Updates from the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut Highlands

PA Highlands Trail Network update

October 1st, 2008 Posted in Pennsylvania


1 - Planning for the “Welcome to PA Highlands” Celebration: Initially we thought we would have the celebration this fall but timing wise and wanting to plan a wonderful celebration spring 2009 will work out for the better. Also I presented to the Borough of Riegelsville in August. They were very supportive of the celebration and will be co-hosting the event with AMC and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (NYNJTC) in the spring.

*NEXT STEPS: Planning for the celebration - Holding first celebration planning meeting sometime in Oct./Nov. (if you would like to be involved please contact me).

2 - Outreach: Bucks County Public Presentations in the PA Highlands are planned to happen this fall hopefully in November. On Wed. Sept. 24 (tomorrow) Bucks County Planning Commission, DCNR, NPS - RTCA, and AMC are meeting to discuss how to move forward the PA Highlands Trail Network (PHTN) project in Bucks County by holding presentations to the public about the PHTN project. The goal is to hold public awareness presentations on the PA Highlands and the PA Highlands Trail Network project in preparation for the spring celebration of welcoming the Highlands Trail into PA in Riegelsville, PA. We want to get things rolling in terms of getting support for the project and potentially have community members form and be a part of a PHTN Bucks County Committee that will aid in determining a route, etc.

REMINDER: *Bucks County was prioritized as the county to focus on first among the 13 counties in the PA Highlands by the PHTN steering committee. York and Lancaster County will be the next priority. We will want to hold public presentations in these counties in Spring/Summer/Fall ‘09 depending on the outcomes and progress of Bucks County).

*STAY TUNED! - Update to follow on the outcomes of Wed. Sept. 24th meeting on planning for public presentations on the PA Highlands Trail Network and the PA Highlands in Upper Bucks County. This will also include next steps to move forward the public presentations and who and how to folks involved.

3 - Continuing to collect trails data (gpsing): Hoping to complete the field work in November and clean the data in December. We have primarily been focusing on county and local trails that have non-existing GIS data. We will be sharing all the data and have been or will be reaching out to each trail manager for each trail we are gpsing. Please contact me if you are curious on what trails data we are collecting in the PA Highlands.

*WHAT WILL THE TRAILS GIS DATA BE USED FOR? AMC has been collecting the GIS data on the trails in the PA Highlands to create an overall Recreational map of the PA Highlands (will be available in winter/spring 2009)and for individual trail maps for the Hike the Highlands cards (partnering with the Wildlands Conservancy) that will be available to the public free in early 2009. Also to share the data with others.

4 - Comprehensive Report on the PHTN route and overall trails in the PA Highlands: Still working on getting the rough draft more complete to allow for a comment period for you all. STAY TUNED - I’m targeting to send it out for comments in early October. We would love all your input and feedback on the report.

5 - Hike the Highlands Cards: This is a series of cards highlighting an individual trail/park in the PA Highlands that includes a description of the trail/park, managing trail organization with contact information, trail map, a beautiful photo, and information on the PA Highlands. The cards are small and light-weight. The goal is to increase the awareness of the PA Highlands and most importantly get people outside enjoying and appreciating the PA Highlands. Wildlands Conservancy and AMC are working on this project together. This year we will highlight 24 trails/parks in the PA Highlands. Please contact me for further details.
**The cards will be free to the public in spring 2009.

PLEASE contact me if you have questions about the project or would like more details on any of the items I discussed above. I can definitely elaborate.

I’ll be in touch with updates on when the Bucks County Public Presentations will occur, approaches that will be used, and asking for your help and support at the public meetings.

Hope to see and talk with many of you at the PA Greenways & Trails Summit! Happy Early Fall!


Jennifer Heisey
Appalachian Mountain Club
Mid-Atlantic Recreation Planner

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