History of the Alliance
The Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance (EPTA) began its journey in 2005, with the vision of seeing the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail become a reality. The vision of a network of connecting trails from Erie to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was seen as a reachable goal after numerous conversations and the Rail to Trails Conservancy (RTC) sojourn in 2005 on the possible linkages. The sojourn was followed-up by a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) feasibility study “Three Rivers to One Great Lake.” The study confirmed a fully connected recreational bike trail from the Bay Front in Erie to the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers where they join to make the Ohio River was feasible.
In 2007, the founding members of the EPTA met to develop the function and purpose of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance.
The organization adopted bylaws in March of 2008, and in July of that same year, the trail route with the main spine alignment was voted on by the member organizations and approved. It was at this same time the following mission was adopted “EPTA is an active coalition of trail organizations and individuals dedicated to the promotion, acquisition, development, and maintenance of a safe non-motorized trails network that connects the “Point in Pittsburgh to the “Bayfront” in Erie. EPTA will seek to improve the quality of life for communities along with the trail network while stimulating economic development and recreational tourism activities.”
Articles of incorporation were filed for the EPTA in 2009, and a Board of Directors and Officers were nominated and elected. Designation as a 501(c)3 organization was received in 2010. The organization was led by founding member and President Jim Holden from its inception until his passing 2013. Jim's passion remains instilled in many that are working to see through the completion of his vision, a trail from Erie to
Completed in April 2015, an Organizational Analysis looked at the EPTA's mission, whether additional assistance was needed to administer the 501(c)3, and consensus building within the organization. This analysis led to the Strategic Plan that was completed and adopted in 2018. Today, we continue to work on the implementation of the strategic plan, as we encourage and assist the trail organizations, municipalities and others to develop additional miles of trail to eventually connect Dobbin's Landing at the Bayfront in Erie to the Point at Point State Park in Pittsburgh.
We invite you to join our efforts, check under the "Get Involved" tab to find out how!
The first annual meeting of the EPTA Board of DIrectors was held in January 2009.