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 US 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 cites the success of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) in southwestern Pennsylvania as a good example.
The PA Route 6 Alliance hopes to help businesses and communities understand their part in this emerging travel trend. The Alliance is hosting a series of workshops on the why’s and how’s to develop bike tourism in four locations across PA Route 6 in March. Russ Roca from A 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. Roca will provide attendees with clear strategies that can be implemented in a short period.
The 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.
The workshops are free and open to the public. To register for a workshop or for more information, call the PA Route 6 Alliance at 814-435-7706 or see their website at www.paroute6.com/biketourism.
The workshops are being presented through funding from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to the PA Route 6 Alliance. The workshops are co-sponsored by the PA Wilds Planning Team, Headwaters Charitable Trust, the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, Visit Erie, the Crawford County Visitor Bureau, Endless Mountains Heritage Region and the Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency.