HABPI Projects for 2024

by Sarah Kipp

As the winter winds down and the days get longer, members of Healthy Adams Bicycle- Pedestrian, Inc. (HABPI) are looking forward to having more daylight to get outside in warmer weather. We’re also looking forward to making progress with our projects, old and new.

HABPI continues to partner with the Borough of Gettysburg to complete additional sections of the Gettysburg Inner Loop trail system. The next phase being pursued would enhance pedestrian and bicycling facilities on Washington Street and Racehorse Alley east of Buford Avenue. The construction of this section is to coincide with essential improvements that are planned to stormwater management infrastructure, and you may even see construction begin soon! 

We are also planning the next steps to explore the possibility of a trail along Boyd’s School Road, which would improve commuting options between growing residential areas along that road and Gettysburg Area High School, Saint Francis Xavier, and the Adams County Human Services Building. 

One of the most popular ways to create off-road paths is by the conversion of unused railways into rail-trails. This has been done by our neighbors to the west in the Cumberland Valley and to the east of us from York to the Maryland line, to name a couple. For those of us who are rail-trail enthusiasts, Adams County has the misfortune of not having many abandoned train tracks that stand ready for repurposing. We are cautiously hopeful about one opportunity, however. The Littlestown Foundry approached HABPI about converting an old rail line on its property to a recreational path, which led us to do some research about the ownership of the rest of that railway, which runs to Taneytown. The likelihood that a rail-trail will be built in the near future between Littlestown and Taneytown seems remote, but many of these projects take decades to achieve. We have been in contact with railroad authorities, Recreation and Parks officials in Carrol County Maryland, and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to explore possibilities. We hope that patience and perseverance will eventually succeed. 

The “long game” is also what we expect for some larger regional projects that HABPI has been part of for years. The Grand History Trail (GHT) has recently been gaining momentum, excitingly. The GHT envisions a designated route connecting historic locations in Washington DC, Baltimore, Annapolis, York, Gettysburg, and Frederick. Links between some of these places exist already, but the sections between Hanover, Gettysburg and Emmitsburg lack obvious or easy options for an off-road path. We believe that such a path not only would be a valued recreational resource for Adams County residents, but that it would also draw new visitors and tourists to the area much like the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath have done for the towns that those routes pass through. 

If any of these projects get you excited or thinking that you should get out on your bicycle more, we hope you’ll join us for our 9th Ride for Trails on September 21st, which is our annual fundraiser to support this work. We are due for fantastic weather this year!

In addition to serving as the President of HABPI, Sarah is the Land Conservation Coordinator for the Land Conservancy of Adams County and serves on the Borough Planning Commission. One of her goals is to bike every road in Adams County.