Main Line Canal Greenway
The Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway is a linked network of land and water trails—320 miles from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, tracing the path of the historic Main Line Canal through some of Pennsylvania’s most striking landscapes and key regions. The Main Line Canal’s legacy lingers along the Greenway corridor, preserving the heritage of the people and places that make Pennsylvania unique, inviting exploration of the Commonwealth’s past and its contributions to our nation.
A greenway is a corridor of open space. Greenways vary greatly in scale, from narrow ribbons of green that run through urban, suburban, and rural areas to wider corridors that incorporate diverse natural, cultural and scenic features.
They can incorporate both public and private property, and can be land- or water-based. They may follow old railways, canals, or ridge tops, or they may follow stream corridors, shorelines, or wetlands, and include water trails for non-motorized craft.
Some greenways are recreational corridors or scenic byways that may accommodate motorized and non-motorized vehicles. Others function almost exclusively for environmental protection and are not designed for human passage.
Greenways differ in their location and function, but overall, a greenway will protect natural, cultural, and scenic resources, provide recreational benefits, enhance natural beauty and quality of life in neighborhoods and communities, and stimulate economic development opportunities.
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The Main Line Canal is made up of Five Clusters:
The Pittsburgh Cluster Nestled in hilly territory where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet to form the Ohio River, Pittsburgh has long been a site of strategic and historic importance. Once a booming center of industry, now Pittsburgh is a thriving, livable city with a range of top-notch cultural, recreational and natural resources.
The Kiski-Conemaugh Cluster The Kiskiminetas and Conemaugh Rivers link the western part of the state to the Allegheny River and ultimately the Ohio River. This watershed connects western Pennsylvania to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Allegheny Ridge Cluster The steep hillsides and rugged topography of the Allegheny Ridge offer some of Pennsylvania’s most dramatic scenery. The Ridge separates the Appalachian Plateau to the west from the Ridge and Valley Region to the east. Once a challenging barrier to westward expansion, the Ridge became a gateway between east and west.
The Juniata Cluster The Juniata River system connects Pennsylvania to the mighty Chesapeake Bay. The natural resources of the Juniata Cluster are among Pennsylvania’s most unusual, including the Commonwealth’s largest lake, dramatic old growth forests, caverns, and bogs.
The Harrisburg Cluster Pennsylvania’s capital city along the banks of the Susquehanna River contains cultural, government, and natural resources, including a section of the famous Appalachian Trail.
The Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway™
reconnects people to the environment and recreation and
communities to their heritage