Mt. Nice strolling route proposed underneath state well being program, can be 1st in Westmoreland

Laurel Highlands YMCA is participating in government efforts to get residents outdoors and regular walking.

Located in East Huntingdon, the Y plans to establish a designated walking route in adjacent Mt. Pleasant Borough as part of the state’s WalkWorks program.

It would be the first Westmoreland County community to participate in the program, which encourages the development of safe hiking trails of up to 2 miles to increase physical activity for residents and visitors.

The mountain. According to Bea Jarbeck-Burk, fitness director at Y, the pleasant route would cover about 1.5 miles. As planned, it would begin and end in Frick Park, on sidewalks along several stretches of street, including Church, Walnut, Washington, and Eagle.

The beginning of the route is easy to get to, said Jarbeck-Burk, noting, “You can park for free in the library parking lot” – on Church Street next to the park.

“It’s really in the early stages,” she said of the project. “I’m working with the city council and the district manager so we’re all on board before we go.”

She suggested that the hiking route be officially presented to the public while on the mountain. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic Festival, which was canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but is expected to return this year from September 24th to 26th.

WalkWorks, a partnership between the Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, can provide technical support, signage, and promotional materials for the walking route.

The ultimate goal is to plan organized group hikes along the route to encourage sustained physical activity.

Steve Simon, executive director of Laurel Highlands Y, suggested that the group walks could have an educational component, with a speaker covering health and fitness issues.

“It could learn a bit while you go out there,” he said. “There would definitely be camaraderie and motivation.”

“We have a lot of hikers in town now,” said borough manager Jeff Lyons. “It will be nice to have a route that we can tell people to follow. It becomes a safe route and a marked route that they can follow as one of their routines. “

Allegheny County has five WalkWorks routes – in Braddock, Brentwood, Coraopolis, and Sharpsburg, and along the Meeks Run Trail.

Jeff Himler is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected], or on Twitter.

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