Central Allegheny Highlands ATV Initiative

by | Jul 9, 2024 | News

The Altoona Blair County Development (ABCD) Corporation has been awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to complete the Central Allegheny Highlands ATV Feasibility Study, which encompasses Blair, Cambria, Centre, and Clearfield Counties.

ABCD Corporation and the participating counties are conducting this study to evaluate the feasibility, interest, support, and capacity of infrastructure to provide safe, legal, convenient, and connected ATV riding opportunities for family recreation and tourism that will be an economic benefit to the region. Currently the region lacks legal ATV riding opportunities and destinations to meet the needs of 15,877 active ATV registrations in the four-county region.

Focusing on the rich heritage and history of our region, the Central Allegheny Highlands ATV feasibility study will evaluate the potential for public and private partnerships to connect the users with a unique, diverse tapestry of main streets, sites, and scenery found only in the Central Allegheny Highlands.

If an ATV trail system is deemed possible, implementing the vision will create a continuous network of legal ATV riding opportunities and as a result increase recreation, tourism, and economic development opportunities throughout Central Allegheny Highlands Region.

“This is an important study which will help us add to our growing outdoor recreation assets,” said Stephen McKnight, ABCD Corporation CEO.  “We have secured the services of the Pashek+MTR consulting team, one of the best in this business, so we are confident this will be a solid foundational report allowing us to move quickly from study phase to implementation. Our goal is to turn visitors into residents and investors. Outdoor recreation trail assets help us do just that,” McKnight added.

To guide this study, the ABCD Corporation in partnership with the Pashek+MTR team has assembled a steering committee representing over thirty planning, economic development, and tourism agencies in the four-county region. During the study residents and municipal officials will have opportunities to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns regarding this initiative. The study will take approximately 18 months to complete.

The study is being financed by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, ATV Management Restricted Account funding, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

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