What are Greenways?

Greenways of North Central Pennsylvania

A greenway is a corridor of open space.  Greenways vary greatly in scale, from narrows ribbons of green that run through rural, suburban, and urban areas to wider corridors that incorporate diverse natural, cultural and scenic features.  They may follow old railways, canals, or ridge tops, or they may follow stream corridors, shorelines, or wetlands, and include water trails.

Some greenways are for recreation and transportation activities and may accommodate motorized and non-motorized uses on land and water.  Other greenways conserve natural infrastructure for the benefit of community, economy, and environment; and may or may not be designed for human passage.

Greenways will not take away the rights of property owners, nor will they restrict development in the region.  Instead, the greenway network will promote sustainable development, reduce development costs, and reduce the burden of providing services on local, county, and state governments.


Recreation and Transportation Greenways provide opportunities for fitness, health and wellness, recreation, transportation, accessing the outdoors, and includes:

  • Shared Use Paths (Rail-Trails)
  • Hiking Trails
  • Safe Routes to Schools
  • Bike Lanes
  • Shared Roadways
  • Single Track (Mountain Bike)
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Water Trails
  • Snowmobile Trails
  • All Terrain Vehicle Trails



Natural System Greenways conserve land for hunting and fishing, water resource protection, stormwater management and flood control, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, air quality improvement, and conservation of rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals, and includes:

  • Habitat of Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plants and Animals
  • Steep Slopes, greater than 25%
  • Interior Forest Blocks
  • Hydric Soils
  • Important Bird Areas
  • Important Mammal Areas
  • Wetlands
  • Floodplains
  • Streamside Buffers
  • Exceptional Value Streams
  • Wilderness Trout Streams
  • High Quality Cold Water Fisheries
  • Exceptional Value Watersheds
  • Class A Wild Trout Streams



For more information on Greenways visit Pennsylvania Greenways

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