Trail Development Year End Wrap-up
2022 was a fantastic year for trail development along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. We saw record fundraising for development projects throughout the County, totaling over $6 million! This investment into the Trail advances development projects in Springdale Township, East Deer, O’Hara, Harmar, Verona, Oakmont, Penn Hills, Plum, Pittsburgh, and the Turtle Creek Valley. We worked with Cheswick, East Deer, and Tarentum to complete planning on 4 miles of new trail.
Our biggest feat was conquering the ponding issue dubbed “Eagle Lake,” installing a new drainage system that will keep the lake drained for years to come. New interpretive signage featuring the local bald eagles was added in the parklet to create a new user experience. We continued the theme of highlighting native species of the river along the newly built 100ft section of Trail in Natrona. We worked with a local artist to create mosaics that highlight the wildlife and native plants of the Allegheny River.
The work doesn’t stop there, and we are looking ahead to an eventful 2023! The Three Rivers Water Trail will get some much-needed updates and attention. A new water trail launch site will be added in Cheswick, and new amenities will be added to the launch in Braddock Borough- including a kayak rack, signage, and additional site improvements. We will launch our redesigned water trail signage to include more safety information and have higher visibility, beginning installation at select sites in 2023. In the new year, we will create an updated water trail management plan that focuses on maintenance, amenities, promotion, and expansion. Water trail users will have the opportunity to help us shape the vision of the water trail.
We know our trails make an impact, and we are excited to conduct an impact study of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in Allegheny County. This will allow us to get an updated view of the many beneficial aspects of the trail. This information helps us justify the continued expansion of the trail. We will complete a study looking at the much desired connection between Hazelwood and Rankin. We will kick off design and engineering projects in Harmar, O’Hara, East Deer, Springdale Township, Verona, Oakmont, Penn Hills, Plum, and the Turtle Creek Valley.
This is a lot of work, and we could not have had such a successful year without you and your support of the trails. We are excited for the new opportunities ahead to grow the Three Rivers Heritage Trail Network and Three Rivers Water Trail!
– The Trail Development Team