The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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February 7, 2013

Pedal plans: Bicycling group gets OK to build trails

— A bicycling group has been given permission to get plans rolling to put up to 17 miles of trails on Quemahoning Reservoir land.

The Cambria Somerset Authority gave the Laurel Highlands Off Road Bicycling Association permission Thursday to build the mountain bike trails this summer, as long as they flag the area first and then have CSA staff inspect it.

“If all goes well, there could be bikes on it this summer,” said CSA Chairman Jim Greco, adding that the cycling association’s large pool of volunteers might be able to tackle the project in a few weeks’ time.

Greco said plans include a biking loop for beginner riders around the reservoir and more challenging spurs that would branch off of it for more experienced riders.

He said the trails can be put in quickly and without specialized equipment because erosion concerns aren’t a factor for the first development stage.

The CSA has envisioned trails on its 2,800-acre Que reservoir for years.

The cycling association approached the board in May about doing the project, noting it has built trails for decades and has club members who helped design paths at Raystown Lake that lure thousands of cyclists annually.

“We’ve dreamed of having a trail there for years,” cycling association President Mike Mucker said last summer.

Greco said future plans would add a “rails-to-trails-type” path for walkers and flat land cyclists, but that will require trail cutting and a permit process, he said.

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