Redbank Valley Trails is a 51-mile non-motorized, 4-season trail currently being developed and improved mainly by volunteers. It was recognized by DCNR as PA’s first Trail of the Year for 2014 for its scenic beauty, connections to other trails and the amazing dedication and hard work of our volunteers. 42 miles parallel the scenic Redbank Creek through mostly natural areas over many bridges and stone arches. The trail travels from the confluence with the Allegheny River (MP 0) through New Bethlehem in Clarion County at the mid-point, touching on Armstrong County, through Hawthorn (near the Redbank Valley Municipal Park), Summerville and continuing currently to just beyond the Rose Siding Bridge, near Maple Street, (and MP 41.5) in Brookville, Jefferson County. There is also a 9-mile spur from Lawsonham to Sligo also in Clarion County.
The area downstream of the Climax Tunnel at MP 17 to St. Charles Road at MP 15 was improved last Fall with crushed limestone. Downstream of St. Charles Road to the Allegheny and the Sligo Spur (with a grade of up to 3% on the spur) are open but have not been improved at this time, although our volunteers continue to work to make improvements. Areas downstream of Lawsonham from mile 6 to mile 1 are very rough with trees down and landslides that will require much work.
Donations are needed and appreciated to fund maintenance and additional improvements to the trail. Please see more on the Day of Giving below. Trail improvements began only in late 2010. Please be patient with us as we work to develop and maintain the trails.
ACCESS LIMITATIONS DUE TO WORK IN PROGRESS:
The trail is currently CLOSED for safety reasons near Hawthorn from the Pine Run Bridge (MP 24.77) to Mayport Road near MP 25.52 while sewage lines are installed for nearby communities.
The trail is accessible from Fairmount City (MP 21) to Hawthorn and to the Pine Run Bridge at MP 24.77, but PLEASE USE CAUTION and watch for sewage line and plant construction vehicles in the area. The main trail maintains less than a 1% grade throughout except for a 10-12% grade at Middle Run Road where ramps have been created to replace a missing bridge.
The CLIMAX TUNNEL IS CLOSED while work is done to repair and support the ceiling. PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE TUNNEL FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY. Work has begun on rehabilitation of the Climax Tunnel at Mile Post 17 in Clarion County. The first phase was to fix a large fall of bricks from the ceiling. Work on the tunnel should continue through most of 2015-2016 with grant funding to rehabilitate and open the tunnel.
PLEASE CHECK OUR CURRENT STATUS REPORT AND FACEBOOK for current trail conditions. Current Status 12-11-14 Use of the trail is at your own risk.
Please use caution and do not approach wildlife. Bear, deer, snakes and other wildlife frequent the trail area in natural areas. Be aware of your surroundings. It is recommended that you and your pets wear orange during hunting seasons which include the months of September through March.
Redbank Valley Trails connects to the Armstrong Trail and from there to the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance trails, the Great Allegheny Passage to D.C., and will eventually connect from Rockwood on the Passage to the 9-11 Memorial Trail when that trail is developed. It is also part of an initiative to connect Pittsburgh via the Redbank Valley Trails to Ridgway in the heart of the PA Wilds.
Community, Creek and Trail Cleanup Day will be held on April 25, 2015 starting at 9 AM in New Bethlehem at Gumtown Park on Water Street, in Summerville at the trailhead on State Street and in Brookville at Maple Street. Call 814-275-1718 to register your participation. Subway and Redbank Renaissance will provide lunch for pre-registered participants in New Bethlehem. Gloves, trash bags and water will be provided if you pre-register. You may wish to bring your own tools if you wish to help clean out drainage ditches, cut back limps, rake or do other needed trail maintenance work. All help is appreciated. The rain date in the event of heavy rain is May 2, 2015. Any postponement will be posted on Facebook. For more information see the flyer. 2015 Community, Creek and Trail Clean Up.
CHANGE OF DATE!
Annual Community Foundation Day of Giving May 14th!
RVTA will be participating in the fifth annual Day of Giving on Thursday, May 14th, sponsored by the Community Foundation-Serving the Heart of Western PA, formerly the Armstrong County Community Foundation. Donations of between $20 and $5,000 contributed on that day will be matched on a percentage basis through the generosity of the sponsors who contributed to a match fund. In past years, each dollar donated
has been matched by 17, 23 or 24%, making your dollars go farther to help improve the trail. This year’s donations will be dedicated to trail improvement, including grading, drainage and many tons of crushed limestone for another 24 miles of trail as our volunteers work to improve from Mile 15 at St. Charles toward Mile 0 at the Allegheny River and
the 9-mile Sligo Spur, as well as making additional improvements on the rest of the trail.
To donate, stop by or mail your donation to one of our 4 donation locations before 2 PM on May 14th at the First Commonwealth Bank, 223 Main Street in Brookville or by 4 PM on May 14th at Northwest
Savings Bank, the Redbank Valley Community Center or Redbank Valley Public Library. Checks must be made payable to the Community Foundation with RVTA noted in the memo line. One of
our volunteers will make sure the donations are delivered to the Community Foundation to be eligible for the match.
For more information or other ways to donate, please visit www.ArmstrongGives.org or see the flyer. 2015 RVTA Day of Giving Flyer. To celebrate the Day of Giving with us, please stop by Northwest Savings Bank in New Bethlehem between 9 and 11 AM on May 14th for donuts and coffee. Thanks for your consideration and support throughout the year!
Redbank Valley Trails Association was awarded a grant in December 2014 by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to install a canoe and kayak launch at the very scenic Moore Road parking area under the Rev. Dr. Joseph Mateer bridge. The location is near a loop in the Redbank Creek near the “notch.” Work is projected to be completed in 2015.
All 13 miles of the trail in Jefferson County have now been improved, including from Baxter to Coder at miles 36-39 in Jefferson County. Check out the beautiful ride to Brookville at Mile 41 from Mayport or from the Summerville trailhead at Mile 34.
Volunteers will also be working between the Climax Tunnel and the open naturally carved Long Point Tunnel and then on to the Allegheny River. We also hope to do more work on the Sligo Spur in 2015.
Watch for our fundraising events as we try to raise enough money to make additional improvements and open the trail and the area to greater recreational and economic opportunities.