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Trail envisioned through parts of Bridgeville, Carnegie, Upper St. Clair

| Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, 9:00 p.m.

I participated in an interesting meeting at the Bridgeville Public Library recently, focused on connecting the different communities in the South Hills through trails.

The event, called “Growing Together Through Trails,” was hosted by Justin Beinhauer, an Upper St. Clair resident with a commitment to connecting the communities of Upper St. Clair, South Fayette and others to Bridge­ville, which he calls the “heart of the community.”

The meeting was surprisingly well attended, with representatives of the Montour Trail, the Rachel Carson Trail, South Fayette Township, the Allegheny Land Trust, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Planning Commission there, as well as a number of interested unaffiliated local residents.

Beinhauer opened the meeting by recounting the enjoyment he had on trails as a child, and his belief that his initiative would promote a healthy lifestyle for South Hills residents. He then presented a series of slides documenting the success of a number of organizations dedicated to the development and maintenance of recreational trails in Western Pennsylvania.

It was apparent that the host was indeed “preaching to the choir,” as all of the meeting's participants were in full agreement about the benefits of developing a formal trail along the Chartiers Valley and particularly between Carnegie and the Montour Trail. They were aware that planning for the section between Boyce-Mayview Park and the Montour Trail is in its preliminary stages.

Beinhauer acknowledged his idea is not a new one. A newspaper article in 2003 reported the result of a $54,000 study commissioned by the Chartiers Nature Conservancy that outlined a proposed route for the trail, beginning at Canonsburg Lake and ending in McKees Rocks. This organization has ceased to exist.

Despite the failure of earlier efforts to develop such a trail, it is possible that the “time is ripe” to revive them. In the intervening years there have been numerous successful ventures of this type, as enumerated by the host.

Assuming the Boyce-Mayview to the Montour Trail goes ahead, the next obvious link is from there through the Wingfield Pines Conservancy site to Chartiers Park and Bridge­ville. The Conservancy site and Chartiers Park are already connected by an informal path.

John Oyler is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. He can be reached at 412-343-1652 or Read more from him at

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