KITTANNING – When it comes to the Top 10 Places to Visit in the Pittsburgh region this year, the local area has it covered with several selections.
Released on New Year’s Eve by the Only In Your State website, the Top 10 list features parks, trails, businesses and other notable attractions in the Pittsburgh region.
Serving as bookends for the list are the historic community of Brookville at No. 1 and the Armstrong Trail at No. 10.
“It’s great to be noticed, especially outside the area,” said Ron Steffey, executive director of the Allegheny Valley Land Trust which oversees the Armstrong Trail. He noted that the Top 10 designation will help with the recent Towns and Trails initiative, which is working to develop the communities through which the trail runs.
With the trail mostly developed, Steffey said that being recognized on lists like these will help bring more people in.
Now, the goal is to get them into the local businesses,” he said. “It’s going to encourage people to come here.”
These recognitions also serve as a validation for the local trail efforts, Steffey said, explaining that as businesses look at an area as a possible site to set up shop, they also look at what amenities are available locally for their employees to enjoy.
Local trail volunteer Kay Owen of Templeton said that she was proud to see the Armstrong Trail included on the regional list.
“It’s a bonus for the community and the region to be recognized,” she said. “That’s pretty amazing.”
The onlyinyourstate.com listing has this to say about the Armstrong Trail: “Bundle up — or wait till spring — for a picturesque hike along the Armstrong Trail. The 30-mile trail spans Clarion and Armstrong counties. The trail, open to hikers and bikers, passes the Coaling Tower, Ore Hill Iron Furnace and the Brady Tunnel.”
Brookville earned the top spot on the list, with the website noting: “Spend a lovely day in the picturesque town of Brookville, 80 miles from Pittsburgh. The quaint town, of less than 4,000, boasts a main street dotted with shops, including Annie’s Attic and Finders Keepers. Hang out at the lush Longview Park or have an ice cream at the old-fashioned Buff’s Ice Cream.”
Also in the region, the Allegheny National Forest ranked No. 6 on the list, with a focus on Marienville and the Kinzua Sky Walk at the site of the old Kinzua Railroad Bridge.
The list is rounded out by Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset at No. 2, Our Place Homemade in Wilmerding at No. 3, Blue Mist Road (Irwin Road) at No. 4, the Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. in Pittsburgh at No. 5, Popcorn Willy in Washington, Pa. at No. 7, Allegheny Commons Park in Pittsburgh at No. 8 and the Johnstown Inclined Plane in Johnstown at No. 9.
The full list can be viewed at www.onlyinyourstate.com/pennsylvania/pittsburgh/best-places-2018-pittsburgh/.