It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since an optimistic bunch of outdoor enthusiasts took to local rivers, streams, and forests to clean up their environment and create a special place for the people of the Kiski-Conemaugh River Valley to enjoy the rivers and lands they love.

It’s been no easy task, but the men and women of the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy have spent that time on many worthwhile ventures, including the construction of their signature West Penn Trail, a path leading from Saltsburg to just outside of Blairsville that covers the terrain of the historic Pennsylvania Mainline Canal and Pennsylvania Railroad. This scenic trail offers vistas of canal remnants and passes over once-forgotten stone arch bridges constructed in the early 1900’s.

This trail, and the Conemaugh River, have played host to the West Penn Trail Triathlon for six years now – an event that brings cyclists, runners, and kayakers together for a challenging, but exciting adventure in the wilderness. The seventh race is slated for Saturday, October 12th.

This year CVC is adding a new event, not only on the West Penn Trail, but including many of its neighboring regional trails. The Otter Trot 5k Run/Walk Race Series will invite people to the trails to get out, get fit, and to do a little fun exploration of what our regional trail system has to offer.

The series will consist of six races, each featuring unique sections of the West Penn, Ghost Town, James Mayer, and Westmoreland Heritage Trails in Saltsburg, Johnstown, Ebensburg, and Murrysville. CVC will track participants through a point system during each race, combining the totals of those that participate in four or more events. The top three racers from both the men’s and women’s divisions will be awarded prizes in each race, and overall series winners will be declared after the final race. Details can be found on the News and Events page.

All proceeds from the Otter Trot 5k Run/Walk Race Series will benefit Conemaugh Valley Conservancy and the work they’ll be doing in the upcoming year. Current initiatives span the entire river valley and include projects such as stream analysis and mine drainage monitoring to building new parks and boat accesses.

In addition, CVC will also be hosting their 20th Annual River Sojourn from June 6-9th. The sojourners will cover 44-miles by boat on the Stonycreek, Conemaugh, and Kiskiminetas Rivers from Johnstown to Apollo. Participants of all skill levels are welcome to join for one or more days and to camp with the group as they travel.

Details for all CVC events can be found on the News and Events page. Register today and get outdoors with CVC! CVC memberships are just $25 per household and includes discounts to CVC events.