The Ohio River Trail (ORT) was conceived out of the opportunity for connectivity and the closing of trail gaps in the tri-state area. The Ohio River Trail Council (ORTC) proposes a broad vision of a multi-use land & water trail system, the Ohio River Trail, along the “La Belle Riviere” or the Ohio River and its tributaries in Pennsylvania. The ORTC is organizing greenway alliances with other trail interest groups in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in order to advance our common goals and secure common interests like interconnecting greenway corridors in a multicounty or multistate region through cohesive efforts. The proposed ORT will become part of the backbone for Pennsylvania's "major" greenway corridors inter-connecting our commonwealth and also serving as a key segment in the interconnection of existing land trails in the 4-state area of Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to form a mega-trail system from the mid-Atlantic region to the east coast providing an opportunity to explore the landscapes and history of America by bicycle.
The Ohio River Trail Council is in in full agreement that there is a need to strengthen the role of outdoor recreation and conservation in Pennsylvania's economy and in the health and quality of life of residents. "Every five years, states across the nation are required to produce a new statewide plan to remain eligible to receive federal Land and Water Conservation Funds (LWCF). link. For the SCORP update, the top ten priority trail gaps were identified for 21 major greenways and trails throughout the state. link. For the update of the Pennsylvania Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan the Commonwealth created a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) composed of state agencies and organizations with a vested interest in the outdoor recreation estate of Pennsylvania and who represent agencies that can bring resources to the planning, funding and implementation of the plan."