Additional Images

Rail Trail

Eastern Inner Loop



Bicyclists enjoyed riding on the railroad bed as soon as the construction crew had cleared the vegetation.



Laying the footer for the concrete culvert



This trail will serve as a major north- south linkage in the Arboretum and as an integral part of the pedestrian trail and walk system.



The crane in this photo was used to remove dense thickets of privet and honeysuckle from the railroad bed.





Funding the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail

In spring 2005, Big Hollow was filled with activity as the contractor brought in equipment to create the trail.

In 2002 The Pennsylvania State University was awarded $426,000 to help transform 1.3 miles of the former Bellefonte Central Railroad bed from an informal path where shrubs and weeds prevailed, into a pedestrian/bike trail that would benefit the local community, recreational commuters, and visitors to the region.

The Arboretum served as the lead grant applicant in a regional partnership with College, Ferguson, and Patton Townships, and the Borough of State College, all of whom shared the initial design costs of $71,214.

  • The first grant for construction ($213,000) was awarded by the Community Conservation Partnerships Program of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) in July 2002.
  • A second grant application for $213,000, intended to pay the balance of construction costs, was awarded to the University by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) in October 2002.

For the next twenty months, a project management team consisting of the municipal funding partners, Arboretum, PENNDOT, DCNR, and Penn State's Office of Physical Plant coordinated the hiring of a firm (Erdman/Anthony Associates, Inc.), the designing of the trail, the procurement of environmental clearance and regulatory permits, and the bidding process.



Members of the project management team and Penn State's tree crew walk the trail corridor during the clearing and grubbing stage.

In March 2004, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation awarded Penn State an additional $33,000 to pay for consultation, engineering, and inspection costs related to a required change in the trail design. Hydraulic studies had revealed the need to create a large culvert to divert storm water from a natural ponding area above the trail.

Construction of the trail, originally expected in 2004, had to be delayed because the initial bids in July of that year exceeded available funding.

To help lower the cost of the project, the management team shortened the initial trail by approximately one-fourth, and the University agreed to convert the remaining section at a later date. PENNDOT re-bid the project with the revised specifications in December 2004. When the bids were again too high, the Centre County Metropolitan Planning Organization (the local body responsible for federal transportation enhancement funds) granted Penn State's request for an additional $87,790 so that the University could award a construction contract to the lowest bidder, C. H. & D. Enterprises, Inc.

Construction began in April 2005. A final inspection walk by the project management team was held on November 10, 2005.


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