Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
National Heritage Areas are places where natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography. These patterns make National Heritage Areas representative of the national experience through the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved in them. These regions are acknowledged by Congress for their capacity to tell nationally important stories about our nation.
The Ohio River Trail corridor is part of the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area. The Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, comprised of eight counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, encompasses the greater Pittsburgh area and the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio River Valleys. For more than a century, this area was known as the "Steel Making Capital of the World" and the dynamic and powerful story of Big Steel is preeminent in the region's artifacts, buildings, historic communities, industrial sites, and the living cultural traditions of its people.
Created by an Act of Congress and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1996, the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area is managed by the non-profit Steel Industry Heritage Corporation (SIHC) in partnership with the National Park Service and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
SIHC works with communities throughout the region to identify, conserve, promote and interpret the cultural, historic, recreational and other resources associated with steel and steel-related industries.
The goal of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area is to use these resources to encourage community revitalization through cultural tourism, historic preservation, natural and recreational resource conservation, cultural and educational programs and related economic development. Since its inception, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area has undertaken projects in the region using public and private funds for the National Heritage Area.