Tribune Democrat: By Mark Pesto

Members of environmental groups, nonprofits and state agencies, among others, gathered Tuesday at the Morguen Toole Company bed-and-breakfast in Meyersdale to learn how to support trail development in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources hosted the Laurel Highlands Trail Summit, featuring workshops in marketing, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, trail maintenance and sustainability.

DNCR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn was the summit’s featured speaker.

She discussed the economic benefits that the Great Allegheny Passage – a nationally popular hiking and biking trail which connects Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, passing through Somerset County on the way – brings to the Laurel Highlands region.

Great Allegheny Passage users spend $40 million at bike shops, grocery stores, hotels and other businesses in Pennsylvania each year, Dunn said. Many of those dollars are spent in Somerset County trail towns like Confluence, Rockwood, Garrett and Meyersdale.

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