Published: Wednesday, 01 April 2015 18:04
Written by Vincent Troia (Webmaster)
Industrial Heartland Trails
The Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition (I Heart Trails, for short) is collaborating to complete and connect a system of 1,700 miles of shared use trails. The goal is to connect the trail network so that local and visiting trail users can walk and bike from trail to trail, city to city, and town to town.
The Ohio River Trail Council is proud to be a member of the Industrial Heartland Trail Coalition.
The system is 53% complete, including the renowned Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). This 150-mile trail has demonstrated that trails are significant generators. Over $40 million in direct annual spending is attributed to GAP trail users, with overnight visitors spending an average of $114 per day.
Now imagine the power of a connected 1,700 mile network! That’s why the coalition has come together – to harness and amplify the benefits of trails. The 53-county five-state area includes mountains; rivers and streams; farmland; national and state parks; urban and rural settings; industry; and one of the Great Lakes, Erie.
While the geographic “heartland” may be west of here, a rich extractive and manufacturing history allows us to make the “industrial heartland” claim. An industrial legacy is evident on most any trail in the region. We bike and jog along old coke ovens, repurposed railroad viaducts, and smokestacks-turned-landmarks.
Please visit ihearttrails.org
to learn more about the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition.
1,450-Mile Developing Trail Network to Revitalize America’s Industrial Heartland