HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Every year, Pennsylvanians get a chance to choose a Trail of the Year. On Monday, Cindy Adams Dunn, Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced nominations are open for the trail for 2023.

The final selection will be made by the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee, a DCNR-appointed committee of 20 volunteers who represent motorized and non-motorized trail users. They advise the commonwealth about using state and federal trail funding.

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Pennsylvania’s 2022 Trail of the Year was the Delaware State Park Towpath. In 2015, we had a local winner, the Heritage Rail Trail in York County. Other winners have been the Redbank Valley Trails (2014), Standing Stone Trail (2016), Montour Trail (2017), Forbidden Trail (2018), Mid State Trail (2019), Ghost Town Trail (2020), and D&H Rail Trail (2021), the DCNR noted.

“Trails are important connectors in our natural spaces, which is why we are excited to receive nominations that share the impact our wonderful trails bring to communities across the commonwealth,” Dunn said.

The long-term goal of the Advisory Committee is to develop a statewide land and water trail network for recreation and transportation and to encourage healthy lifestyles for all. Right now Pennsylvania has more than 12,000 miles of trails, and DCNR is supporting trail projects across the Commonwealth. Its ultimate goal is to have a trail within 10 minutes of every resident.  

For the Trail of the Year, the committee is looking for a trail that “Provides unique opportunities, encourages and celebrates diverse user groups or enhances your community.” The winning trail will be announced in a news release by the advisory committee and DCNR and will receive a commemorative poster for statewide distribution, a trailhead marker along the trail, promotion on ExplorePATrails, and a grant for educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection on the trail.

To nominate a trail for Trail of the Year, click here.

If you have a trail you want to nominate for the 2023 Trail of the Year, a nomination form and supporting documentation must be submitted online by November 11, 2022. The Trail of the Year will be announced in early 2023, according to the DCNR.