James W. McIntyre Trail
By James Miscoe
Mayor of Indian Lake Borough
The James W. McIntyre Hiking and Biking Trail is a 2.5-mile trail that winds through a 275-acre wooded tract of land that was donated to Indian Lake Borough by PBS Coals, Inc. The trail was designed by Musser Engineering of Central City and constructed by HRI, Inc. of State College at a cost of $582,200. The entire project was funded through both federal and state funding, which included grants for the construction costs from the Pennsylvania Transportation Enhancement Program and the Southern Alleghenies Regional Planning and Development Commission. Keystone Fund grants totaling $72,800 helped with construction and engineering costs.
The trail, which is for pedestrian and non-motorized bicycle traffic only, was spearheaded by long time Mayor Barry Lichty. The trail allows residents and guests a safe place to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The trail crosses a number of streams that are tributaries to Indian Lake and connects with additional trails in the Buckstown area. Users of the trail often have the ability to see local wildlife along the way.
At Mayor Lichty’s suggestion, the trail was named after Jim McIntyre, the visionary developer who eventually constructed Indian Lake as well as Lake Stonycreek.
When completed in 1963, Indian Lake consisted of725 acres of water, a marina, two golf courses (one of which was the first ever designed by Arnold Palmer), a lodge and hotel, ski slopes, and a number of beautiful homes and summer cottages among the trees. In 1966, Jim petitioned the Somerset County court to incorporate the area known as Indian Lake into a Borough. Jim believed that Indian Lake would continue to grow and prosper as a thriving community. It did. Indian Lake has grown to a community of 565, with over 100 families having permanent residence. The addition of the hiking and biking trail provided yet another natural recreational venue for the residents and guests of Indian Lake.
In honor of Jim’s vision, and as the president of the Indian Lake Borough Council at the time, I was honored to dedicate the hiking and biking trail to Jim’s memory. I also dedicated a permanent bench honoring Mayor Lichty for his efforts at bringing the trail from concept to reality and his 31 years of selfless public service.