American Trails Photo Contest 2007

American Trails sponsors an annual photo contest for photographs of National Recreation Trails. Contest details for 2007 are at the American Trails Photo Contest page.  These are the photos I sent for 2007. The idiosyncratic selection of trails was driven by the rules -- only designated National Recreation Trails are eligible.

The winning photos are at the top, followed by other photos from the Great Allegheny Passage, the Allegheny River Trail system, the Ghost Town Trail, the Mahoning Shadow Trail, the Ernst Trail, the Mon River Trail, the Stavich Trail, the Potomac River Water Trail, and Rock Creek Trail.

Winning Photos

Trail Use Category: Bicycling

   

The Trail in Autumn

Allegheny River Trail System near Franklin PA

The new extension of the Allegheny River Trail on the west side of the Allegheny River

Trail Management Category: Trail Sharing

   

Following the Train West

Stavich Recreation Trail in western Pennsylvania

The active railroad runs alongside the interurban line that has been converted to the trail

Trail Management Category: Trail Work

   

Anticipating the Bollman Bridge

Allegheny Highlands segment of the Great Allegheny Passage in Pennsylvania

This historic 135-year-old cast-iron Bollman bridge once carried the B&O railroad over Wells Creek. It has been moved to carry the Great Allegheny Passage over Scratch Hill Rd. The approaches to the bridge are still under construction, and the trail community eagerly anticipates the finishing touches

 

Trail Features Category: Urban Trails and Greenways

Entering Pittsburgh at Firstside

Three Rivers Heritage Trail segment of the Great Allegheny Passage

When PNC Bank built their Firstside Building, they provided a continuation for the Eliza Furnace Trail to continue toward the ultimate destination of the Great Allegheny Passage, The Point at the junction of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers

Other Submitted Photos on the Great Allegheny Passage

Allegheny Highlands segment in Maryland

   

Starting a Trip at the Cumberland Station

It is traditional for a trip starting or ending in Cumberland to take a group photo with the statue of the mule at the trailhead.

   

Trail with Steam Train

From Cumberland MD to Frostburg MD, the Great Allegheny Passage shares the railbed with the Western Maryland Scenic RR, which still operates a steam train.

   

Cumberland Narrows

: Just north of Cumberland, the trail, scenic railroad, CSX line, a major highway, and a creek all squeeze through a narrow gap. Here the trail crosses the busy road, sharing the bridge with the scenic railroad.

Allegheny Highlands segment in Pennsylvania

   

Gentle Savage Sunset

At the southern mouth of Big Savage Tunnel, the view opens to a wide panorama with Cumberland in the distance. It’s a wonderful place to watch a sunset.

   

Keystone Trestle

: The curved concrete deck of this trestle replicates the curve of the original wooden bridge.

   

Keystone Trestle

Modern windmills stand on the ridge overlooking the bridge that carries the trail over the active railroad line.

   

Continental Divide

The Great Allegheny Passage crosses the Eastern Continental Divide in a short tunnel under McKenzie Hollow Road (not at Big Savage Tunnel, as many people would expect). Headed west, the tunnel opens on a view of the valley ahead.

Youghiogheny River Trail South segment

   

Picture the Yough

This scenic view of the Youghiogeny River just north of Bruner Run is a favorite of photographers.

Playing in Railroad Rapid

The trail follows the Youghiogheny River, which is a favorite location for whitewater canoeing. This is the view from the trail bridge just north of Ohiopyle. The rapid is named Railroad Rapid, a name it has held since the active rail line crossed this bridge.

Playing in Railroad Rapid

The trail follows the Youghiogheny River, which is a favorite location for whitewater canoeing. This is the view from the trail bridge just north of Ohiopyle. The rapid is named Railroad Rapid, a name it has held since the active rail line crossed this bridge.

Youghiogheny River Trail North segment

Dravo Cemetery

The Dravo Cemetery is the centerpiece of a rest stop along the trail that also includes picnic and camping facilities.

 

   

Shuttle Service

Loading a shuttle at West Newton Trailhead.

Three Rivers Heritage Trail segment

   

Connecting Eliza Furnace Trail to Southside

Highway reconstruction provided a continuation of the Eliza Furnace Trail from Firstside toward the ultimate destination of the Great Allegheny Passage, The Point at the junction of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers

Other Submitted Photos on the Allegheny River, East Sandy Creek, Samuel Justus, and Oil Creek Trail

Allegheny River Trail  

Stone Arch Bridge

The railroads left a legacy of stone arch bridges.

   

The Beaver's View

Did the beaver fell the tree to block the trail or to express its opinion of the “posted” notice?

   

Old and New

This small community along the Allegheny River Trail is accessed only by a gravel road. The trail is the only paved play area in the village, and kids have parked their rides beside the relic railroad tower

   

Indian God Rock

Indian God Rock has a wealth of Indian rock carvings. It sits just offshore on the east side of the Allegheny River at the point of a ridge. The Allegheny River Trail on the east side of the river has a rest stop just above the rock, and the trail on the west side of the river offers a good view of the rock itself

Sandy Creek Trail   

Belmar Bridge

The Belmar Bridge carries the East Sandy Creek Trail over the Allegheny River and the Allegheny River Trail.

   

East Sandy in the Fall

Samuel Justus Traill    

Winter in Oil City

south of Oil City

   

Indian God Rock

Indian God Rock has a wealth of Indian rock carvings. It sits just offshore on the east side of the Allegheny River at the point of a ridge. The Allegheny River Trail on the east side of the river has a rest stop just above the rock, and the trail on the west side of the river offers a good view of the rock itself

Other Submitted Photos on the Ghost Town Trail

 

 

AMD and Art Project

The area just east of Vintondale was the location of an extensive coal processing facility. The structures are gone, and the area had long been a barren wasteland. An art project has restored this area, converting it to a park with a series of ponds for water quality remediation, artistic installations, and some ball fields

Historical mosaic

The mosaic in the foreground depicts the mining operation that formerly occupied the area.

 

Water remediation

This is the end of a series of ponds that progressively remove sediment and contaminants from ground water

 

   

Mine Drainage Control

The area mines collect groundwater, and the pressure of this groundwater causes water to back up into the basements in nearby Vintondale. To relieve the pressure, boreholes were drilled in the bed of Blacklick Creek. The pressure from the mine creates these small fountains. The white color is an aluminum precipitate, and the photo shows the mine water mixing with the creek water

   

Surface Remediation

A mine dump formerly occupied this area, leaving a barren and mucky area of many acres. Recent regarding and seeding has largely restored the area, though some of the plastic barriers that once protected the trail from runoff are still visible
 

     

Vintondale Dog Walkers

Vintondale is in the background

Other Submitted Photos on the Mahoning Shadow Trail

 

 

 

 

   

 Inside a Coke Oven

 

 

 

 

 

   

 Coke Ovens

 

Other Submitted Photos on the Ernst Trail

 

 

 

 

   

 Lunch Beside French Creek

Lunch stop at a bench alongside French Creek

 

Other Submitted Photos on the Mon River Trail

 

 

 

 

   

 Riding Along the Rock Wall

This rail-trail runs along the Monongahela River. In this stretch, a bench for the railroad was cut out of the rock

 

 

 

 

   

 Clearing Trail

Trees sometimes fall across the trail during storms. Often, volunteers clear the trail.

 

Other Submitted Photos on the Stavich Trail

 

 

 

 

   

 Wetland Before the Storm

The embankment for the interurban trolley line created a small impoundment, which has been maintained by beavers. The resulting wetland harbors birds and frogs, that we know of

Other Submitted Photos on the Potomac River Water Trail

 

 

 

 

   

Flowing Out of Cumberland

Looking upstream toward Cumberland MD. (Notes: The Potomac River leaves the mountains at Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

   

 White Horse Rapid

Just downstream from the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, White Horse Rapid is a vigorous playground for canoeists. Photo from the Harpers Ferry footbridge, looking downstream

Other Submitted Photos on the Rock Creek Trail

 

 

 

 

   

 Rock Creek Trestle

Historic Rock Creek Trestle of the former Georgetown Branch of the B&O RR now carries the Capital Crescent Trail high over Rock Creek Trail

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