The Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition

We recently shared an Akron Beacon Journal story on how “Planners Want Towpath to Link into 1,600-mile, Five-State Trail System.”

The story outlined the efforts of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), Pennsylvania Environmental Council and National Park Service Rivers, Trails Conservation Assistance Program to work with planners and trail-builders to connect systems such as the Towpath Trail into a larger, multi-state attraction.

The ambitious vision of the group, freshly rebranded as The Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition, (formerly known as Power of 32+) is that “By 2033, our region will be positioned as the epicenter of multi-use trails in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Midwest.”


Graphic Map Crop 9-19-14

As part of the Cleveland-to-Pittsburgh “Mega Corridor”, Canalway Partners recently attended a working group meeting. The Coalition has been working with people on the ground to gather knowledge and learn more about what they will need to achieve their vision.

We learned that the Coalition is working with consultants to create a trail traffic model that will utilize annual counts to project use along other parts of the system with just short duration counts. RTC is also conducting a national research project called T-MAP which will create advanced tools that will allow traffic estimates on unfinished gaps to gauge potential traffic.

The working group meeting also featured an update session, where groups from across the region shared success and discussed some of the challenges they have faced.

The Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition will launch a new user-focused website soon. The Cleveland-to-Pittsburgh working group will reconvene later this year, stay tuned for further updates.


Planners Want Towpath to Link into 1,600-mile, Five-State Trail System