Bradford County area runners and cyclists, the Bradford County commissioners on Thursday threw their support behind the proposed construction of a massive rails-to-trails project that would see the abandoned rail line between Williamsport Pa and Elmira NY converted into rail trail. The rail trail would pass through Western Bradford County between Canton and Troy.
As if the possibility of having our very own long rail trail here in Bradford County isn't exciting enough, if constructed, the trail could plausibly be connected to the acclaimed Pine Creek Rail Trail via a proposed trail that would connect the southern terminus (Jersey Shore) with nearby Williamsport.
The Northern end of the proposed trail through Bradford County would be in Elmira NY, bringing it into close proximity with the Catharine Valley Rail Trail (which, at its Northern end, is just a stone's throw from the Finger Lakes Trail in Watkins Glen), as well as the 8 mile spur of rail trail currently under construction from Lowman NY to Elmira.
Last month it was announced that officials in Towanda/Wysox and Monroeton would be funding a feasibility study to explore the construction of two 3 mile segments of rail trail. Meanwhile in Sayre/Athens, construction on the Diahoga Trail (Aprox. 2 miles) is set to begin soon.
Our area has a rich history in logging, mining, railroading, and now natural gas. Segments of abandoned rail litter the region, and should this project succeed, you can definitely see the potential for a large network of trails - useful to runners (training) such as us - and also for bringing an influx of healthy-tourism dollars (racing, vacationing).