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Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission
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The Sheepskin Trail

May 7, 2018 Press Release: Sheepskin Trail Continues to Develop

Fayette County, SPC, and the National Road Heritage Corridor are working to construct the 34-mile Sheepskin Trail that will connect to the West Virginia Mon River Trail System at its southern terminus and to the Great Allegheny Passage at the northern terminus. Crossing through the heart of Fayette County, the trail will serve as an alternative transportation route by connecting schools, recreational facilities, sports fields and municipal parks. Completion of this gap within the region’s active transportation network is a high priority for the trail planning partners and it is also a major missing piece in the Industrial Heartland Trail Coalition's (IHTC) Parkersburg, WV to Pittsburgh, PA connection.

Nilan Road trail
 
 

The Sheepskin Trail will open the door for positive economic impact not only through tourism, but also by attracting new residents and businesses who want to live, work, play and prosper near the plentiful natural and recreational resources that exist in the Laurel Highlands region. The trail will allow people to enjoy the Laurel Highlands through hiking, biking, cross country skiing, fishing and by discovering the region’s industrial and historic heritage.

Nilan Road Segment Project

This project will construct the two miles of the trail from the confluence of the Cheat and Monongahela River at U.S. 119 in Point Marion Borough, across the Cheat River and upstream along Nilan Road, following the abandoned Baltimore and Ohio railroad in Springhill Township.  Built on a railbed that once serviced the region's coal industry, this trail segment will pass directly next to a significant number of coke ovens and other remnants of the region's past rich history.  It will provide fishing access to the Cheat River and a designated path to the historical sites to eliminate random access points that can denigrate the natural balance and beauty of this wooded area as well as create fishing access to the Cheat River.

Point Marion Segment Project

The Point Marion Segment Project will construct 1.7 miles of trail from U.S.119 in Point Marion Borough south through Spring Hill Township to the West Virginia state line and the 48 mile West Virginia Mon River Trail system.  Construction will include installation of trail head and gateway signs, bollards, gates, other road crossing signs and stripping, split rail fencing, trail surface and landscaping, parking and trail access including ADA accessibility.  The trail head and parking will be located in the same area as the existing Point Marion Borough recreational area. Restrooms facilities are already in place at the Field House and meet ADA requirements. 

The Point Marion segment of the Sheepskin Trail was identified as a priority by Fayette County early in the acquisition phase because of its connectivity to the already existing and highly utilized WV Mon River Trail system which connects to the city of Morgantown, WV and West Virginia University (WVU). 

 
 

The development of the Point Marion Trail Segment and the Nilan Road Segment Projects was made possible by several partnering agencies and foundations:

  • Fayette County
  • National Road Heritage Corridor
  • DCNR
  • DCED
  • Chevron
  • Chingos Foundation
  • Doppelt Foundation
  • Private donations and foundations
  • State Senator Pat Stefano
  • State Representatives Pam Snyder and Matthew Dowling
  • Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission

PDF Maps:

Nilan Road trail
 
 

 

 

 
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