The trail

Redbank Valley Trails vice-president Phil Hynes cuts the ribbon to officially open the Brookville trailhead.

Photo submitted

BROOKVILLE – Saturday, Aug. 13, marked another milestone for Brookville as noted by state Rep. Cris Dush (R-Brookville). Nearly 60 people attended the Depot Street Spur dedication breakfast at the Opera House Café on Main Street in Brookville, as well as the ribbon cutting ceremony that followed at the trailhead located near Brookville Lumber on South White Street.

Brookville Borough Council vice president and Redbank Valley Trails Association board member Phil Hynes, who spearheaded the improvements, cut the ribbon at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. He thanked the Spur Dedication committee for their efforts, Brookville Borough Council and staff for their support and work, the Redbank Valley Trails Association for its work, North Central Commission and DCNR for a grant, and donors and local residents and business leaders for their support.

The Depot Street Spur connects downtown Brookville’s business district to the 51-mile Redbank Valley Trails, Pennsylvania’s first Trail of the Year in 2014.

Trailhead improvements were funded by a Greenways Development Block Grant from the North Central Commission and DCNR, as well as donations.

Improvements include a parking area for about 22 cars, a gazebo with benches, a picnic table, a three-sided kiosk and a handicapped accessible port-o-john. The kiosk, which should be installed in about a month, includes a panel showing points of historical interest in Brookville and a map of the business district, information on the Redbank Valley Trail and a community bulletin board. Some additional improvements may also be made depending on remaining funding.

The successful development of the spur resulted from a cooperative effort of Brookville Borough Council, with the assistance of borough solicitor Jim Dennison, and the volunteers of the Redbank Valley Trails Association. Brookville Borough Council sought the community’s support through public meetings. The council contracted for grading work and to repair a washout that threatened the spur’s development. When that repair was completed, Redbank Valley Trails Association jumped into action last August to grade, compact and apply crushed limestone to the spur to connect the trail to White Street. Brookville Borough Council then worked o bring the new trailhead to fruition at no cost to local residents thanks to a $25,000 DCNR Greenways Implementation Grant through the North Central Commission that was matched by an anonymous donor.

Dush commented on all the recent improvements in the Brookville area and commended Brookville Council and the Redbank Valley Trail volunteers on their efforts in developing the Depot Street Spur Trailhead for use by the community and tourists. He stated that their work was a blessing for the community.

Hynes noted that within hours after Redbank Valley Trails had placed the crushed limestone on the trail, cars were parked in the parking area and people were using the trail. Within hours after the picnic table was recently placed, he said he found a couple from Europe using the table for their lunch.

On Sunday, Redbank Trail volunteers Sandy and Terry Mateer said they encountered two Korean students having lunch at the New Bethlehem trailhead. The two young men were biking to Brookville via the trail and then to DuBois for the night on a cross country journey that started in Los Angeles on June 30 and is planned to be completed in New York on Aug. 24.

At the dedication ceremony, Sandy Mateer, president of the Redbank Valley Trails Association, commented that, “The trail is already being used by local residents and tourists and we expect that use to grow as more of the trail is developed, bringing more economic opportunities, businesses and jobs to towns along the trail. We’re hoping for a new era of cooperation among our trail towns to promote the trail and our towns.”

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