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PA DCNR: Work Begins on 12-Mile Multi-Use Trail at M.K. Goddard State Park

Wed April 03, 2002 - National Edition
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On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary John C. Oliver has announced that construction has begun on a 12.2-mi. multi-use trail at M.K. Goddard State Park in Mercer County.

”This trail will be a great draw for tourists traveling in this region,’ Oliver said. ”With its paved surface and spectacular views around the lake, the pathway is designed for users of all ages and all abilities. It is a wonderful addition to an already magnificent park.’

H.E. Stuber Inc. of Rochester, Beaver County, began work in March on the paved loop trail, which encircles the park portion of the 1,860-acre Lake Wilhelm. Work includes construction of an 8-ft. wide asphalt path, and replacement and re-decking of several bridges.

An existing hiking trail link off the southern tip of the trail connects to the nearby McKeever Environmental Education Center near Sandy Lake. The $2.9-million ”Growing Greener’ project is expected to be completed late this year.

Since 1995, more than $250 million has been invested in improving facilities at Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests. Projects have included roads, sewer and water systems, marinas, campgrounds, trails, and other facilities. ”Growing Greener,’ the state’s largest-ever environmental initiative, is providing $125 million for these park and forest improvements.

”I am very pleased with the commitment Secretary Oliver and DCNR have made to this trail project,’ Rep. Rod Wilt (R-Mercer) said. ”It is a great example of many people in state government working together. Once completed, it will be a tremendous draw for outdoor enthusiasts from within and outside our region. This is a great step toward enhancing recreational opportunities at the state parks in northwest Pennsylvania.’

Lake Wilhelm, the focal point of the 2,800-acre M.K. Goddard State Park, offers year-round boating and fishing. More than 276,000 people used the park last year for water activities, as well as for picnicking, hiking, hunting, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

The park is named for the late Maurice K. Goddard, a nationally renowned cabinet secretary who served under more governors than any other person in the history of the Commonwealth. It was under the leadership of Goddard as Secretary of the departments of Forests and Waters and Environmental Resources that a state park was established within 25 miles of nearly every Pennsylvanian.

Sandy Creek that traverses M.K. Goddard State Park was first noted in reports made by George Washington during his trip to Fort LeBoeuf in 1753.

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