Explore With Us
Get Outside. Get Involved.
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) is proud to join Purple Lizard Maps and other outdoor-industry partners in celebrating our state’s unparalleled bounty of parks, trails, waterways, and public green space.
We encourage all who recreate outdoors to learn about the places they love and get involved in local efforts to protect and enhance them.
Public Lands Ride
Since 2020, PEC has welcomed cyclists to Black Moshannon State Park for the Public Lands Ride. Participants in the annual group ride can choose from a selection of routes designed for riders of all ages and experience levels.
In partnership with Purple Lizard Maps, we also publish a series of “virtual” rides: hand-curated, GPS-guided routes featuring state parks and forests all over Pennsylvania.
NEPA Trails: Assessing Community & Connectivity in Northeastern PA (2023)
Part resource, part handbook, and part stakeholder roadmap, PEC’s study of trail development opportunities in Northeastern Pennsylvania aims to advance cycling-centered activation, improve public health, and foster community connectivity throughout the region.
Gravel: Recommendations for Supporting the Growth of Gravel Riding in Pennsylvania (2022)
Somewhere between road and mountain biking, gravel or mixed-surface riding is one of the fastest-growing forms of cycling. PEC’s 2022 report examines the potential of Pennsylvania’s 25,000+ miles of dirt and gravel roads for cycling.
Gap Analysis of the Circuit Trails Network (2022)
In order to identify priorities and assess community needs within Greater Philadelphia’s growing Circuit Trails network, PEC developed an innovative methodology for measuring the social impact of trail projects. Our 2022 gap analysis lays the groundwork for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive regional trail system.
#179: A Big Investment (November 2022)
In 2022, Allegheny County announced its largest-ever investment in trails: nearly 22 million dollars in federally-leveraged grants to advance trails and active transportation. Friends of the Riverfront Executive Director Kelsey Ripper joins us to give an insight into the funded projects and their potential impacts.
#177: Redefining Trail Gaps (October 2022)
PEC’s Gap Analysis of the Circuit Trails Network is more than just a list of priority segments: it proposes a whole new way of thinking about trail projects in terms of social impact. We hear from two members of the Circuit Trails Coalition’s task force on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion: Eleanor Horne of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, and PEC’s Zhenya Nalywayko, who prepared the report.
#158: The Solution (December 2021)
Interest in the outdoors skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, opening the doors for big investments in recreation, conservation, and climate. Now, billions in new funding for outdoor recreation and alternative transportation are now available through the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. We discuss with Charles Cooper, Managing Director with Signal Advocacy and a Co-Chair of Signal Outdoors.
Junction With a Function
Construction is underway to turn a 14-mile section of railroad, known as Kiski Junction, into a multi-use trail in Armstrong County. The segment will provide vital links into numerous local and regional trail networks, including the Erie-to-Pittsburgh Trail and the larger Industrial Heartland Trails network.
What goes into creating and maintaining a singletrack MTB or hiking trail? NEPA Trails Forum participants learn from the pros in a hands-on workshop.
PEC advocates at the state and federal levels for environmental integrity, well-supported public lands, and equitable access to the outdoors.
Learn more about current and pending policy proposals related to outdoor recreation in the Commonwealth:
Featured image credit: Reagan West-Whitman PEC recently partnered with the Pittsburgh art gallery Contemporary Craft on an ongoing exhibit that seeks to increase awareness and