Sheepskin Trail Feasibility Study

Update of the July 1999 Feasibility Study

The Sheepskin Trail, a rail-trail project is a proposed 34 mile bicycle/pedestrian path that will extend from Dunbar Township to Point Marion Borough at the Pennsylvania/West Virginia state line. The intent of this study update is to utilize and update the 1999 Feasibility Study as necessary based on changes to the trail corridor that have occurred in the past 18 years.

by Gibson-Thomas Engineering

The Sheepskin Trail, a rail-trail project is a proposed 34 mile bicycle/pedestrian path that will extend from Dunbar Township to Point Marion Borough at the Pennsylvania/West Virginia state line. In 1996, Fayette County received a planning grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and selected Mackin Engineering to conduct a trail feasibility study. A major study goal was to define and assess the potential trail route. In July 1999 Mackin submitted the ‘Sheepskin Trail Final Feasibility Study’ to Fayette County. The 1999 Feasibility Study produced evidence that the Sheepskin Trail was a viable project.

In 2014, Fayette County executed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Road Heritage Corridor (NRHC) for the NRHC to become the management entity for the development and construction of the Sheepskin Trail. As manager of trail development the NRHC hired Gibson-Thomas to update the 1999 Feasibility Study. A study update is necessary due to the length of time since the original study was completed, changes in land use/ownership and potential impact of the Marcellus Shale industry on proposed and alternate routes. The intent of this study update is to utilize and update the 1999 Feasibility Study as necessary based on changes to the trail corridor that have occurred in the past 18 years.

Published February 2018

About the Author


Gibson-Thomas is a multi-discipline consulting engineering firm established in 1916. Our Corporate office is located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania with regional offices located throughout Pennsylvania, and Florida. The firm presently has approximately 140 employees, which includes engineers, scientists, surveyors, technicians and certified construction inspectors.

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