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PENNSYLVANIA — Travelers pedaling across the country and on rail-trails have the potential of helping the local economy in a sustainable, “green” way. That’s the message that PA Route 6 Alliance would like to see businesses and communities embrace.
Since being designated as a U.S. Bike Route last spring, the PA Route 6 Alliance has been working to enhance the touring bicyclists experience across the scenic and historic highway in the northern tier of Pennsylvania, according to executive director Terri Dennison.
“We know touring cyclists are already using Route 6,” Dennison said. “Not only do we hope to improve their journeys, but we also want to create loops off of Route 6 using existing trails and gravel roads. These loops will give the bicyclist a reason to stay longer in our communities, eat at our local restaurants and diners and stay overnight.” Dennison cited the success of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) in southwestern Pennsylvania as a good example.
The PA Route 6 Alliance was established in 2003 to manage the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor and to implement its management action plan, branding and marketing plans, community development programs and other planning efforts along the corridor. The alliance includes representatives from all 11 counties, nine convention and visitor bureaus, four heritage areas, local development districts, local business owners, chambers of commerce and other interested parties along the corridor.
The alliance is hosting a series of workshops to develop bike tourism in four locations across PA Route 6 in March. Russ Roca fromA Path Less Pedaled, an expert in bike tourism, will present how his organization has assisted other states and regions in developing their bike tourism programs.
The free workshops will be held in four different locations, starting with a breakfast workshop at Table 105 in Kane on Wednesday, March 13, followed by an afternoon workshop the same day at the Corry Higher Ed Building. On Thursday, March 14, a luncheon workshop will be held at the Dean Center in Wellsboro and in the morning of Friday, March 15, the final workshop will be held at the Tuscarora Wayne Community Room in Wyalusing.
To register for a workshop or for more information, call the PA Route 6 Alliance at 814/435-7706 or visit its website atwww.paroute6.com/biketourism.
The alliance also plans to recognize six innovators, movers and initiatives along the Heritage Corridor that made a difference in 2018 and is now taking nominations for the “Do 6” Awards to be presented at the annual meeting in May.
The awards are presented to individuals, businesses or organizations that have undertaken outstanding efforts that give new meaning to “Do 6” by supporting and implementing sustainable tourism development along the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor. The award winners exemplify the mission of the PA Route 6 Alliance to protect, preserve and promote the scenic, cultural, historical and recreational resources in the northern tier. The awards are presented in the areas of heritage partnerships, leadership, heritage community of the year, heritage tourism (projects or events), artisan of the year and lifetime achievement.
Last year’s award winners included White Mills, Wayne County (Heritage Community of the Year Award); the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park, Towanda (Heritage Partnership Award); Venango General Store, Venango (Heritage Tourism Award); Dan Glotz, Warren County Planner (Heritage Leadership Award); Curt Weinhold, photographer, Coudersport, Potter County (Artisan of the Year Award); and Sen. Joe Scarnati, Senate President Pro Tempore and state senator for Senatorial District 25 (Lifetime Achievement Award).
Nominations can be submitted by anyone along the PA Route 6 Corridor and are due by Friday, March 8. Nomination forms and category descriptions are available at http://www.paroute6.com/annual-awards-program. Winners will be notified prior to the meeting.
For more information, contact the PA Route 6 Alliance at 814/435-7706.