Trail Towns Flourish in Economically Challenged Southwestern Pennsylvania

by Dawn Bonsell, Pennsylvania Rural Development Public Information Coordinator

The trail affects the local economy in many ways, including an increase in property values, jobs, investment and general consumer spending. According to the Great Allegheny Passage Economic Impact Study, approximately 800,000 trips are taken on the GAP annually, 76 new trail-related businesses have opened and over 93 new jobs were created. In addition to the economic impact, trail towns are vibrant places where people come together. Some travelers pass through on short day trips and others are on multi-day trips, including a bicyclist from Vancouver who shouted, “Hello” to O’Brien as he headed South on the GAP toward Maryland. A cycle shop in Confluence proudly displays the hometowns of cyclists who stop while travelling through the small town. For several years, a U. S. map display worked, but now the shop uses a globe adorned with thumb tacks representing world-wide visitors.

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by B' Spokes

Like most people I live a hectic life and who has the time for much exercise? Thanks to xtracycle now I do. By using my bike for daily activities I can get things done and get an hour plus work out in 15 minutes extra of my time, not a bad deal and beats taking the extra time going to the gym. In case you are still having trouble being motivated; the National Center of Disease Control says that inactivity is the #2 killer in the United States just behind smoking. ( ) Get out there and start living life! I can carry home a full shopping cart of groceries, car pool two kids or just get lost in the great outdoors camping for a week. Well I got go, another outing this weekend.
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