Rails-to-Trails to clean ‘house’ on Saturday

PUNXSUTAWNEY — With spring finally here, the Punxsutawney Area Rails-to-Trails Association, Inc. is looking for volunteers to come out this Saturday to help clean up the trail.

"We hope to see every trail user come out to help," said Matt Taladay, president of the Rails-to-Trails Association, adding that the trail would not exist without volunteer help.

The Mahoning Shadow Trail is a 15.2-mile trail that stretches from Valier to Hudson.

Individuals can access the trail at a variety of spots, including the Indiana Street location, Sportsburg, Cloe, Fordham Trailhead and others.

The western part of the trail runs from Valier through Punxsy, then out past Cloe, where it heads east to Devil's Elbow in Hudson.

When using the trail, individuals get the chance to see the true beauty of nature.

"Our main focus is to get the trail cleaned up," said Taladay.

Two to three volunteers do 95 percent of the maintenance year-round on the trail.

In the spring and summer months, it draws in nature lovers, walkers, runners and bicyclists.

Some of the trail is paved, while other parts are a pressed limestone surface.

Taladay says the main focus is to get the trail cleaned up, as some areas are covered in litter.

All interested volunteers are asked to meet at 9 a.m. at the Water Street location of the trail located under the Margiotti Bridge.

People of all ages are welcome to come, but young children must be accompanied by parents.

Everyone will be given gloves and trash bags to assist with litter collection.

A dumpster will also be on site for garbage collection.

It is recommended that those who attend wear proper clothing, due to ticks and swampy areas.

Taladay advises that everyone wear sturdy shoes, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

Volunteers will be needed to help clean out the drainage ditches, while others will be needed in various areas of the trail.

Taladay said there are no set hours for volunteering, and if someone wants to come for a half hour to an hour, that is great.

Any bit of help is welcomed.

Bottled water will also be provided to all volunteers.

For more information on the Rails-to-Trails Association, contact Taladay at 814-590-3501.