By embracing their future as an outdoor hub, Johnstown and it’s conservation partners are laying the groundwork to increase accessability and welcome outdoor enthusiasts to the city. CVC is proud to be a partner in conservation.

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Visitors to Johnstown will not only find that this city has a rich history, but offers ample opportunities for outdoor recreation including nature trails, fishing, and boating

The Stonycreek Corridor and SQI

The Stonycreek helps to form the Conemaugh River in Downtown Johnstown, and as such, CVC sees the Stonycreek Corridor as an extension of the river valley we serve. In order to divide and conquer on crucial conservation and recreation efforts, the CVC formed our sister organization,  the Stonycreek / Quemahoning Initiative (SQI). Their work focuses on great initiatives, like Whitewater Park, a 300-yard river park designed for kayaking and tubing.

Whitewater Park & Quemahoning Lake

Recently, SQI completed Whitewater Park: Phase II, which improved the lower playboat feature in Whitewater Park and added restrooms the the adjacent Greenhouse Park.  That park features pavilions and a walking track. A release valve at Quemahoning Lake puts puts large amounts of water into the Stonycreek Canyon every other weekend during much of the year to support whitewater boating.

Also at Quemahoning Lake, construction is roughly halfway done on a 17-mile mountain-bike trail around the lake in partnership with the Cambria Somerset Authority and Laurel Highlands On and Off-Road Bicycle Association.

Water Fun for Everyone

In the Quemahoning section of the Stonycreek River, families can enjoy milder water, featuring some nice Class I and II water. If you’re more of an adventurer, Stonycreek Canyon features 15 Class III and IV rapids within a 4-mile span, and another section of Class II and III rapids. Further downriver is Whitewater Park, designed for kayaking and tubing. 

Urban Connectivity Project

The Johnstown Urban Connectivity Project aims to develop a plan for bicycle-pedestrian routes through the city. These plans will extend the September 11th National Memorial Trail and Pennsylvania Main Line Canal Greenway by utilizing both the Path of the Flood and Jim Mayer Trails. Planning efforts kicked off in Fall of 2017 and are expected to take about a year to complete. CVC is an active partner in supporting this planning effort.

View the Cambria County Trail Assets Map here.

Path of the Flood Trail

The Path of the Flood Trail is a part of the September 11th National Memorial Trail and the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal Greenway. Running from Ehrenfeld into Downtown Johnstown, the trail passes through America’s oldest railroad tunnel. Staple Bend Tunnel is part of the Allegheny-Portage Railroad National Historic Site.

The Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority developed the existing 10-mile trail, which includes a busy share-the-road section along Route 271 (Maple Avenue). CVC is working to develop a better route by utilizing quieter side streets, and beautiful section of partially built trail along an old trolly line. The final right-of-way is being sought to allow the trail to then switchback to Plum Street in Upper Woodvale, where a quiet, residential street will be used to bring the bicycle and pedestrian traffic through an existing underpass of the Norfolk-Souther mainline and to the edge of Downtown Johnstown.

Conemaugh Gap Gateway Park

Just outside of Johnstown is the great Conemaugh Gap. This unique gorge, featured on Day 1 of the Annual CVC Spring Sojourn, runs almost perfectly straight for four miles as it follows an ancient fault line. Depending on how “gorge” is defined, The Gap is the second, third or fifth deepest gorge in Pennsylvania.

Conemaugh Gap Gateway Park is being built to showcase the scenic ravine.  Native plants and trees line the walking trail from the parking area to a scenic overlook. An additional trail will be developed down the hillside, where it will connect to planned course through Johnstown’s West End, extending the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal Greenway.

NRG Energy, which operates the Seward Generating Station at the opposite end of The Gap, Alternative Community Resource Program, Starbucks and many volunteers were instrumental in developing the park’s first phase.

A Race Like No Other

Mark your calendar! The West Penn Trail Triathlon is back for 2021! Slated for October 9, 2021, you’ll kayak, bike, and run your way over river and trail in beautiful, Historic Saltsburg. Join solo or in teams! 

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The Sojourn is Back!

June 3-6, 2021: Make friends and connect with Nature on this epic four-day river adventure. We’ll paddle 44-miles from Johnstown to Apollo, through the deep ravines and river gorges of the Kiski-Conemaugh River Valley, camping as we go. Make it a weekend or join us for the day of your choosing. We will be following Covid-19 guidelines. 

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