By Kay Downey-Clarke
Collier Friends of the Panhandle Trail
The Panhandle Trail has had tremendous impact along its entire length. Not only do hundreds of people use it each day to walk, run, and ride, but communities have developed events and policies because of it. The Keystone Fund played a crucial role in making the trail a reality.
Starting at its eastern point in Walkers Mill, Collier Township, the Trail is the centerpiece of the township’s connectivity plan to develop paths throughout the community.
Collier also uses the Quarry area of the Trail for community events such as Rock the Quarry and Night Walk on the Trail during the Halloween season. Many charity runs also utilize the trail, and it is a training area for college athletes.
Further west, McDonald has refurbished an old train station for events throughout the year. Saturdays in the summer see a farmers’ market. There are pancake breakfasts to raise money, and a community museum.
Just beyond McDonald toward Midway is the junction with the Montour Trail. A rider can hop on to go north toward Pittsburgh International Airport or south to the Great Allegheny Passage.
I personally know of people who have moved to Collier and South Fayette just to be near the trail. It is a year-round resource, as the many cross country skiers will attest.