The Inclined Plane Trails have been in the works for the past couple of years. Now with the city of Johnstown’s re-branding initiative to make the city known as an outdoor recreation destination, trail-makers are at the forefront of the plan.
“I was going up these trails every day for work and more and more trees would come down, Nobody was really taking care of them as a city park so I wrote a proposal and said, hey I’ll take care of the hiking trails.”
There are three new trails for biking and hiking that connect major parts of the area.
“So we’ve built this trail and then we built two other ones further over on the hillside,” said Cook. “One of them is a connector trail down to coconut place that’s going to be part of the 9/11 memorial trail. It gives people access from the trail system to Sheetz and McDonalds in that section of town As we look to improve this hillside with a number of projects including Sliver park and some other things that are in the works. It provides a really nice area of recreation for people that are downtown and in the surrounding areas including Westmont, Southmont and Brownstown.”
The trail project is funded through small grants and volunteer work and will create a whole new experience for Johnstown with an emphasis on ease of access to significant landmarks.
“What’s really great about this trail and what makes it unique from other trail systems is that it’s one of the only ones that we can find in the country that is serviced by public transportation by the inclined plane, That provides low cost lift access to people that are hiking and biking in one direction and then utilize the inclined plane to get back to your vehicle or to go for another hike.”
According to the Pennsylvania department of Conservation and Natural Resources, outdoor recreation is a critical sector in the state’s economy bringing in billions of dollars each year. Aside from revenue it improves communities and attracts new residents.
”So, hopefully when people are looking at places, maybe they can remotely work from because the cost of living is low, they look at Johnstown and they say okay well there are all kinds of great hiking and biking opportunities in the greater Johnstown region, That helps attract more people in addition to when folks are coming from Pittsburgh or Harrisburg to ride the trails, they’re going downtown afterward and they’re spending their money in Johnstown which helps get a little money into our local economy.”
If you would like to get involved with the Inclined Plane trails visit the Friends of the Inclined Plane Trails Facebook page.