ARMSTRONG RAILS TO TRAILS ASSN
The Armstrong Rails to Trails Association (ARTA) is an all volunteer, non-profit organization established to support the development and maintenance of the Armstrong Trail along with respecting, protecting, and preserving the natural resources found along the trail as well as its historical significance.
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ARTA’s Mission is to promote the conversion, maintenance, and management of the right-of-way into the Armstrong Trail for recreational use. The Association shall promote preservation and protection of natural resources found along the right-of-way as well as its historical significance.
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In the beginning, there were trails… For centuries before Europeans came to the Allegheny Valley, native Americans used the rivers and streams, as well as footpaths beside them, for travel and transportation. Following the American Revolution, the Allegheny River Valley quickly became a primary supply route for Pittsburgh and points west.
Then there were rails. . . Native walking paths along the banks of the Allegheny River were eventually developed for use by the railroads to haul merchandise. The first railroad line along the banks of the Allegheny River was authorized in 1837 & eventually was named the Allegheny Valley Rail Road Co.(AVRR). The railroad began hauling iron ore, coal, lumber, and farm products, and providing passenger service in 1885. By 1870 AVRR was transporting petroleum from the Oil Creek region. The Pennsylvania Railroad purchased the bankrupt Allegheny Valley Railroad in the early 1900s.
The rail-trail idea began in the 1960s… Primarily in the Midwest, people began to advocate converting unused railroad lines to recreational trails. In 1983, Section 8(d) of the National Trail Systems Act was amended by Congress to allow unused rail corridors to be used for recreational trails and to be preserved for future railroad use under a provision called railbanking. This legislation was challenged, but on December 17, 1990, the Court upheld the railbanking legislation.
The Allegheny Valley Land Trust was founded in 1991 with the goal that it “will protect and convert railroad corridors into trails for public use, thereby providing opportunities for commuters and outdoor recreational activities. Our projects will maintain the integrity of these corridors for future transportation use while acting as an economic stimulus for the area communities.”
And the Armstrong Rails to Trails Association… Incorporated as a nonprofit membership organization on February 19, 1993 the ARTA’s goals is to promote the conversion, maintenance, and management of the right-of-way into the Armstrong Trail for recreational use. ARTA organizes trail maintenance, rides, fundraisers, and clean ups.
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The 2018 ARTA Board of Directors has set the following project goals for the coming year:
Historical Restoration Projects along the Trail
Coal Tower at Redbank
Turntable at Phillipston
Trail head Kiosks
Family Friendly Trail Events and fundraisers
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The Board of Directors for the Armstrong Rails to Trails Association is comprised of 7 members who are dedicated to improving and promoting the Armstrong Trail and its use.
Board meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 6:30 pm, in the Commissioner’s Room at the Armstrong County Courthouse located in Kittanning, PA. The meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend.
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TRAIL WORK DAYS
. JOIN ARMSTRONG RAILS TO TRAILS ASSN.
. PURCHASE A MEMORIAL BENCH
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Join the Armstrong Rails to Trails Association (ARTA) today. Members receive periodic newsletters and email alerts of special events and board meetings. Membership entitles a person to vote at the annual membership meeting of the ARTA held in October, to attend open Board meetings and to serve on the Board of Directors, if elected.
Membership is not required for use of the trail.
INDIVIDUAL $15.00 per year
FAMILY $25.00 per year
BUSINESS $50.00 per year
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Throughout the year, work days are scheduled to improve designated portions of the trail. Work days are scheduled as needed.
Volunteers are always welcome. Please CLICK HERE and leave your name & email address to receive email notifications of work days or visit our News & Events page for a schedule of upcoming work days.
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The Armstrong Trail is currently has about 34 miles of Trail to maintain. To increase responsible use and enjoyment, we need people to pick up litter, remove debris, help be the eyes and ears of the trail and help us maintain the trail. Maintenance only needs to be done a few times each year, and it makes a great neighborhood or community project. Please consider adopting a section of Trail near your home or adopt a section that you enjoy!
CLICK HERE for more information
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Honor a loved one with a memorial bench for a donation of $250. The bench will be placed along the trail where it will be seen and enjoyed by trail users for years to come.
ARTA will make every effort to place your memorial bench in the location of your choice. Currently we have several locations where benches are needed. CLICK HERE for more information.
MEMORIAL PICNIC TABLES
Honor a loved one with a memorial picnic table for a donation of $2500.00. The covered picnic table will be placed along the trail where it will be seen and enjoyed by trail users for years to come.
The Armstrong Rails to Trails Association is a 501(c)(3) organizations so all donations are tax deductible and a receipt will be provided for any donation over $25.00.
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Monetary donations in any amount are always welcome and will be used to support the mission of the Armstrong Rails to Trails Association and the Armstrong Trail. If you would like your donation to support a specific project please indicate this when making a donation. Donations can be sent to: Armstrong Rails to Trails Association, PO Box 422, Kittanning, PA 16201
CHIP’N TRAIL PROJECT
The goal of the CHIP’N TRAIL Project is to provide trail advocates the opportunity to “CHIP IN” to purchase limestone “CHIPS” to “CHIP AWAY” the roughness on the missing links in the Armstrong Trail. Donations will be designated towards the purchase, delivery, spreading and compacting crushed limestone into a smoother riding surface on the unimproved sections of the non-motorized Armstrong Trail. Funds may also be used to maintain existing trail.
HISTORICAL RESTORATION PROJECTS
The Armstrong Trail is rich in Railroad history. Reminders of the railroad era which still exist along the trail include the Turntable at Phillipston, the Brady Tunnel, and the Coaling Tower at Red Bank. Projects are currently underway at the Turntable and Coaling Tower to help preserve these area for everyone to enjoy. To donate to these projects indicate HISTORICAL RESTORATION PROJECTS.
PORT -A – POTTIES
ARTA currently provides port-a-potties at Lock & Dam 8, Rimer, and Phillipston, for use by trail users. To help support this project indicate port-a-potties on your donation.
EAGLE SCOUT PROJECTS
ARTA has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with area Boy Scouts who are working toward becoming an Eagle Scout and many have completed projects along the trail. To help pay for materials necessary for these projects, please donate to EAGLE SCOUT PROJECTS.
BRIDGE REPAIR PROJECT
AVLT is considering a project which would make improvements on the bridges along the Armstrong Trail. To help with this project donate to the BRIDGE REPAIR PROJECT.
TRAIL AMENITIES, BENCHES, PICNIC TABLES, PAVILIONS
To support the placement of mile markers, trail head kiosks, signs, benches, picnic tables, picnic pavilions and other amenities along the trail, please donate to TRAIL AMENITIES.
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THANKS TO ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS!!