Trail Work Continues
Work by the township Public Works staff has continued on the Becker Road Trailhead and the connected segment of trail during 2020 and 2021. A crossing on Becker Road, near the railroad underpass, will connect to the new trail coming south from the Bellwood-Antis Community Park. Trail users will be able to continue west along the Bells Gap Run spur next to the creek or cross the pedestrian bridge to the Logan Valley Streetcar Trail on the east side of the Norfolk-Southern Mainline tracks. The Bellwood Trailhead will be located near the Route 865 Bridge over the tracks. The township is optimistic that segment of the trail will be completed by the middle of 2023.
Going south from the Becker Road Trailhead, the trail crosses a bridge over the stream which runs alongside Becker Pond, seen in the photo to the left. Though only a segment of this phase is completed, the pond, the view of the Little Juniata River, and the adjacent railroad mainline has already made this a popular spot among residents and visitors to the area. Just a short walk or ride beyond the bridge, the trail will continue along Kerbaugh Road. That next phase will go onto toward Riggles Gap and will be funded, in part, by an Abandoned Mine Land grant from the Department of Environmental Protection.
Native Tree Planting Project
Interfaith Power and Light, an ecumenical environmental advocacy and education organization, has organized the planting of native trees and plants along the Little Juniata River shore, next to the new trail. A host of organizations and individual volunteers removed invasive plants along the river and replaced them native plants and trees provided by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Ten Million tree project. Invasives included multiflora rose, honeysuckle, privet, Japanese knotweed, and the Tree of Heaven. All of these imported species tend to overwhelm native species, preventing or stunting their growth. The native species generally grow to larger sizes and, in turn, capture carbon dioxide and reduce the effects of resultant global warming. When the natives are young, they are protected with stakes and plastic collars to prevent damage by animals, mowing and destructive people. You can checkout the newly planted trees and shrubs on the trailhead map.