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Keystone College has received a $732,146 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to construct a hiking and biking trail on campus and connect it with a 1.5-mile segment of hiking trail known as the Trolley Trail currently under development. The new trail will also allow more direct access to Keystone College’s seven-mile community-use trail system already in existence.

Plans call for a public access hiking/biking trail to be constructed from College Avenue on the eastern side of campus near the Christy Mathewson Baseball Field to Keystone’s new Track and Field Complex. The trail will then be extended to connect with the Trolley Trail currently under development. The new trail will include two trail heads, parking areas, and a bike-share program which will enable members of the public to have access to bicycles for use on the trail.

The project, which will serve as a community benefit to the Countryside Conservancy, Factoryville Borough, La Plume Township and all of Northeastern Pennsylvania, is one of 51 transportation statewide projects announced on Tuesday, Jan. 10 by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. The state projects are in line to receive $33 million in federal funds as part of a program to improve transportation alternatives, according to PennDOT.

The Trolley Trail is a critical piece of Countryside Conservancy’s envisioned 14-mile public hiking and biking trail that follows the abandoned Northern Electric Railroad Line which will ultimately run from Clarks Summit to Lake Winola.

“We are absolutely honored to receive this grant for the extension of our beautiful trail system,” said Keystone College President David L. Coppola, Ph.D. “The trails are not only a tremendous campus resource but a resource to be experienced and enjoyed by the entire local community. We are proud to partner with our neighbors in Factoryville and La Plume, as well as the Countryside Conservancy, to improve the quality of life for the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania.”

Keystone’s 276-acre campus is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in the region. In addition to the new $3 million Athletic Field and Track Complex, the campus features a variety of streams and hiking trails which are open to the public. Keystone offers numerous musical performances, plays, lectures, and other events, all of which are open to the public.