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Work to begin in Rothrock State Forest on new trails in central PA, thanks to local efforts

View of Bear Meadows from North Meadows Road
Rothrock Trail Alliance

Work on a new 7.5 mile trail in the Musser Gap area of Rothrock State Forest is set to begin this year in a project that is the first part of plans for 53 miles of trails in Centre and Huntingdon counties.

Jay Ziegler, president of the Rothrock Trail Alliance that’s part of ClearWater Conservancy, said the new trail will connect Musser Gap to Pine Swamp Road.

“It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful area up there," he said.

But many of the trails there were originally put in for activities like logging and are now eroding. The goal is to build a loop system of sustainable trails.

"To make it something that is going last for generations to come and is more enjoyable too," Ziegler said.

The Rothrock Trail Alliance has been spearheading the effort for a number of years. The project got a $365,700 state grant. Ziegler said they have bids out to hire a contractor with a timeline of beginning work this spring and finishing it in the fall or in 2025, if needed.

And they’ve already started raising money for the next segment of the project — 11 miles that will continue the trail to Whipple Dam State Park in Huntingdon County.

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.