Opening celebration set for bike trail extension in Indiana |

Opening celebration set for bike trail extension in Indiana

Jeff Himler
Indiana County Office of Planning and Development
Workers place street markings at Eighth and Church streets in Indiana to indicate the northern end of the new Hoodlebug Trail extension, debuting Nov. 8, 2019.
Indiana County Office of Planning and Development
This map shows the route of the new Hoodlebug Trail extension, from Rose Street in White Township north to Eighth and Church streets in Indiana. The 1.5-mile route is set to debut on Nov. 8, 2019.

Local officials and trail advocates next week will celebrate the “soft opening” of a new extension of Indiana County’s Hoodlebug Trail that brings the hiking and bicycling route through the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus and into downtown Indiana.

The event is set for noon on Nov. 8 at the route’s new northern trail head, located in an Indiana Borough parking lot at Eighth and Church streets.

The 10.5-mile Hoodlebug Trail route mostly follows a former railroad right-of-way connecting Burrell Township in the south with White Township in the north, passing through Homer City and Center Township along the way. It is named for a self-propelled rail car that once carried passengers along the line.

The new extension adds 1.5 miles, from the former trail terminus at Rose Street in White Township to the borough parking lot, according to Josh Krug, deputy director of planning in the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development.

“It’s been about six years since the inception of the idea,” Krug said of the trail extension. “It supports multimodal transportation in Indiana. There are three different local owners of the trail improvements, and none are the county.”

He explained the extension makes use of some abandoned township right-of-way, then follows an existing bike-and-pedestrian path at IUP, continuing along several borough streets — including Maple Street and Garman Avenue — to reach the Eighth Street parking lot.

Local funding of $120,000 matched a $280,000 state multimodal transportation grant for the project, while the township contributed in-kind services, Krug said. IUP invested an additional $50,000 in improvements on South 13th Street that allow all pedestrians and bicyclists to remain on a single side of the street.

“There had been a prior scenario where they had to cross the road twice,” he said. “Now, they don’t have to cross the road at all.”

A dedicated path for hikers and bikers is included on part of the extension, but mostly hikers are required to use existing sidewalks while bicyclists share the road with motor vehicles, Krug said. Signs and road markings have been placed to designate the extended trail.

The borough improved the lot at Eighth and Church streets, adding parking spaces while still providing room for trail head facilities. Bike repair stations are featured at each end of the trail extension while an overhead structure lit by solar power is slated for the Eighth Street trail head, according to Krug.

A more elaborate grand opening is proposed for next spring, possibly in conjunction with the April 18 Opening Day for Trails promoted nationally by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

An additional extension of the Hoodlebug Trail has been proposed, to connect with the White Township Recreation Complex just east of Indiana, Krug said.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Regional
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.