Allegheny River Trail expansion will officially kick off next week

7/21/04

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A CEREMONY IS SCHEDULED AT 1 P.M. TUESDAY.

Ten new miles of recreational trail will officially open next week on the Allegheny River Trail.

The grand opening of the new mileage north of Kennerdell through the Kennerdell and Rockland tunnels and 1,000 feet beyond will coincide with the annual Pennsylvania Greenway Sojourn that will bring 400 cyclists from across the country to the area.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new span will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday on the trail.

With the help of the Allegheny Valley Trails Association, a local all-volunteer trail partnership, the Allegheny River Trail has grown to reach 25 miles beginning at Franklin and ending in Emlenton.

"AVTA is thrilled that this addition of the trail will be open for the 400 bicyclists on the sojourn," Trails Association president Jim Holden said. "With their help, small Pennsylvania cities along the trail will receive an economic boost from the tourists."

The Greenway Sojourn is a six-day event that attracts bikers from all over the U.S. who travel the local trails.

The sojourn is sponsored by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors.