OHIO RIVER TRAIL COUNCIL

“Joining communities through fitness, recreation, heritage and transportation networks”

OHIO RIVER TRAIL COUNCIL

Recreational Land Use Policy

Recreational Land Use Policy

At one time in our nation’s history, the railroads were a dominant mode of transportation, encouraged and heavily subsidized by the federal government and the states. Beginning about a century ago, however, the number of miles of operating railroad lines began to decline as the railroads gave way to new alternatives, such as automobiles and airplanes. That created the problem of what to do with the thousands of miles of unused rail corridors. With the advent of the environmental movement in the 1960's and 1970's came an appealing solution: converting unused railroad rights-of-way to recreational trails for hikers, bikers, cross-country skiers, and horseback riders. Congress responded favorably to this idea by enacting various rails-to-trails programs, most prominently under the 1983 National Trails System Act, which allowed for “rail-banking” of abandoned lines for recreational use.

The Ohio River Trail Council (ORTC) understands that on occasion that the proposed recreational use of land may come into disagreement with private property rights claimed by individual citizens. In regards to the rails-to-trails movement, land abutting or traversed by the discontinued rail line may have long believed to be the property of a private owners when the railroad ceased operating, the abandoned railroad right-of-way would under applicable property law revert to them—and that they could exercise a private property owner’s traditional right to exclude others, including recreationists. An example of this type of dispute, which found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, involved an abandoned railroad right-of-way in Burlington, Vermont, that had been converted by government officials to a popular recreational public pathway. The question, then, is whether the abandoned railroad rights-of-way coveted by recreationists and their governmental sponsors are indeed public or privately owned. The question has at times spilled over into litigation and remains unresolved.

The Ohio River Trail Council is is a leader in conserving and stewarding lands that support the scenic, recreational and environmental well-being of the communities along the Ohio River and its tributaries. The Ohio River Trail Council firmly believes the development of trails as an antidote to our economic decline and automobile congestion. The popularity and successful implementation of our trail projects to date has provided new opportunities for outdoor recreation, improved health, economic development and sustainability. Please keep in mind that the Ohio River Trail Council respects landowners’ property rights. We encourage community input at all stages of the Ohio River Project in order for all of us to come together to resolve any differences to ultimately improve our community.

 

Event Photos

  • allegheny-river-trail-08-22-2015-greg-kalamasz.jpg
  • armstrong-trail-cowanshannock-creek-allison-11-23-2011.jpg
  • Armstrong-Trail-Rosston-Circle-06-30-2012-Copyright-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • arrnstrong-trail-clock-tower-ford-city-11-23-2011.jpg
  • Art-Bell-Ghost-Bike-Ride-2015-Vincent-Troia-1.jpg
  • Art-Bell-Ghost-Bike-Ride-2015-Vincent-Troia-2.jpg
  • Art-Bell-Ghost-Bike-Ride-2015-Vincent-Troia-3.jpg
  • Art-Bell-Memorial-Ride-Paul-Heckbert-1.jpg
  • Art-Bell-Memorial-Ride-Paul-Heckbert-2.jpg
  • bicycle-museum-2.jpg
  • Bradys-Run-Trail-South.jpg
  • BROOKE-PIONEER-TRAIL-APRIL-27-2014-VINCENT-TROIA.jpg
  • C-O-Canal-Towpath-Canal-Place-Greg-Kalamasz.jpg
  • Confluence-to-Pinkerton-09-13-2015-Greg-Kalamasz.jpg
  • Connoton-Creek-10-14-2012-vincent-troia.jpg
  • deckers-creek-trail-04-07-2012.jpg
  • deckers-creek-trail-2.jpg
  • festival-5K-2014.jpg
  • festival-5k-medalist-09-08-2013.jpg
  • festival-2012-band-1.jpg
  • festival-2012-band-2.jpg
  • festival-2012-Jerry-recumbent.jpg
  • festival-2012-mountain-bike-1.jpg
  • festival-2012-road-ride-1.jpg
  • festival-2012-road-ride.jpg
  • festival-2012-trail-1.jpg
  • festival-2012-trail-2.jpg
  • festival-2012-trail-3.jpg
  • festival-2012-trail-4.jpg
  • festival-2012-trail-5.jpg
  • festival-2012-vendor-1.jpg
  • festival-2012-vendor-3.jpg
  • festival-2012-vendor-4.jpg
  • festival-2012-vendor-5.jpg
  • festival-2012-vendor-6.jpg
  • festival-2012-vendor-7.jpg
  • festival-2012-volunteers-1.jpg
  • festival-2012-volunteers-2.jpg
  • festival-2014-5K-1.jpg
  • festival-2014-5K-2.jpg
  • festival-2014-5K-3.jpg
  • festival-2014-5K-4.jpg
  • festival-2014-5K-5.jpg
  • festival-2014-band-1.jpg
  • festival-2014-band-2.jpg
  • festival-2014-band-7.jpg
  • festival-2014-band-8.jpg
  • Festival-2014-Brighton-Boys-2014.jpg
  • festival-2014-kayaking-1.jpg
  • festival-2014-kayaking-3.jpg
  • festival-2014-kayaking-4.jpg
  • festival-2014-kayaking-5.jpg
  • festival-2014-kayaking-demo.jpg
  • festival-2014-registration-1.jpg
  • festival-2014-road-ride-1.jpg
  • festival-2014-road-ride-2.jpg
  • festival-2014-road-ride-3.jpg
  • festival-2014-road-ride-4.jpg
  • festival-2014-road-ride-5.jpg
  • festival-2014-rock-wall-1.jpg
  • festival-2014-sub-1.jpg
  • festival-2014-Vendor-1.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-7.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-8.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-9.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-10.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-11.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-12.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-13.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-14.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-15.jpg
  • festival-2014-vendor-16.jpg
  • Festival-2015-5K.jpg
  • Festival-2015-Phunky-Dead-Fish.jpg
  • festival-band-2014-15.jpg
  • festival-band-2014-crew.jpg
  • festival-curt-walsh-hunter-large-2014.jpg
  • Festival-Justin-Fabus-Band-09-2013.jpg
  • festival-watercraft-races-2014.jpg
  • GAP-Big-Savage-Tunnel-1-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Big-Savage-Tunnel-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Big-Savage-Tunnel-3-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • gap-connelsville-ashley-slinchak-incent-troia-firefly-grill.jpg
  • GAP-Eastern-Continental-Divide-1-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Eastern-Continental-Divide-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Eastern-Continental-Divide-3-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Keystone-Viaduct-1-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Keystone-Viaduct-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-1-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-2-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-3-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-4-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-5-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-6-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-7-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-8-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-9-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Laurel-Highlands-View-10-2-08-01-2015-Vincent-Troial.jpg
  • GAP-Mason-Dixon-Line-Park-1-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Mason-Dixon-Line-Park-2-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Myersdale-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Myersdale-2-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Myersdale-3-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • GAP-Myersdale-4-07-01-2015-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • geese-chris-rishak.jpg
  • ghost-town-trail-furnace-06-19-2012.jpg
  • JR-Taylor-Bridge-Bethel-Park-Ceremony.jpg
  • Little-Beaver-Creek-Greenway-Trail-April-7-2012.jpg
  • Little-Beaver-Creek-Greenway-Trail-Leetonia-Trailhead-Photocredit-Vincent-Troia-04-2011.jpg
  • Mahoning-Shadow-Trail-Coke-Ovens-07-02-2011-Photocredit-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • Mahoning-Shadow-Trail-Fordham-Trailhead-07-2-2011-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • Mill-Creek-Metro-Parks-Bikeway-Vincent.jpg
  • montour-trail-1-vincent-troia-october-2014.jpg
  • montour-trail-2-vincent-troia-october-2014.jpg
  • montour-trail-3-vincent-troia-october-2014.jpg
  • montour-trail-4-vincent-troia-october-2014.jpg
  • Montour-Trail-Copyright-Vincent-Troia-11-02-2014.jpg
  • montour-trail-mcdonald-trestle-vincent-troia.jpg
  • montour-trail-photo-credit-vincent-troia-10-25-2015.jpg
  • montour-trail-rr-signal-10-14-2009-vincent-troia.jpg
  • Montour-Trail-Trestle-McDonald-Pa-Copyright-Vincent-Troia-11-02-2014.jpg
  • montour-trail-trestle-tunnel-11-2-2014.jpg
  • ohio-erie-towpath-cvrr-station-vincent-troia.jpg
  • ohio-erie-towpath-trail-08-07-2011.jpg
  • ohio-river-greenway-trail-baden-pa-vincent-troia-08-23-2015.jpg
  • Ohio-Valley-Trail-Partners-Wheeling-Heritage-Trail-August-28-2011.jpg
  • ohiopyle-falls-ortc-ride.jpg
  • Ohiopyle-State-Park-Trail.jpg
  • oil-creek-10-09-2011-28-copyright-vincent-troia.jpg
  • oil-creek-2014-1.jpeg
  • oil-creek-2014-2.jpg
  • oil-creek-2014-vincent-troia.jpg
  • Oil-Creek-State-Park-Trail-10-09-2011..jpg
  • oil-creek-trail-2-2011.jpg
  • oil-creek-trail-2011.jpg
  • oil-creek-trail-drake-04-07-2012.jpg
  • oil-creek-trail-picnic-2014.jpeg
  • oil-creek-trail-view-2014.jpeg
  • Olive-Mountain-Band-Gear-Cheer-Festival-2014-1.jpg
  • Olive-Mountain-Band-Gear-Cheer-Festival-2014-2.jpg
  • Olive-Mountain-Band-Gear-Cheer-Festival-2014-3.jpg
  • ORTC-Community-Day-2011.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-1.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-2.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-3.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-4.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-4A.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-5.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-6.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-7.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-8.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-8A.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Daryl-Vogan-9.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Lucy-Schaly-1.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Lucy-Schaly-2.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-1.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-2.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-3.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-4.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-5.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-6.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-7.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-8.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-9.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-10.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-11.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-12.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-13.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-14.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-15.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-16.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-17.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-18.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-19.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-20.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-21.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-22.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-23.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-24.jpg
  • ORTC-Paddle-Board-Race-08-29-2015-Vincent-Troia-25.jpg
  • ORTC-RIDE-12-26-2014-PENN-AVE-BIKE-LANE-800X600.jpg
  • ORTC-THREE-RIVERS-HERITAGE-TRAIL-RIDE-12-26-2014-800X600.jpg
  • paddle-picnic-2011-1.jpg
  • Panhandle-Trail-Connector-Montour-Trail-McDonald-Pa-Vincent-Troia-11-02-2014.jpg
  • panhandle-trail-wilson-mill-09-25-2011.jpg
  • pedal-the-lakes-2014.jpg
  • Raccoon-State-Park-Kayaking-2016.jpg
  • River-Run-04-09-2017-1.jpg
  • River-Run-07-09-2017-1.jpg
  • River-Run-07-09-2017-2.jpg
  • River-Run-07-09-2017-3.jpg
  • River-Run-07-09-2017-4.jpg
  • River-Run-07-09-2017-5.jpg
  • River-Run-07-09-2017-6.jpg
  • River-Run-07-09-2017-7.jpg
  • river-run-april-2017-vincent-troia-1.jpg
  • river-run-april-2017-vincent-troia-2.jpg
  • river-run-april-2017-vincent-troia-3.jpg
  • river-run-april-2017-vincent-troia-4.jpg
  • river-run-april-2017-vincent-troia-5.jpg
  • River-Run-Fall-2017-Finish-800X600.jpg
  • River-Run-Fall-2017-Runner-800X600.jpg
  • Sandy-Creek-Trail-05-19-2012-Copyright-Vincent-Troia-54.jpg
  • Sandy-Creek-Trail-05-19-2012-copyright-vincent-troia22.jpg
  • Sandy-Creek-Trail-05-19-2012-vincent-troia-3.jpg
  • Sandy-Creek-Trail-05-19-2012-vincent-troia-5.jpg
  • Sandy-Creek-Trail-05-19-2012-vincent-troia-6.jpg
  • Sandy-Creek-Trail-05-19-2012Copyright-Vincent-Troia-48.jpg
  • Sandy-Creek-Trail-05-20-2012-Copyright-Vincent-Troia-1.jpg
  • Sandy-Creek-Trail-Copyright-Vincent-Troia-05-19-2012-31.jpg
  • Stavich-Trail-Barn-2016-Greg.jpg
  • Stavich-Trail-Bees-2016-Greg.jpg
  • Stavich-Trail-Chew-Mail-Pouch-Tobacco-2016-Greg.jpg
  • Stavich-Trail-Flower-2016-Greg.jpg
  • Stavich-Trail-Lowellville-City-Hall-2016-Greg.jpg
  • Stavich-Trail-Shade-2016-Greg.jpg
  • Taylor-Banks-Memorial-Ride-1.jpg
  • Taylor-Banks-Memorial-Ride-2.jpg
  • Taylor-Lee-Banks-Memorial-Ride-2014.jpg
  • Three-Rivers-Heritage-Trail-Bicycle-Heaven-Museum-2014.jpg
  • TRHT-Bike-Ride-12-26-2014-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • TRHT-July-12-2015.jpg
  • TRHT-Ride-05-16-2015-Vincent-Troia-1.jpg
  • TRHT-Ride-05-16-2015-Vincent-Troia-2.jpg
  • west-penn-trail-ortc-cycling-club-2011.jpg
  • westmorland-heritage-trail-conemaugh-dam-ortc-cycling-club-2011.jpg
  • wheeling-heritage-ride-2013-nathan.jpeg
  • wheeling-heritage-trail-ride-04-27-2013.jpg
  • wheeling-heritage-trail-ride-vincent-troia-2012.jpg
  • wheelling-suspension-bridge.jpg
  • Yough-North-River-Trail-Copyright-Vincent-Troia-05-12-2012.jpg
  • Yough-River-Trail-10-16-2011-Copyright-Vincent-Troia.jpg
  • Yough-River-Trail-10-16-2011-Vincent-Troia.jpg

Articles Index

River Run Finish Line Riverfest

Tell Congress: Trails Move America

 

Upcoming Events

Sun 19 Nov 1:00pm
Venue: McDanels Boat Launch, North Shore Exit off of 422, Moraine State Park

Mon 20 Nov 6:00pm
Venue: Wampum Depot Train Station and Community Park

Tue 21 Nov 4:00pm
Venue: Robin Hill Park

Fri 1 Dec 7:30am
Venue: Route 51

Sat 2 Dec 6:00pm
Venue: Watt's Mill NCT Trailhead

Fri 5 Jan 7:30am
Venue: Route 51

Sun 7 Jan 9:30am
Venue: REI - Southside Works

Fri 2 Feb 7:30am
Venue: Route 51

Sat 10 Feb 1:00pm
Venue: Montour Woods Recreation Area

Fri 2 Mar 7:30am
Venue: Route 51

Sun 1 Apr 8:30am
Venue: The Lodge at Bradys Run Park

Fri 6 Apr 7:30am
Venue: Route 51

Sat 7 Apr 8:30am
Venue: The Lodge at Bradys Run Park

Ohio River Green Trail Project

Ohio River Blue Trail Project

 

USA Track & Field Certified 5/10K Road Races

Bicycling Safety

Social Media

Join Now

PA Water Trails

U.S. National Trails

We Believe in Cycling

 

Tweets

OhioRvrTrail Support the ORTC and shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at https://t.co/Jni16ny6fc and... https://t.co/MnsHCJK9cp
OhioRvrTrail Join us for a 5/10K fundraiser that benefits the Ohio River Trail. Check it out and RSVP! https://t.co/scXJQxTH6S
OhioRvrTrail Join me for this fundraiser that benefits the development of the Ohio River Trail. Check it out and RSVP! https://t.co/EAimCBGlBe
OhioRvrTrail You are cordially invited to support the Ohio River Trail in the Fall River Run https://t.co/ekmCgXCK5N... https://t.co/WGrEhBFJ17
OhioRvrTrail You are cordially invited to support the Ohio River Trail in the Fall River Run https://t.co/ekmCgXCK5N... https://t.co/HSlGQpCzNW

Sponsors

 

Complete Streets

Memorials for Cyclists

Sign our Petition

Events, Meetings & Conferences

Outdoor Adventures

About Us

Support US

Please consider supporting our efforts with a tax deductible gift.

Amount:
 USD

 

License Plate

Make a Difference

Memorial T-Shirt

Good News

Ohio River Brownfields Planning Project

Comprehensive Plans

Pedal-Paddle

ADA Launch & Fishing Dock

Trail Building Resources

Bicycle Friendly Community

Cycling Tips

FLV Player

Outdoor Adventure Club

Social Networking

Trail Directory

Campgrounds

 

Vote Ohio River as Pa's River of the Year

Create an Account

Quotes

Lewis & Clark Pittsburgh Launch

Complete Survey

User Menu

Login

Copyright © Ohio River Trail Council

Copyright ©2009-2017 All rights reserved.