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Trailblazer Award 2021 details



Grand History Trail

What is it?

The Grand History Trail is a proposed 250+ mile off-road trail connecting Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Stops on the trail include Washington D.C., Annapolis, Baltimore, Fells Point, York, Gettysburg, Frederick, Antietam Battlefield, and Harper's Ferry. Existing trails comprise over half the Grand History Trail. Approximately two thirds of the trail exists or is planned but Adams County only has on-road components of the GHT.

  • Here is an overview map of the GHT route with information on the back about what, why, and who.
  • Here is a 30-page "Vision for the Grand History Trail" put together by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
  • More information can be found at this website.
  • Why create it?

    For health, wealth, joy, and history-

  • Health: Residents and tourists can enjoy health benefits of walking and bicycling on local trails that are part of the GHT.
  • Wealth: Many travelers plan vacations where trails take them to interesting and historical places. Bikers, walkers and joggers bring millions of dollars of revenue to businesses and towns along good trails with no damage to the environment.
  • Joy: People enjoy walking, talking, bicycling, and jogging on off-road trails like rail trails. They feel good and are friendly to others on the trail.
  • History: The area for the GHT is rich in history and it just makes good sense to connect these places with a trail that promotes tourism while reducing pollution.

    Who is working on it?

  • Meetings have been held with state officials from Pennsylvania and Maryland and officials from Washington D.C., under the auspices of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
  • Trail and bicycle advocacy groups have been involved in the meetings and are working with local and state officials to facilitate development of the GHT.
  • County and local government officials are working to plan and develop trails which will be part of the GHT.
  • A group of riders from York, PA rode the entire loop in September 2015 and met with government officials along the way.

  • 2018-2020 Trail Feasibility Study in Adams County

  • In 2017 HABPI partnered with the Gettysburg Area Recreation Authority (GARA) to seek funding for a trail feasibility study for an off-road, multiuse trail from Gettysburg to the Maryland border near Emmitsburg. The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) awarded a grant for half the cost. To match the DCNR grant, money was received from the Adams County Greenspace Grant Program, Destination Gettysburg, the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, Adams Electric Cooperative, Thrivent Financial, and numerous individual donors. A professional firm with expertise in conducting trail feasibility studies began work in early 2018. The study was completed in August 2020. This page provides access to all 205 pages of the study and appendices.

    2007 Trail Feasibility Study-Gettysburg to Hanover

  • Information can be found here.
  • Miscellaneoushere. Appendix A – Background Materials A1 1. 911 Trail Overall Alignment Map 2. Grand History Trail – Proposed Route Map (Overall) 3. NPS - Gettysburg National Military Park Map 4. PennDOT Type 10 (Study Area Map) 5. PALTA – PA Conserved Lands (Study Area Map) 6. Adams County Property Owners (Study Area Map) 7. Adams County Floodplain & Topography (Study Area Map)

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