Construction and Design


Climax Tunnel Rehabilitation

The Redbank Valley Trail is a 51-mile non-motorized, rail banked, multi-use trail in northwestern Pennsylvania. The trail is recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s Statewide Major Greenways and was designated Pennsylvania’s first "Trail of the Year" in 2014.

The trail and the completion of the Climax Tunnel was a collaborative effort between Allegheny Valley Land Trust and the Redbank Valley Trails Association.

Climax Tunnel, near Redbank Valley Trails’ midpoint was opened for trail use in 2018 after implementing five years of grant-funded improvements. The tunnel had been designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources as one of the state’s Top 10 Trail Gaps. In addition, the Climax Tunnel was the first of PA’s Top 10 Trail Gaps to be completed. Work on the tunnel included, steel supports each portal, uniting in the center, a buttress wall, an 80-foot extension to protect from rock falls and a paved interior surface were added to the 1876 vintage 528-foot tunnel, now 608 feet.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) sponsored a grand reopening celebration on August 18, 2018. More than 200 attended. PEC produced a video of the event. Use has increased since its reopening, with B&Bs seeing increased bookings. Preservation PA gave an award for preserving the tunnel and its history,

Project Leaders: Allegheny Valley Trails Association (now called Armstrong Trails), Redbank Valley Trails Association

Partners: ACMH Foundation, Benedum Foundation, Commonwealth Financing Authority, DCNR Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Northwest Commission, PennDOT, Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Learn more:

More winners of this award

2023: Cacapon State Park Foundation Mountain Bike Trail Program

2023: Hawks Rest Pack Stock Bridge Installation

2021: Vermilion Falls Trail

2020: Blue Ridge Tunnel Rehabilitation & Trail Project

2020: Milan Trail Huggers Nash Stream Bridge

2019: Weed Patch Mountain Trail

2018: Ouachita National Recreation Trail Shelters - Arkansas and Oklahoma

2017: Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area - Pennsylvania

2016: Kanab Creek OHV Bridge - Utah

2015: Blanca Peak and Ellingwood Point Trail Project - Colorado

2015: Joanna Trail Project - Missouri

2014: Abbott Motocross Park - Nebraska

2014: Millersburg Historic Park and Trailhead - Michigan

2013: East and West Twin Creek Bridges - Michigan

2012: Chattahoochee Nature Trails - Florida

2012: Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway - Nevada

2011: Iron Range OHV Recreation Area - Minnesota

2010: Agassiz Recreational Trail - Minnesota

2009: Sam Houston Multiple-Use Trail - Texas

2008: Wanoga Snopark Shelter - Oregon

2007: Potato Knob Trail at Holly River State Park - West Virginia

2006: Indian Canyon Trailhead - California

2006: Upper Waiakea ATV/Dirt Bike Park - Hawaii

2006: County Line Acres Bikeway - Ohio

2005: River Bluff Trail Project - Indiana

2005: Red Creek Bridge - Michigan

2005: MKT Trailhead Project - Missouri

2004: Diana Bend Conservation Area Trail Project - Missouri

2004: Sweetser Switch Trail Project - Indiana

2003: Jane Addams Trail - Illinois

2003: Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Area - West Virginia

2003: Ten Mile Snopark Facilities - Oregon