PHTN Background

The plan to develop a trail through the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Region began to take shape in the early 1990’s when the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference began a multi-year effort to establish the NY/NJ Highlands Trail, covering over 160 miles from the Hudson River near Storm King Mountain to the Delaware River at Riegelsville, PA.

In 2006, AMC initiated discussions about extending the Highlands Trail into Pennsylvania when it convened two Roundtable Meetings at Nolde Forest and Kings Gap Environmental Education Centers. Participants included county planners, state park managers, land conservancies and recreational groups. These discussions helped to gauge the potential interest for a PA Highlands Trail Network (PHTN).

The PHTN Steering Committee

An outcome of the Roundtable Meetings was the formation of a region-wide PA Highlands Trail Steering Committee, which was created in 2007 with participants representing land trusts, state parks, trail organizations, and county planning commissions from across the PA Highlands Region.

The PA Highlands Trail Network Steering Committee developed a conceptual PHTN trunk route, focused on making connections between existing trails found throughout the PA Highlands region. This conceptual trail route was in part based on the realization that co-aligning with a network of existing trail systems in the PA Highlands would facilitate connectivity and provide opportunities to link some of the outstanding natural and cultural features in the region, including several state parks, national historic sites and landmarks, numerous water trails, scenic vistas and revitalized downtowns.

AMC and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference co-hosted a trail celebration in Riegelsville, PA in 2009 to mark the official beginning of efforts to develop the PHTN. A Highlands Trail marker was installed at the new footbridge over the Delaware Canal in Rieglesville. This event catalyzed efforts to continue the trail through Pennsylvania.

 

News

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#SaveLWCF: Jacobsburg State Park

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) serves as the main funding mechanism for the Highlands Conservation Act, allowing for the yearly allocation to protect the Pennsylvania Highlands and the rest of the four-state Highlands region. Congressional authorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund expires on September 30, 2018, and must be reauthorized in order for funding to continue.  Read More

Hike the Highlands: Valley Forge National Historic Park

Located on the Southeastern edge of the Pennsylvania Highlands, Valley Forge National Historic Park is a major attraction for history buffs and recreationists alike. The site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of the Continental Army, the park is filled with historic structures and monuments as you wind your way through the vast array of trail offerings. Read More

PA Highlands Coalition Hosts Webinar on Multi-Functional Buffers

On June 12th, the PA Highlands Coalition held a webinar on multi-functional riparian stream buffers. This webinar focused on the ways conservation groups can encourage buffer planting for landowners, the concept of agroforestry, and recent DCNR grants for riparian buffers. Read More

South Bethlehem Greenway Gets New Kiosk

AMC partnered with the city of Bethlehem and the Southside Arts District to design and install a new interpretive kiosk along the South Bethlehem Greenway. Read More