An Erie County Parks, Trails and Recreation Plan was approved at a recent Erie County Council meeting and includes Corry in the plan by connecting trails between the cities of Erie and Corry.
The 44-page plan was presented to Council members and the development of it took place between 2017 and 2020.
"Its purpose is to set a new direction for the involvement of Erie County government in the planning and support of parks, trails and recreation throughout the County," the introduction states.
The plan explains Erie County government does not own or maintain any park facilities but can play an active role by facilitating communication and collaboration between Erie County government and municipalities.
As part of the process of developing the plan, its consulting team visited over 35 parks and trails throughout Erie County, conducted interviews and held workshops, including one at Corry Winterfest in February 2018.
"I applaud Erie County for having the vision and foresight to put a plan together," said Marty Radock, Impact Corry Rails to Trails committee member.
Despite setbacks from COVID-19, which prevented the plan from being approved in May, the plan's approval means Corry will be included in more planning efforts going forward, Radock said.
He went on to say he believes Corry has the potential to be a trail town, which would bring in more tourism.
Making a connection on the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail between Corry and Erie is a goal listed in the plan.
Corry is identified as one of the local populations with limited resources that will benefit the most from increased access to parks, trails and recreational offerings.
The plan states the specific route of the trail between the cities of Corry and Erie is still yet to be determined, but does say it is proposed to run along the Corry Junction Greenway Trail and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail in Erie County.
"The Bayfront Parkway Trail will also be part of the trail system as a spur in the city of Erie, and another segment will connect the city of Corry to Spartansburg," the plan states.
Corry Junction Greenway Trail is a Rails to Trails project, having been developed along an abandoned rail corridor. Once connected, it will be a part of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail, which runs from Erie's Dobbin's Landing to Point State Park in Pittsburgh, with a suggested alternate route between Erie to Corry included.
The plan also mentions a bike loop from Route 6 to downtown Corry is included in an Erie County Long Range Transportation Plan to improve bike routes with bike lanes and traffic calming.
Alta Planning and Design, a national planning and design firm with additional locations in Canada, was retained to facilitate the planning process.
"Alta Planning gave us a technical report on ideas and suggestions of extending the trail into and around Corry, highlighting places like Mead Park, city park, the downtown business district," Radock said.
That report was forwarded to Pashek + MTR, a community planning firm in Pittsburgh. The company has been working on an Active Transportation Plan for Corry with Ashley Lawson, policy advocate for Corry Blue Zones Project.
"The adoption of the approved Erie County's Parks, Trails and Recreation Plan into the County Comprehensive Plan is the first step toward implementation and focused investment into Erie County's regional assets, and we see a strong commitment from the city of Corry to move in that direction," said Joy L. Fronzoli, planning program administrator of environment and recreation from the Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development.