PA Recreation Area Closed To Snowmobiles, Despite Funding Source

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Despite record snows and funding from Pennsylvania state snowmobile and ATV registration fees, Rock Run recreation area near Patton is snowmobile-free.

The new facility, billed as the premier off-road facility in the east, closed Nov. 1 and will not reopen until April, according to the Tribune-Democrat newspaper.

A few years ago, state Rep. Gary Haluska, D-Patton, promoted converting the 6,000-acre mining site to an outdoor fun spot, while treating acid mine runoff.

“The first year, in May 2007, we got a late start, but the second year we tried being open in the winter. It just wasn’t very busy, and we grew into knowing that our riding season is from April through October,” he said.

Dee Columbus, director of the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority charged with developing the property, told the newspaper Rock Run opened nearly four years ago, but never for snowmobiles.

“The Rock Run board runs the park now, and they decide on its uses,” she said. “Yes, the original $2 million funding came from the state’s ATV/snowmobile fund, but there was not enough use to justify snowmobiles,” she said.

The fund is built from biannual $20 registration fees for snowmobiles and ATVs.

Haluska said at some point the plan calls for developing snowmobile trails along a railroad line, through state gamelands and connecting with the 43,000-acre Black Moshannon State Park east of Philipsburg in Centre County.

Posted by Holly Wagner