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‘A wonderful, recreation-focused project’

Residents and visitors now have a new trail connection to explore as they enjoy either the Cresson Township Veteran’s Park, the nearby Allegheny Portage National Historic Site in Cresson Township, or an extensive and growing network of trails in the northern part of Cambria County. Representatives gathered Friday morning to officially open the new trail with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

With investments from Community Foundation for the Alleghenies (CFA) and UPMC, plus construction services from Cresson Township Supervisors, the Cambria County Planning Commission was able to implement a plan to create a trail between the two sites. The National Historic Site, which receives approximately 150,000 visitors per year and drives tourism, also provides additional links to a well-established network of other trails. Veteran’s Park is a popular and pleasant stop for locals and visitors as well. The new connection between the two also ultimately is to become part of the September 11th National Memorial Trail, Cambria County Planning Commission Executive Director Ethan Imhoff said.

“Recreation is one of the top six priorities for the county’s comprehensive plan,” he said. “This is a wonderful, recreation-focused project that connects assets in Cresson with the National Park Site, Veteran’s Park, and nearby neighborhoods. The new trail link makes it more accessible.”

Cresson Township Supervisors’ Board Chairman Scott Decoskey said the trail will allow more people to enjoy and appreciate the township’s recreational opportunities.

“We have a lot of people who come from the township, Cresson Borough, the Lilly area—a lot of people who enjoy walking this area,” he said. “We’ve already heard from many people who like being able to walk through the woods there. Cyclists are excited, and we’ve also had people mention it will be nice for cross-country skiing. We believe this will be good for the area and good for local businesses, too.”

CFA Director of Donor Services Katrina Perkosky said the Foundation, which awarded the project $3,500 in funding through its annual Spring Grant round, is proud to support trail-building as a driver of community and economic development. UPMC also provided a $1,500 grant toward the project.

“Outdoor recreation is one of our region’s greatest assets, and CFA is honored to help support trail development across the area,” she said. “This year especially, local trail use has increased, and we’ve seen just how vital outdoor recreation opportunities are to our communities.”

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