Chambersburg Rail-Trail


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Chambersburg Rail-Trail Facts

States: Pennsylvania
Counties: Franklin
Length: 1.2 miles
Trail end points: West South Street and Commerce AVe.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6123080
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Chambersburg Rail-Trail Description

The Chambersburg Rail Trail is a 1.2 mile paved urban trail that connects neighborhoods just a few blocks west of the community's central business district. Starting at South Street, the trail occupies the center of a boulevard that separates north and southbound lanes of traffic. Stops are required at each intersection. At the busier streets there is a pedestrian crossing button that activates flashing yellow lights to warn the vehicular traffic of a pedestrian crossing. About midway along the trail there is a pedestrian bridge crossing the Conocochenague Creek and providing access to downtown shops and businesses. The paved trail ends at Commerce Street.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the West South Street trailhead from US Route 30, turn south on Main Street. Turn right on West South Street. Trail begins between Black Avenue and Hollywell Avenue. Curbside parking.
To reach the Commerce Street trailhead from U.S. Route 30, turn north onto 2nd Street. Turn left onto West Commerce Street. Trail is on the left just past Race Street.

Chambersburg Rail-Trail Reviews

The 1.5-mile Chambersburg Rail-Trail may be one of the fastest turnarounds from railroad to greenway in the short history of the rails-to-trails movement. The line, which was owned and operated by CSX, was abandoned only in the late 90's, and was acquired by the borough for conversion to trail. The trail was constructed by the mid-2000's and today, less than a decade later, is a state-of-the-art asphalt greenway, lined with benches, trees and plaques interpreting numerous natural and historical features. The surrounding right-of-way was also converted from a combination of weeds and ballast to lush strips of grass, trees and bushes, and an old coal car and kitschy memorabilia like an old-time gas pump and giant, plastic ice cream cone both located next to the crossing at Lincoln Way serve as tributes to the glory days of the railroad and transcontinental Lincoln Highway, respectively. The trail also adjoins the "pump track," a rugged, BMX-style course immediately adjacent to the King Street crossing, and a footbridge across the Conococheague Creek serves as a link to Fort Park, a revitalized area that is centered around the site of Fort Chambers, which was the original incarnation of the town, and consists of a central plaza with numerous veterans' and civic memorials and monuments. The trail's high popularity with local residents, user-friendliness, with well-marked signs and several access points, as well as its role in helping to beautify and revitalize downtown Chambersburg, ranks the Chambersburg Rail-Trail alongside the Ephrata Linear Park and York City section of the York County Heritage Rail Trail, as one of the best examples of an urban greenway in central Pennsylvania.

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