GPS Program (“Blue Line Project”)
About the Project
PSSA’s Trail Inventory/GPS/Blue Line Project, with funding from DCNR, has grown from PSSA’s vision of a viable snowmobile trail system for Pennsylvania which ultimately consolidates now disconnected trails, facilities, and communities into a cohesive recreational corridor to link public and private trail segments, and to lend consistency and quality (statewide) to trail maintenance, mapping, grooming and signage.
Working in cooperation with North West and North Central PA Regional Planning & Development Commissions, snowmobile clubs, and other partners having a stake in Northern PA tourism and economic development, the Project began by plotting on paper “the Blue Line” a graphic approximation of existing public and private trails running from the Ohio border east to Lycoming County.
It is important to note here that a significant portion of existing trail, especially in the northwest sector of the State, rests on private land — now made available to snowmobile clubs by a variety of agreements – some as basic as a handshake. Additionally, a fair amount of the land on which these winter trails exist is farmland — under cultivation in spring and summer months.
These extensive trails exist and have been built and maintained, over many years, with considerable work by the clubs in their areas, and they exist as prospective key connectors to public land trails.
Therefore, if Pennsylvania is to create the envisioned Corridor, with well-groomed trails, facilities, signage and mapping that’s on a par with best practice of other states — PSSA realized that it would be critical to clearly identify what currently exists that may be expanded/connected to ultimately position the “Blue Line”.
Also, of great importance, the Trail Inventory can provide a basis for informed future decisions relating to grooming, funding, and signage.
Updates 2021: Major stumbling blocks to this concept are:
- lack of a legal crossing on the Allegheny River
- potential trail corridors are now owned by Game Commission
- negative attitudes of property owners due to illegal riding
- lack of joint use roads in some municipalities
- insufficient availability of law enforcement
- insufficient funding
- lack of joint use road accessibility to snowmobilers
- safety concerns from PennDOT