Cumberland Valley rails to trails extending

Cumberland Valley rails to trails extending

Courtney Moul, Reporter

Big Spring will see a new multipurpose route passing near the high school this fall; an extension to the already-existing rail trail that has one endpoint currently in the depths of Newville. Trail supporters have been wanting to extend the trail for some time. Recently, a grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for $222 thousand is finally making it possible. The addition to the path will serve as a safe new route for students and staff to take to school, an exercise trail, and a tourist attraction.

The cross country team likes to make use of the trail. “We use it on weekends for practice,” said senior Danielle Hoover. With the trail being closer to home, the team could have an easily accessible alternative running route instead of just running the cross country course every day after school. “[The extension of the trail] will be helpful because our coach wants us to do a longer run and not as much repeating,” said Hoover about the benefits of the new section of trail.

Some students are familiar with the hidden path too. Senior Sierra Davis has put the trail to use and said, “When I have the time I like to walk and picnic on the trail.” Whether one likes moderate exercise or to push him/herself to the limit, rails to trails can accommodate all activities. Some popular activities on the trail include running, biking, and horseback riding. “People who like to exercise would have a place to do it and be able to become one with nature,” said Davis.

However, not all locals know of the trail that rides from Newville to Shippensburg for 11.1 miles or 22.2 miles round trip. Senior Juvy Orillaza was unaware of the attraction. Now informed that Newville houses one end of the rail trail, Orillaza said, “I might use it to walk my dog.” With the new section being put in, more traffic is expected to appear on the trail, from students to eager out-of-staters.
In the future the rail trail could even be extended farther, the whole way into Carlisle. This would add another 11 miles to the trail.