This trail-focused, Boston, Pennsylvania based volunteer group has been active in Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) development for nearly 30 years. Before the GAP was a glimmer in the Allegheny Trail Alliance’s (ATA) metaphorical eyes, members of the MYTC had their minds set to contribute to building a trail through Boston south towards West Newton and Cedar Creek Park, eventually having one continuous trail link from McKeesport to Connellsville. MYTC was founded in 1991 as their own 501(c)(3) with Jerry Kryslinger being the first president and Mark Druga as vice president.
MYTC’s partnership in the Regional Trail Corporation (RTC) in 1991 with Allegheny County’s financial contribution to help purchase the P&LE right-of-way in that same year would firmly establish MYTC’s presence as a trail chapter from the Allegheny County Line to just south of McKeesport. The MYTC went right to work collaborating with other RTC trail groups and assisted in the development of 8 miles between Boston and Buena Vista in 1994, and from Buena Vista to the Westmoreland County Line in 1995. One of the assets that MYTC has at their disposal is a group dubbed “Charlie’s Chain-Gang” led by MYTC member Charlie Smith. Smith and his “Chain Gang” consisted of retirees or seniors of ages 50 and over. They helped to build everything from the Dravo Cemetery Campground to redecking the rail bridges that crossed over the smaller creeks along the right-of-way.
Once construction was completed for the Yough River Trail North (YRTN) between McKeesport and Connellsville in 1998, WYTC shifted to a more maintenance role of removing fallen trees and trimming trail grounds in the 15 miles of trail between 15th Street Bridge in Port Vue, then through the Dura Bond Bypass to Dead Man’s Hollow and continuing to the Westmoreland County line.
MYTC today has over 400 members whose dues help to supplement funds for the organization. MYTC also sponsors events such as a Boston Trail Half Marathon and 5k Run/Walk in the spring with a smaller Yough ‘n’ Roll fundraiser bike ride each year. These events help with fundraising to help maintain their portion of the GAP, with all proceeds going towards trail-oriented goals such as repaving or equipment. MYTC’s visitor center at the Boston Trailhead also contributes as an important source of funding.
For more information about the Mon-Yough Trail Council please visit their website at https://thebostontrail.com/.
2020 WYTC Officers:
Mark Place, President
John Eisenbarth, Vice President
Mary Reid, Secretary
Adrian Marini, Treasurer
Author: Reed Hertzler with contributions from MYTC