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Mount Jewett to Kinzua Bridge Trail named Pennsylvania’s 2023 Trail of the Year

Poster of the Pennsylvania Trail of the Year 2023. People are standing in front of benches behind the poster.
Poster of the Pennsylvania Trail of the Year 2023. DCNR designed this poster for the Mount Jewett to Kinzua Bridge Trail to display at a celebratory event.

The Mount Jewett to Kinzua Bridge Trail is Pennsylvania’s 2023 Trail of the Year. The trail, which is also known as the MJ2KB trail, is a 7.8-mile-long section of the larger Knox and Kane Rail Trail in McKean County.

Each year, the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee picks one trail to be recognized. On Wednesday, members of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources held a celebration at the MJ2KB trail.

“The Mount Jewett to Kinzua Bridge Trail and the trail club do a really great job of drawing people to the region, educating them about what's important about getting outdoors, recreating, putting time, energy and effort into maintaining that trail,” said Wesley Robinson, the press secretary for DCNR.

“The really neat part about this year's trail of the year is that it connects to Kinzua Bridge State Park. Kinzua Bridge State Park has a really neat skywalk that you could walk out and see nature from and get some really cool views,” Robinson said.

DCNR and MJ2KB members standing next to Knox Kane Rail Trail sign. A bike rack is on the left.

DCNR announced the MJ2KB trail as Trail of the Year in January, but held the celebration event on Aug. 30. Robinson said the celebration leads well into September, which is “Trails Month” in Pennsylvania. Robinson also said spacing out the events gives DCNR time to put together a plan for the celebration, and that August is a better time to be outside.

“We wouldn't want to have an event in January because it's kind of cold and not necessarily the best to be outdoors,” Robinson said.

This year also marks 20 years since a tornado destroyed part of the Kinzua bridge and the 60th anniversary of the state park itself.

The Kinzua Bridge Foundation will celebrate its 30th anniversary at its 24th annual Fall Festival on Sept. 16-17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kinzua Bridge State Park.

Sydney Roach is a reporter and host for WPSU with a passion for radio and community stories.