Chambersburg Rail-Trail

Pennsylvania

2 Reviews

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Chambersburg Rail-Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Franklin
Length: 1.6 miles
Trail end points: South Main St. and Commerce Ave.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6123080

Chambersburg Rail-Trail Description

The Chambersburg Rail Trail is a 1.6 mile paved urban trail that connects neighborhoods just a few blocks west of the community's central business district. Starting at South Main Street (Route 11), the trail occupies the center of a boulevard that separates north and southbound lanes of traffic. Stops are required at each of the 7 intersections. At busier street crossings, there is a pedestrian crossing button that activates flashing yellow lights to warn the vehicular traffic that a pedestrian or bicyclist is attempting to cross the street. About midway along the trail there is a wooden trestle bridge that crosses the Conocochenague Creek. The paved trail ends at West Commerce Street.

The Chambersburg Rail Trail is part of the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the South Main Street trailhead. The trail is just north of Industrial Drive and south of Derbyshire Street.

To reach the Commerce Street trailhead from U.S. Route 30, turn north onto 2nd Street. Turn left onto West Commerce Street. Trail is on the left just past Race Street.

Additional parking is provided on Hood Street, south of Center Street and across from the cemetery. Curbside parking is also available at West South Street access point. Trail begins between Black Avenue and Hollywell Avenue.

Chambersburg Rail-Trail Reviews

Great urban walking trail

Short 1-1/2 miles but sweet. Chambersburg did a great job on this trail with pedestrian warning lights on crossovers. Dog-friendly with several bag stations and disposal cans. A portion of the trail follows the creek for a scenic and serene walk. Bike jumps are available but far enough off of the trail was not to interfere with walkers, joggers and city bikers. Several exits to traverse into town and experience some great bistros and shops.

Top-notch linear park provides "green corridor" through center of town

The 1.5-mile Chambersburg Rail-Trail may be one of the fastest turnarounds from railroad to greenway in the short history of the rails-to-trails movement. The line, which was owned and operated by CSX, was abandoned only in the late 90's, and was acquired by the borough for conversion to trail. The trail was constructed by the mid-2000's and today, less than a decade later, is a state-of-the-art asphalt greenway, lined with benches, trees and plaques interpreting numerous natural and historical features. The surrounding right-of-way was also converted from a combination of weeds and ballast to lush strips of grass, trees and bushes, and an old coal car and kitschy memorabilia like an old-time gas pump and giant, plastic ice cream cone both located next to the crossing at Lincoln Way serve as tributes to the glory days of the railroad and transcontinental Lincoln Highway, respectively. The trail also adjoins the "pump track," a rugged, BMX-style course immediately adjacent to the King Street crossing, and a footbridge across the Conococheague Creek serves as a link to Fort Park, a revitalized area that is centered around the site of Fort Chambers, which was the original incarnation of the town, and consists of a central plaza with numerous veterans' and civic memorials and monuments. The trail's high popularity with local residents, user-friendliness, with well-marked signs and several access points, as well as its role in helping to beautify and revitalize downtown Chambersburg, ranks the Chambersburg Rail-Trail alongside the Ephrata Linear Park and York City section of the York County Heritage Rail Trail, as one of the best examples of an urban greenway in central Pennsylvania.

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