BEDFORD — It’s taken six years from idea to completion but, finally, the Bedford Heritage Trail is complete.
“It started as an idea back in 2009,” said Brian Sell, Bedford Heritage Trail Chairman. “We wanted to create a safe way for people to walk from the resort to the downtown area.”
Omni Bedford Springs Resort has helped to recreate the Bedford community as a tourist attraction bringing 30,000-50,000 new visitors to the area a year, according to Sell.
“We had several studies done,” said Sell. “One of which told us we needed something to connect the downtown area to the resort, safely.”
The Heritage Trail is two miles long and cost about $1.4 million to complete.
“This trail connects two beautiful places, the resort to the downtown,” said Sell. “It’s a great connection so people can walk, bike, or run the two miles instead of driving.”
The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies provided grants specifically to cover the cost of one of the studies needed to complete the project. It also received state, federal, and private funding.
Construction began in spring 2015 and the trail officially opened to the public in September. It will be open year-round.
“I love driving by it every day and seeing all of the people on it,” said Sell. “We knew it would take a while but in the end it was worth it.
“This is a safe trail for people to use, and it’s just the start of what we hope to accomplish,” he continued. “This is a great example of community support and volunteers that came together to make this possible.”
“The Heritage Trail is a result of many organizations collaborating to create this beautiful trail that benefits the community,” said Kay Reynolds, Director of the Bedford County Endowments. “We are proud to be a part of this effort by providing grants to support the project.”
Phase two of the trail is in the works, according to Sell. He hopes that a portion of the trail will run north connecting other area attractions to the historic downtown and the Springs.
Click on grant to find out more about applying for funding through the Foundation.