Recently representatives from Canalway Partners and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition attended the “Industrial Heartland Trails Summit” hosted by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, National Park Service and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
The Industrial Heartland Trail Network is an “envisioned trail network which will span 48 counties across four states, running through western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio and reaching into the southwest corner of New York State. Pittsburgh will serve as the network’s hub, with trails radiating out of the metro area and connecting to Cleveland and Ashtabula in Ohio, Morgantown and Parkersburg in West Virginia, and Erie in northern Pennsylvania.”
The summit provided an update on the ambitious effort, while focusing on practical matters such as connecting trail builders, and building awareness of community assets, tools and resources. Sessions at the summit included topics such as “Strategies for Collective Fundraising”, “Trails as Tools for Community & Economic Development” and taking a “Collaborative Approach to Corridor Acquisition.”
Canalway Partners has participated in earlier working group meetings as part of the “Cleveland to Pittsburgh Mega Corridor,” these meetings were held to assemble information regarding what trail efforts are underway in the region, identify potential challenges and develop strategies to address issues.
Our next participation in the Industrial Heartland Trails effort will be an update on how the group will function moving forward, updates on research and communication projects within the corridor and practical training on how to use trail counters available to Industrial Heartland Trails stakeholders.
Towpath in Cleveland Blog, March 2016- Update on the Industrial Heartland Trail Network
Towpath in Cleveland Blog, Feb. 2015- Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition