Biking: Here's your chance to give boost to favorite trails

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What’s your favorite trail and why?

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources wants to know, and it isn’t limiting the selection to bike trails.

Walkers, joggers, runners, hikers, birders, equestrians, off-road vehicle riders, snowmobilers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers also are welcome to name their favorite trail and explain why — in detail. The new designation is being coordinated by DCNR’s Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee “to elevate public awareness of the thousands of miles of trails available for public enjoyment” in the Keystone State.

The committee includes different trail-users — builders and advocates and persons with disabilities. Its responsibilities are to advise the DCNR on the use of trail funding, review and rank trail project applications and present an annual report to the secretary on trail activities.

Are there really thousands of miles of trails in Pennsylvania? Yes. The DCNR said there are 476 trails covering more than 10,000 miles in the state.

“Whether your favorite trail is a 3-mile loop close to home or a much longer trek through a remote state park or forest, this is your chance to share why it’s special,” acting DCNR secretary Ellen Ferretti said in a statement.

“We are so fortunate to have a fantastic and diverse system of trails in Pennsylvania, and we want everyone to realize the opportunities they provide for healthy outdoor activities and to enjoy nature and the boost trails give to the economies of local communities.”

Nomination packets that require a description of the trail and information on its history, benefits and future promotion must be submitted to roprunty@pa.gov by Dec. 1. Trails must be at least a mile long and open to the public.

The DCNR said nominations will be reviewed by a panel of judges from the advisory committee. Judging will be based “on the quality of the narrative [no more than 1,500 words] and supporting materials.”

For more information, go to www.explorePAtrails.com and select the 2014 Trail of the Year slide. The winning trail will be announced early next year.

Bike friendly

Bike Pittsburgh has designated the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office as a “Bike Friendly Employer” for having a bike commuting information kiosk, secure and covered bike parking, a bike repair kit and employee showers and changing rooms.

“Our goal is to make bike commuting a viable option for as many of our employees as possible,” county executive Rich Fitzgerald said in a statement.

“We’re currently working on improvements at our downtown locations, including the Courthouse, County Office Building and One Smithfield Street, to make them bike friendly as well. In the long term, we would like to make bike commuting enhancements to other facilities throughout the county.”

Fitzgerald said the medical examiner’s office at 1520 Penn Ave. in the Strip District, a major bike commuting corridor, is making its bike tools and repair resources available to the public.

Information: www.bike-pgh.org.

Montour Trail

The Montour Trail Council will celebrate another year of “successful trail-building” and have an election of board members at its annual dinner at 5 p.m. Sunday at St. Joan of Arc Church, 6470 Library Road, South Park.

The nominees are Dave Oyler, Tom Prezel, Dino Angelici, Bill Capp and Eric Chipps.

Information: www.montourtrail.org; info@montourtrail.org; 412-257-3011

Larry Walsh writes about recreational bicycling for the Post-Gazette.


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