The Trout Loop Project is a proposed greenway and trail network that connects communities, recreation areas, and historic sites, protects critical trout habitat, encourages sustainable resource stewardship, and promotes place-based economic development.
Following the Water
Toms Creek is a 20.8-mile long tributary of the Monocacy River located in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The greenway project area encompasses the upper portion of the watershed, located in southwestern Adams County and southeastern Franklin County, an area of approximately 15 square miles.
Upper Toms Creek is rated as a “High Value” stream by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with an application under review to raise the status to “Exceptional Value.”
Recreational lands and trails are located along its corridor including Michaux State Forest and the Appalachian Trail, and the watershed serves as a source water protection area and aquifer recharge area for downstream communities. The upper Toms Creek watershed is also listed as a priority conservation watershed by the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program and is identified as a special protection watershed by the Southwest Adams County Joint Comprehensive Plan.
The Toms Creek watershed, in southcentral Pennsylvania, has witnessed many events that helped shape the nation. It was the site of the Great Wagon Road, constructed in the mid-1700s to connect Philadelphia to frontier lands in Virginia, North Carolina and eventually Georgia, providing passage west for early settlers.
What began as a hunting trail used by Native Americans, expanded into one of the most widely used colonial highways in the nation. It was the route of General Lee’s retreat from Gettysburg in July 1863, and Nichols Pass, near the creek’s headwaters, was the site of Pennsylvania’s second largest Civil War Calvary battle that occurred during the Confederates’ retreat. It is the location of early mills and an iron foundry constructed by Thaddeus Stevens.