The Montour Trail Trail History Overview
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In 1989,...

...a group of bicyclists, runners, environmentalists, and railroad enthusiasts got together to form the Montour Trail Council (MTC). They knew that the abandoned Montour Railroad line, plus the Peters Creek branch of the former Pennsylvania Railroad, would make a wonderful trail through suburban Pittsburgh communities whose hills and increasingly heavy traffic leave few friendly paths for bicyclists or leisurely walkers.

Showing great foresight, Peters Township had acquired a section of the Montour Railroad shortly after its abandonment in 1984 and created the Arrowhead Trail. The MTC, however, was the region's first nonprofit organization to be created solely for the purpose of building a trail.

The idea quickly caught on, and Allegheny County helped move it forward by agreeing to take possession of the portions of rail line within its boundaries. In 1992, the MTC opened its first 4.5 miles in Cecil Township, Washington County. These were followed by another 11.5 miles in the townships of Moon, Robinson, North Fayette, and Findlay (all in western Allegheny County) in 1993 and 1994. The MTC formed partnerships with each of the townships, speeding construction and drastically reducing costs.

Since then the Montour Trail has gradually grown to over 40 miles, creating a virtually uninterrupted pathway from Moon Township near the Ohio River to Clairton alongside the Monongahela, plus a branch into Bethel Park. A connector to Pittsburgh International Airport, which will enable air travelers to unpack their bicycles and use the Montour Trail as the beginning of their route along the Great Allegheny Passage to Washington, D.C., is now in development.

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