Piney RailRiders developing ATV/snowmobile trail

From staff reports

The Piney RailRiders (PRR) is working on developing 24 miles of abandoned rail corridor between the Clarion River trestle and Brookville for the purpose of opening a public ATV and snowmobile trail.

The PRR was awarded a $66,000 grant by PA DCNR in 2019 to study the feasibility of establishing the Piney Rail Corridor (PRC) as a public multiuse trail. This trail would permit the riding of ATV’s, Snowmobiles, horses as well as other activities including hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing.

The study was recently completed and approved by PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, (DCNR). The PRR is now preparing a grant request for funding of the purchase by PRC. It is anticipated that approximately $1.2 million will be necessary to purchase the 24.7 mile-long 600 acres of property.

Included in the $1.2 million are the costs associated with Land Appraisal, Closing costs and legal fees.

In addition to the funding requests through grant proposals the PRR are conducting a fund drive among membership. The PRC has more than 519 family memberships that include more than 1,300 individual members.

The PRR has a yearly lease agreement, which permits the use and maintenance of the trail. The PRR members have invested significant time and capital keeping the rail corridor open for members and non-members alike.

There are seven bridges that cross the Piney Stream and they are in various states of repair. PRR members have been able to keep the bridges safe and functional with volunteer time, volunteer excavation equipment and membership money.

The trail would have an economic impact on the area. “The 24 miles of abandoned rail corridor travels through five townships in Clarion and Jefferson Counties. Four of the townships the PRC crosses have open ATV riding. These four townships connect with at least a dozen other townships,” said Bryan Huwar, grant coordinator for the Economic Development Corporation. “Owing to the 24 mile PRC and the Open Road townships it passes through and 12 or so other contiguous townships with Open Roads, ATV riders can legally ride a couple of hundred miles.”

Anyone interested in helping to bring the rail corridor into the public domain can send pledges, contributions and membership application requests to; Piney RailRiders President Cinnamon Vosburg, 63 Vosburg Lane, Strattanville, PA 16258

The PRR is a PA Private-not-for-profit 501(3) c Corporation.