Hopewell Furnace Site Trail Plan open for public comment

The Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site Trail Plan Environmental Assessment and Assessment of Effect has been released and is open for public comment.

Through this trail plan, the National Park Service (NPS) is exploring options to improve wayfinding, trail use information, and trail connections the park, including the existing approximately 12-mile network of pedestrian and equestrian trails. Some park trails are connected to trails within the surrounding French Creek State Park and Natural Lands’ Crow’s Nest Preserve. There also has been a recent growth of regional trail networks in the Schuylkill River area. This trail plan is needed because the park does not have a full understanding of the existing trail network, including conditions of trail surfaces and signage, maintenance needs, clarity of existing connections to surrounding public lands, and opportunities for connections that expand the visitor experience while protecting park cultural and natural resources.

This document was prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This environmental assessment/assessment of effect evaluates the impacts of a no-action alternative and two action alternatives. The no-action alternative would include the continuation of current trail management. The action alternatives would include different options for improved wayfinding, connectivity, and bicycle use in the park. The alternatives would result in both beneficial and adverse impacts on visitor use and experience, cultural landscape and historic structures, and archeological resources. These impacts would be associated with changes in trail use, new trails, changes in historic appearance, ground-disturbing activities, and construction activities.

The document may be accessed at the Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website through this link: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=81654. Within PEPC, please click on the “Open for Comment” link to review the document and provide comment.

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Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site preserves and interprets an early American industrial landscape and community. This iron making community was active from 1771 to 1883. The park’s facilities are currently open 9 a.m to 5 p.m., seven days a week. The Historic Site is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Hopewell Furnace NHS is located five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off of Route 345. Admission is free. For more information, download our app, stop by the Visitor Center, call (610) 582-8773, or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/hofu.