-thirds of one mile in Springfield Township.”

Brad Clemenson, a consultant in the tourism development business, works on trails all around the Laurel Highlands.

He attended the meeting and said and sees the project as an outstanding opportunity.

“It's such a beautiful trail that it will be an asset for local residents and a new destination for visitors,” Clemenson said.

Braverman added that trails provide a low-cost recreational opportunity for local residents who can go out in nature and get some much-needed fresh air and exercise.

“They also draw people from all around the country who then stop in local stores and give the economy a boost,” she said. “Even unfinished, the Indian Creek Valley Trail has entertained visitors from miles away mostly asking when the trail will be extended.”

In 2008, the association — which owns and maintains as portion of the trail — completed a feasibility study examining the possibility of expanding the trail south to the Youghiogheny River, where it could serve as a spur of the popular Great Allegheny Passage, and northward toward Ligonier, according to the trail's website — indiancreekvalleytrail.com.

In other business, several citizens expressed concerns over unspecified buildings located in the township that are in ruins.

A few examples were brought up by the citizens and the board of supervisors assured that they will examine options.

“We will look into it further,” supervisor Dan Pribisco said.

Josh King is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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