WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., announced $100,000 in federal funding that will provide a visible access point to the overall Jakes Rocks trail system by offering access from the parking area at Kinzua Dam.

The project is made possible through a grant made by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and continued advocacy from Thompson. The new access point will be shared with an existing hiking trail, connecting hikers and riders to the existing trail network.

“It is no secret that our region’s great outdoor life lends to significant tourism, which helps drive our local economy,” said Thompson. “This project alone is estimated to create upwards of $2.6 million in economic activity for the community and represents a partnership of local, state and federal advocates.”

Warren County Commissioner Ben Kafferlin was grateful for the efforts of Thompson; the ARC; the Warren County Chamber of Business & Industry and its president/CEO, Jim Decker; and many other organizations and partners who support the expansion of the Trails at Jakes Rocks.

“Together, we are becoming a premier destination for mountain bike enthusiasts, and we are thrilled to welcome yet another group of outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the rustic, beautiful natural resources Warren County and the Pennsylvania Wilds have to offer,” said Kafferlin.

Jakes Rocks is a planned 45-mile mountain bike trail system in the Allegheny National Forest. ARC funding has been used to construct the system’s first 10 miles in Phase 1, and an additional 20 miles over Phases II and III.

The interconnecting trails and improved access will generate greater public land usage, according to Thompson. The trails have seen approximately 15,000 riders and hikers since the fall of 2018, and the Jakes Rocks are projected to generate more than $1.8 million in visitor revenue.

Local sources will provide an additional $120,000 for Phase IV, bringing the total project funding to $220,000.