New brochure to promote H&BT rail trail

Meeting in the Broad Top Township Municipal Building in Defiance Thursday night, the H&BT Rails to Trails Advisory Committee unveiled a new fullcolor brochure that will be utilized for the promotion of the 10.06-mile recreational route once the last phase of the trail project is completed later this year.
The six-panel promotional piece was printed by Idgraphics of Everett and funded in part by a 50 percent matching marketing grant through the Bedford County Visitors Bureau (BCVB). Five thousand copies of the brochure will be distributed to area tourist information centers and other outlets early next year in time for the start of the 2016 travel season in central Pennsylvania, explained Vickie Swope, advisory committee president.

In addition to joining the BCVB earlier this year, the rails to trails organization has also signed up with the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau (HCVB) and will be doing some promotional work in Raystown Country next year, it was explained Thursday night. The H&BT Rails to Trails Advisory Committee recently unveiled a new full-color brochure that will be utilized to promote of the 10.06-mile recreational route once the last phase of the trail project is completed later this year.In addition to helpful information about trail use rules, interesting photos and trail head information, the brochure features a map that describes the rail-trail between Riddlesburg on the northern end of the trail and Tatesville situated on the southern end of the route, explained Swope.
On hand for the meeting were Broad Top Township Supervisor Robert Figard and township activist and trail enthusiast Ernest Fuller who briefly updated the committee on the development of the last section of the trail between Cypher and Tatesville. It was reported that PennDOT gave the township the go-ahead for the start-up of the final phase of the project with work beginning two and one-half weeks ago. Township officials are looking at a completion date later this year.
Fuller went on to say that right of way clearing is continuing south with workers focusing a lot of attention on a water drainage area north of Brallier Station, not far from Tatesville.
Figard expressed the township’s “deep appreciation for all the hard work the advisory committee is doing,” adding that the municipality is thankful to the committee for all its input and fundraising activities.
The township representatives also informed the committee that an additional bulletin/message center has been erected at the Cooper Recreational Area, near Hopewell, which lists trail rules that clearly state the recreational facility is only open to the public during daylight hours.

There was a discussion about arranging some type of tour of the rail-trail for the elderly and handicapped persons who are anxious to see the facility, but unable to hike or bike the route. The committee recommended no ATVs be utilized for tours, but rather the use of a bus/van, or possibly arrange for hayrides.
Once the trail is fully operational, steps will be taken to erect historical photos of the old H&BT Railroad and related sites along the rail-trail. The advisory committee also announced that improvements are coming for the Rails to Trails of Bedford County’s official website.
It was also learned that community leaders in the Saxton Borough/Liberty Township area are setting up a committee to begin planning in the event that Broad Top Township receives approval from six property owners for easements to extend the trail north to the Warriors Path State Park and downtown Saxton. The new group will be announcing the date for the first meeting in the near future.
In other matters, the committee:
— announced the annual triathlon has been scheduled for Sunday, May 1, 2016, in the Everett area and the first of several planning sessions has been set for Jan. 6, 2016, at the Union Hotel, Everett.
— learned 67 persons utilized the rail-trail during the committee’s First Fun Run Wellness Walk/Bike Event Sept. 26.
— will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, in the township building in Defiance.
Ron can be reached at dnews@huntingdondailynews.com.