The Cumberland Valley, one of Pennsylvania's most beautiful areas, has long captured the hearts of nature enthusiasts. Visitors from throughout the nation have discovered a rich natural history while wandering through the countryside and the foothills of the Appalachians.

Preserving this beauty and history is the mission of the Cumberland Valley Rails-to-Trails Council (CVRTC).

0nce a stretch of railroad tracks, the 11-mile Cumberland Valley Trail, from Shippensburg to Newville, in Cumberland County was donated to CVRTC by Conrail in 1995.

CVRTC has spent the last 19 years developing the former Cumberland Valley Railroad into an improved multi-use trail to serve all ages and abilities. The first 4 1/2 miles of trail was completed in the fall of  2004 and the next 5 miles was complete in the fall of 2006.  The trail is now complete from the Shippensburg Township Park outside of Shippensburg to McFarland Street in Newville, approx 9.5 miles. Parking is available to the Shippensburg Township Park, Oakville and Newville with restrooms at the Shippensburg Township Park and Newville

Trail enthusiasts can enjoy walking, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding and other non-motorized recreational uses. The trail, which is wheelchair-accessible,  has a crushed limestone surface except for the last 1/2 mile at the Newville trail head which is paved. All of the road crossings between these two points have been graded to meet ADA specification and paved if it is a long grade. Their are two missing bridges that  limit access to 1 mile of trail at the Shippensburg end and 1/2 mile at the Newville end.

Trail users will appreciate a variety of settings as the trail traverses wooded areas and farmland between the historic towns of Shippensburg and Newville. A shaded picnic area in the village of Oakville provides a pleasant rest stop along the way. 

CVRTC has obtained funding to build a bridge and to finish the last mile of trail into downtown Shippensburg.  Engineering is under way now and construction should begin sometime in 2015.  CVRTC also recently purchased the old railroad corridor between Newville and Carlisle.  A master plan has been completed and we are now seeking funding to start development.  Completing of both projects will connect the business districts of Shippensburg and Carlisle along with the campuses of Shippensburg University and Dickinson College.

CVRTC is an all-volunteer, non-profit, charitable corporation dedicated to conservation, historic preservation, recreation and alternative transportation in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania through the development of multi-use trails along former railroad corridors and other areas.  CVRTC is qualified as a tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions and dues (less the value of premiums, if any) are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Members are entitled to receive Trail-Gram, to attend and vote at membership meetings, to attend board meetings and to seek election as directors.  Member involvement in all aspects of the organization is needed.

CVRTC depends on local membership dues and contributions for its operational funds.   CVRTC receives no funding from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), a separate national organization;  Although CVRTC is closely allied with RTC and shares many objectives, CVRTC membership dues do not entitle CVRTC members to membership in RTC.    CVRTC encourages all its friends and members to join RTC by writing Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 1100 17th St., N.W., 10th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036; telephone (202) 331-9696.