On a recent warm fall day, I stayed in a state park cabin, then went to Ohiopyle searching for a bicycle to rent. A townsperson sent me to a shop that was closed. Everything was closed, said the waitress at the Falls Market restaurant. Finally, a woman mopping a floor told me to go to Wilderness Voyageurs just outside town. They were open, and within minutes I was biking the Great Allegheny Passage. Beautiful!
Just as exciting, in 2020 Wilderness Voyageurs is expanding to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, offering overnight stays at Bald Eagle State Park as a launch point for bicycling on the Pine Creek Rail Trail. This is what ecotourism is all about.
The clerk at Diamond Produce in Confluence wasn't convinced. A railroad bridge is going to be restored to connect Confluence with the Great Allegheny Passage, and some on the town council oppose it, she said.
So, despite the money outdoor tourism brings, people sometimes must see for themselves that good change can happen when we build rail-trail bridges instead of burning them.