May 4, 2011

Allegheny Valley Land Trust Converts Rail Line, Mines Lands To Trail. The Allegheny Valley Land Trust recently completed a project to convert over 90 miles of rail line into a recreation trail, including the purchase of 269 acres of abandoned mine lands which contains 48 miles of rail-trail.
The abandoned mine land property also contains historically significant treasures, among the relics are a tunnel built in 1915, a rail car turn table, rail line bridges, and coke ovens used in the 1800’s.
Environmentally unsound, unregulated coal mining practices of the past have Western Pennsylvania with a legacy of polluted waters, scarred landscapes, and health and safety hazards. The decrease in productive, valuable land has, in turn, impacted the regional economy.
However, the region's inherent, wild beauty offers many recreational opportunities. Rail-Trail organizations have indentified this potential and have been remarkably successful in converting abandoned mine lands, including rail lines into recreational havens.