Third phase of Westmoreland Heritage Trail opens between Murrysville, Trafford
County officials, volunteers and community members gathered Saturday to celebrate the opening of the Trafford-Murrysville section of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail.
Dubbed Phase III of the project, which started in 2001, the newest section of the trail runs 5.9 miles from the Trafford Trail Access point at Parkside Creamery, near B.Y. Park, to the Roberts Trail Access point off the eastbound side of Route 22 in Murrysville.
Dozens of eager cyclists clad in neon reflective gear joined the inaugural ride on the new section, which started with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the recently completed Roberts Trail Access point in Murrysville.
In March, when the groundbreaking ceremony was held, the site of the new trail and access point in Murrysville was a muddy, grassy patch of land.
“Now, here we are, six months later, with a beautiful trail for us to use and enjoy,” said Malcolm Sias, Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation director.
The new trailhead offers parking, restrooms, a visitor's center and a bike rack with tools for making bike repairs.
Two more ceremonies were held at the Saunders Station Trail Access point in Monroeville and the Parkside Creamery access point near B.Y. Park in Trafford.
“Trail building is a lot of things. We heard about collaboration, we heard about a sense of community and it really is about working together,” said Ann Nemanic, chairwoman of the Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation Citizens Advisory Board.
When completed, the proposed 22-mile trail will stretch from Trafford to Saltsburg. The Murrysville-Export section of the trail is slated to be completed by 2019. After that, the Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation department will start work on the Export-Delmont section.