Rails To Trails Brings Thousands to Columbia, Lancaster County

Riding on the rails to trails in Columbia,Submitted Image

COLUMBIA, PA — Over 14 miles of continuous trails have brought locals and tourists to the Columbia, PA, area to explore the historic downtown, its abundance of nature, and so much more. Through the support of Columbia Crossings, Susquehanna National Heritage AreaDiscover Columbia, the Columbia Economic Development Corp, and others, additional connections from Rails to Trails will soon connect over 180 miles of trails with the upcoming plans for development.

The Rails to Trails pathways run throughout Lancaster County and will soon connect even further out, both connecting the York County trails to Columbia and beyond, and extending and joining existing rail trails in the county. What were once old railroad tracks are now friendly trails that support walking, running, and biking, while preserving the history and infrastructures that once operated.

“Bikes, walkers, and runners on the rails to trails pathways are helping the local economy grow by leaps and bounds,” Justin Rule, founder of Discover Columbia and local AirBnB owner in historic Columbia, PA.

This influx of tourism and interest in the Columbia area has not only influenced the local land preservation and development efforts to revitalize the area, but the town is also seeing positive economic impacts on local small businesses, funding provided through local organizations, and available housing for residents and visitors.

Numerous seasonal and annual grants are being given from local Columbia Economic Development Corp to spur local businesses and inspire new businesses to move to town. In the Spring of 2023 alone, 20 new businesses opened in downtown Columbia, and more are expected to open their doors in the coming weeks. The expansion of Rails to Trails is also expected to bring more businesses and visitors to the area.

To learn more about Columbia, explore local businesses, and to plan your next trip, visit www.discovercolumbia.com.

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