Thompson Announces $225,000 Grant for Jakes Rocks

May 5, 2017

Project in Warren County will construct 9.7 miles of mountain bike trails, attracting 20,000 new visitors annually

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today announced a $225,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to the Warren County Development Association for a trails project in the Allegheny National Forest.

The funding will be used to construct 9.7 miles of mountain bike trails at Jakes Rocks. This is phase II of the project. In addition to the grant funding, local sources will provide $275,000 bringing the project total to $500,000.

“I am pleased to see this funding awarded to Warren County for the Trails at Jakes Rocks project,” Thompson said. “The region is growing its outdoor recreational tourism options and is truly becoming a destination for such activities in northwestern Pennsylvania. Congratulations to all those who are working to complete this outstanding project.”

Jakes Rocks is a planned 45-mile mountain bike trail system in the Allegheny National Forest. ARC funding was used to construct the system's first 10 miles, which opened in August 2016. More than 4,000 bikers used the trails within three months.

The new trails will feature segments for advanced and expert riders. The combination of additional trail mileage and increase in rider challenge will expand the experience for all levels of biking enthusiasts.

New visitors to Jakes Rocks are projected to spend more than $1.8 million in the local economy annually. Volunteers have logged more than 600 hours to work on trail construction and maintenance during Phase I.

Jim Decker, President & CEO of the Warren County Chamber of Business & Industry said, “The Jakes Rocks project is really proving to be a game-changer for Warren County in terms of serving as a dynamic attraction for mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers not just from the local region, but from the Eastern United States and Canada. From its inception this project has been made possible through collaborative efforts from the U.S. Forest Service, the Appalachian Regional Commission, GT and so many others, which exemplifies what can be done through collaboration and cooperation. The continued support from all of these stakeholders is vital to move this project forward and build additional trails, which will make Jakes Rocks that much more attractive for folks from even farther away.”

Ben Kafferlin, Warren County Commissioner said, “The ARC funding over the last 50 years has positively affected Warren County residents. Funding the Trails at Jakes Rocks is another win for all of us. The mountain bike trails attract thousands of visitors already; the expansion, thanks in part to ARC funding, will only enhance tourism to the region, while continuing to promote active, healthy lifestyles, while enjoying the natural beauty of the Allegheny National Forest. I want to thank Congressman Thompson for his personal support for our project, as well as his leadership on maintaining the ARC program. I also want to thank the volunteers and organizations who helped make Jakes Rocks such a gem for our community.”