On March 11, Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), joined trail supporters and government officials at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve to announce the official designation of the 9/11 National Memorial Trail as a Statewide Major Greenway.
Watch the Full Ceremony
State of New Jersey to Secure Purchase Rights for Former Rail Line to Create Nine-Mile Greenway in Northern New Jersey.
State to Allocate $65 Million to Acquire Former Railway Property for Transformational Linear Park Project
After decades of local advocacy and outreach and more than three years of direct negotiations, the Essex-Hudson Greenway (EHG) Coalition announced on November 12, 2021, that the State of New Jersey will secure purchase rights to nearly nine miles of former railway, spanning two counties and eight municipalities in one of the most highly populated regions of northern New Jersey. Under a framework announced by Governor Phil Murphy earlier on Friday, the State will purchase the 135-acre property.
H.R. 2278 Signed into Law
In the Oval Office on October 13, President Joe Biden signed H.R. 2278 into law, designating the 1,300-mile 9/11 National Memorial Trail linking the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, VA, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, PA.
Local and regional officials and funders gather on April 30, to cut the ribbon on a new section of trail at the Garrett trailhead.
Expansion in Somerset County,PA
On Friday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m., Somerset County and the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance hosted a ribbon-cutting to kick off the newest segment of the 9/11 National Memorial Trail in Garrett, PA.
Jan Walker, 61, of Knoxville, Tenn., was the first hiker/biker to complete the September 11th (9/11) virtual National Memorial Trail Challenge, where she hiked through a 1,362-mile Smoky Mountain trail in Tennessee, which is comparable to the 1,300-mile, biking, hiking and motor-friendly 9/11 National Memorial Trail that connects the three 9/11 memorial sites via six states and the District of Columbia — Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Walker also completed a cross-country hike from Oceanside, Calif., to Ocean City, Md., in 2016 in support of the 9/11 National Memorial Trail Alliance. The transcontinental walk took seven months through nine states and Washington, D.C. For more information or to donate, go to www.911trail.org.
The 9/11 National Memorial Trail Alliance created the virtual 9/11 Trail Challenge as an outlet during COVID-19 to encourage participants to get outdoors and explore their local trails and greenways by committing to walk, run and/or bike 1,300 miles in their local areas, similar to the 1,300-mile, 9/11 National Memorial Trail (with socially distanced precautions). Although the hiking part of the trail is not fully completed, the 1,300-mile, 9/11 National Memorial Trail is currently connected by off-road and multi-use trails. The not-for-profit 9/11 National Memorial Trail Alliance relies on financial support from donors and grants to further develop and maintain the 9/11 National Memorial Trail.
“The virtual 9/11 Trail Challenge was a labor of love for me. I love being outdoors and also love being able to support and commemorate an important day for our country,” said Walker. “I grew up in the Smoky Mountains and hiking has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.”
Recent photos from the ongoing construction in Somerset County, PA
Construction Update: Somerset County
Somerset County, in partnership with the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance and other stakeholders, is nearing completion of the first 1.5miles of the 20 mile connection between the Great Allegheny Passage and the Flight 93 National Memorial, the first purpose built section of the September 11th National Memorial Trail (9-11 NMT). The new trail construction features an on-road segment that will be completed next spring accompanied by a section of off-road, new trail construction.
Local and regional officials and funders celebrate at the September 4 groundbreaking at the Garrett trailhead.
Digging in: Celebrating the beginnings of new trail in Somerset County, PA
The skies cleared on Friday, September 4, 2020 just in time for a festive celebration of the new trail segment to be built in Somerset County, PA, beginning at the Garrett trailhead of the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, leading through the borough of Garrett, and onto a former rail bed. Later phases of construction will take the trail north through Berlin to the Flight 93 National Memorial.
The September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance is pleased to welcome three new faces — a new board member and two communications staff members — to the team to support the continued growth of the 1,300-mile trail.
Deborah Borza remembers meeting David Brickley, founder of the 9/11 Trail, at an event at the Flight 93 National Memorial. Since the airline crash took the life of Deora, her 20-year-old daughter, Borza has been working to ensure that a fitting memorial to the flight’s passengers and crew was built in southwestern Pennsylvania. She liked the sounds of Brickley’s project, creating a trail that would connect all three memorials.
“I was interested,” she remembers, “because I want the other two memorials to have a connection to the Flight 93 site.”