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Great American Rail-Trail Connects People to American Heritage

A new program of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation will draw attention to the history that is embedded in the route of the Great American Rail-Trail®. A series of historic markers will be installed along the 3,700-mile route of the developing trail, one of RTC’s signature programs, between Washington, D.C., and Washington State.

The preferred route of the Great American Rail-Trail includes 145+ existing rail-trails, greenways and other multiuse paths that connect across 3,700+ miles.

Some of the historic features the marker program will showcase include a geological unconformity on the Ohio to Erie Trail in Wayne County, exposed when the railroad was built in 1864, and the only surviving double-arch bridge, built in 1913, on the historic WCF&N railroad line, which can be experienced today on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail in Black Hawk County, Iowa. The initial program includes the installation of 12 markers funded by the Pomeroy Foundation with the intention to expand the program over time. The marker program is emphasizing points of interest, local residents, architecture and other features that reveal the country’s dynamic, diverse and resilient history.

When complete, the Great American Rail-Trail, the nation’s first multiuse cross-country trail, has the potential to serve 50 million people living within 50 miles of the trail, as well as millions of additional visitors from around the world. Explore the Great American Rail-Trail at, and connect with the #GRTAmerican via social media @greatamericanrailtrail.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to building a nation connected by trails, reimagining public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors. Connect with RTC at and @railstotrails on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The William G. Pomeroy Foundation® is a private, philanthropic organization located in Syracuse, New York. It is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history; and working to improve the probability of finding appropriate donor matches or other life-saving treatments for blood cancer patients. To learn more, visit or connect @wgpfoundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

January 26, 2023

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