From PennLive: Thursday June 11, 2009, 12:06 PM
A $1.3 million extension of the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail is open, allowing hikers and bikers to reach Eighth-Ninth Street and into South Hills Park. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Wilhelm Avenue.
Phase 4 of the rail-trail project extends the path to Eighth-Ninth Street from where it had stopped at Zinns Mill Road, and a trailhead will be created at Eighth Street. A spur trail was also created along Wilhelm Avenue into South Hills Park in South Lebanon Twp.
About $3 million has been committed to the project so far, including $450,000 for the new pedestrian bridge over Wilhelm Avenue. Funds have come from state and county sources, with the rail trail group raising money for maintenance.
The 17-mile hiking, bicycling and horseback riding trail, begun 1996, now links the six-mile Conewago Trail in Lancaster County to the city of Lebanon.
Tom Kotay, county transportation planning consultant, said the next phase in 2010 will take the trail to Chestnut Street, with planning under way to continue to 25th Street. A feasibility study of extending the trail six miles north to Lickdale and Swatara State Park should be completed this month.
The South Lebanon Twp. trail will eventually continue to the Cedar Crest middle/ high school campus, and to South Lebanon Elementary School in Iona.