Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn recently joined trail supporters and elected officials to announce the official designation of the September 11th National Memorial Trail as a Statewide Major Greenway.
“We at DCNR are proud to designate the September 11th National Memorial Trail as a Statewide Major Greenway,” Dunn said.
“It is impossible to understate the meaning this trail has for Pennsylvania and our nation as a whole. This designation is also important for our department’s mission of closing priority trail gaps, as they form the major ‘arteries’ of the statewide land and water trail network, which benefits recreation, health, transportation, economic, tourism and other benefits to residents throughout the commonwealth.”
The September 11th National Memorial Trail is a 1,300-mile system of trails and roadways that symbolize resiliency and character while linking the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville.
The trail serves as a tribute to the fallen heroes who perished as a result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack and the many heroes who committed themselves to the response. In October 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation that federally designated the September 11th National Memorial Trail Route.
“The 9/11 National Memorial Trail is very pleased with our strong partnership with the Pennsylvania DCNR,” September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance President Tom Baxter said.
“The commonwealth represents a significant portion of the trail alignment, and will definitely present fresh new opportunities and much prosperity to numerous communities — both physically and economically.”
Pennsylvania’s designation comes on the heels of federal legislation, H.R. 2278, passed unanimously by the House and Senate, then signed by President Joe Biden on October 13, 2021. The bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to designate the September 11th National Memorial Trail route.
The trail spans 25 counties, including Berks County in Pennsylvania, with 16 local trails.
Statewide Major Greenways are existing or planned long-distance corridors, at least 50 miles long, that pass through two or more counties and are recognized in official planning documents.
Since 2001, DCNR has maintained a map of the state’s major greenways and considers them to be the highest priority for trail funding.
Pennsylvania is a national leader in trail development, providing its citizens and visitors with more than 12,000 miles of trails across the commonwealth, from gentle pathways threading through miles of preserved greenways, to remote, rugged trails scaling the state’s highest mountains.