A conservation group has purchased a 90-acre parcel of land near a popular hiking and biking area in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy purchased the property in the Laurel Highlands adjacent to the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). The property in Addison Township, Somerset County, is one of four properties conserved in recent years along the GAP and adds to the conservancy’s now nearly 280-acre Casselman River Conservation Area.
The property protects water quality for the Casselman River and other nearby waterways – including the Youghiogheny River – with more than one-half mile of frontage containing steep forested slopes. Bald eagles can be seen flying overhead – evidence that its forests and dense vegetation provide excellent habitat for many wildlife species.
This property helps to maintain scenic views along the GAP and the Casselman River. Also, this acquisition is part of a broader effort supported by the conservancy and local partners to address economic and conservation issues for all of the Laurel Highlands while building a corridor of protected lands along the trail. This property will now be open and accessible to the public for fishing, hiking and other forms of low-impact recreation.
“The Great Allegheny Passage is one of the recreational treasures of our community,” said Thomas D. Saunders, president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. “It’s an extraordinary trail, when you think that people can start biking or hiking at Point State Park in Pittsburgh and take continuous trails all the way to Cumberland, Maryland and then on to Washington, D.C. It is a pleasure to do these projects at the conservancy where we fund raise for and then protect the key view properties along the trail. This property is a beautiful and important addition to the protected lands along the trail.”