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Environment & Energy

Pedaling Forward For A New Bicycle Trail


A bicycling group in western Pennsylvania has been given permission to get plans rolling to put up to 17 miles of trails on Quemahoning Reservoir land.

The Cambria Somerset Authority gave the Laurel Highlands Off Road Bicycling Association (LHORBA) permission to build the mountain bike trails this summer, as long as the group flags the area first and then has CSA staff inspect it.

Earl Waddell, the operations manager for the Cambria-Somerset Authority, said even though the trail had been approved there was still some planning that needed to be done.

“They’ll be, probably starting to go out and investigate the proposed location of the trail, and then they have to get with the property and construction committee of our board as well as myself, and review their proposed location,” he said.

Once done with the planning phase however, Waddell said the process should be straightforward.

“Then [LHORBA] can start the construction of the trail, and they are actually hoping to have all of that completed sometime this summer,” he said.”

LHORBA originally approached the board in May about doing the project, noting its decades of experience in building trails. The club also has members who helped design paths at Raystown Lake that lure thousands of cyclists annually.

Although he admits he’s not an expert, Waddell believes the trail construction in this case will be simple.

“It’s not like they’re out there with back hoes and whatever doing earth moving, it’s more like pick-and-shovel type, you know, earth moving,” he said.

Preliminary routes for the trail include a biking loop for beginner riders around the reservoir and more challenging spurs that would branch off of it for more experienced riders.

LHORBA President Mike Mucker said more details would be ironed out at a meeting with the CSA later this month.