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Connellsville, PA is a third class city of approximately 9,000 residents located in north central Fayette County, PA. Connellsville is situated on the Youghiogheny River at the western base of Chestnut Ridge.

The city's downtown, Downtown Connellsville, is a large cluster of brick buildings, many of which are empty and poorly maintained, left over from the city's heyday as a capital of the Coal and Coke Boom of the early 20th century. The splash of wealth from that time can be seen in the city's stately Victorian homes, and churches featuring elaborate architecture.

A steadfast element of Connellsville is the B & O Railroad that lines the eastern bank of the Youghiogheny River. A large rail yard is still in use near Arch Street. An Amtrak Station operates on the city's Water Street.

Connellsville, PA's population has been in free fall since the 1960s as manufacturing jobs have largely vanished from the city and surrounding area.

The Youghiogheny River Trail, a crushed limestone corridor of the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, has brought hopes that tourism could spawn a rebirth for Connellsville, PA.

Route 119 is a four lane artery running through Connellsville, PA, connecting it with the Uniontown, PA area to the south, and the Scottdale, PA / Mount Pleasant, PA area to the north. Other routes into the city include Route 711 that travels east over Chestnut Ridge, and Route 201 that travels west through Vanderbilt, PA and northwestern Fayette County, PA.
Ohiopyle State Park, PA contains many geologic wonders as it located where the Youghiogheny River cut its way through the heights of Laurel Ridge, resulting in a steep sided gorge up to 1500 feet deep in places. The extreme difference in elevation has resulted in waterfalls, white water rapids, scenic overlooks, and rock outcroppings that have made Ohiopyle State Park, PA a draw of regional tourists for several generations and likely the most scenic park in Pennsylvania.

Ohiopyle State Park, PA's centerpiece is the twenty-five foot fall of the Youghiogheny River, known as the Ohiopyle Falls. The park's main visitor day use area features several observation platforms to give visitors a close vantage point of the roaring cataract. Just below the waterfall begins the most popular whitewater rafting route in the eastern United States. Numerous class III and IV rapids begin here and last eight miles, which makes Ohiopyle State Park, PA renowned for its whitewater recreation.

Several streams (Meadow Run, Cucumber Run, Sugar Run, Rock Spring Run, and Jonathan Run) enter the Youghiogheny River at Ohiopyle State Park, PA and have carved their own gorges into the surrounding highlands, many of these feature waterfalls. The park's most scenic delight is Cucumber Falls, but the Meadow Run Natural Waterslide rivals it in popularity on a hot summer day.

Ohiopyle State Park, PA can boast having two of the best scenic overlooks in Western Pennsylvania: Tharp Knob Overlook with its sweeping view of the Youghiogheny River meandering through the heights of Laurel Ridge, and Baughman Rock Overlook with its view of Laurel Ridge surrounding "The Flats."

The park's elevation ranges from 1200 feet (Youghiogheny River in the northwest) to over 2900 feet on top of Laurel Ridge resulting in a temperature difference of up to 12 degrees. The park's roof is popular with cross country skiing in the winter months as it averages three times the snow of the valley and lower elevations to the northwest.

A myriad of hiking trails crisscross the park under a heavy forest. Mountain biking and equestrian trails can be found near Sugarloaf Knob near the top of Laurel Ridge. The Youghiogheny River Trail, a corridor of the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, is a relatively flat hiking/biking trail that lines the Youghiogheny River's western shore.
Great Allegheny Passage Trail is a 150 mile crushed limestone trail for biking, and hiking that links Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD and the 184.5 mile C&O Canal Trail that connects to Washington, DC. That makes 334.5 miles of safe travel without threat from motorized vehicles.
Despite rising to an elevation of 2392 feet at the eastern continental divide in Larimer Township, PA (Somerset County, PA), the trail built on former railroad beds has an average grade of only 2%.

The 150 mile Great Allegheny Passage Trail is a single trail made up of multiple corridors:
?} Christian W. Klay Winery, established in 1997, has the distinction of being the highest vineyard east of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of approximately 2,350 feet. Visitors to the winery can enjoy a panoramic view that includes West Virginia, and Maryland.
Meadow Run Cascades located in Ohiopyle State Park, PA at a point where Meadow Run passes over a wide span of rock ledges that are often mostly dry with the exception of several chutes of water near the stream's eastern shore. However, plentiful rain can make the entire expanse of the cliff faces wet with gushing water.

The easiest access to the Meadow Run Cascades requires up to a mile of hiking each way along scenic Meadow Run Trail and from the trail's parking lot access off of Dinner Bell Road (SR 2011) near the park office for Ohiopyle State Park, PA.
PA State Game Land 51 is located in central Fayette County, PA along a portion of Chestnut Ridge. Elevation ranges from around 900 feet along the Youghiogheny River to in excess of 2300 feet in Wharton Township, PA.

The sprawling game reserve has land in the following communities: Connellsville Township, PA, Dunbar Township, PA, Springfield Township, PA, Stewart Township, PA, and Wharton Township, PA. It also borders portions of Ohiopyle State Park, PA to its east.

Water flowing through PA State Game Land 51 include: Bruner Run, Dunbar Creek (and its many smaller tributaries), Laurel Run, Morgan Run, and Youghiogheny River.
?} Jumonville, PA is a village in North Union Township, PA that is located on Chestnut Ridge in Fayette County, PA.
Sheepskin Trail connecting Dunbar, PA with the Youghiogheny River Trail opened May 29, 2008. While only two miles of the crushed limestone trail have been completed to date, the plan is for the trail to run 32 miles to West Virginia through the communities of Uniontown, PA, Smithfield, PA, and Point Marion, PA.
?} Dr. Walter Vinoski (Walt Vinoski) is the winemaker for Greendance The Winery at Sand Hill.
?} The Fay-West Area refers to Fayette County, PA, and Westmoreland County, PA as well as parts of Somerset County, PA.
?} External Web Link: Official Somerset County, PA Web Site
?} Since its founding in 1995, the Dunbar Historical Society's mission has been to provide an avenue to discuss, discover, collect and preserve any material that will establish and illustrate the history of Dunbar, PA and to disseminate this historical information by publishing materials, holding meetings and providing educational opportunities to ensure that present and future generations can share in and understand their rich heritage.
?} Greendance The Winery at Sand Hill, established in 2007, produces and sells the following wines (as of June 28, 2008):

Greendance The Winery at Sand Hill Wine List
Dry Reds
Dry Whites
ChardonnayPinot GrisVidal Blanc
Fruit Wines
Black CurrantBlack RaspberryRed Raspberry
Black Currant Port
Semi-Dry Whites
Sweet Reds
Marechal Foch
Sweet White & Rosé
?} Route 711 is locally known as Springfield Pike near Connellsville, PA.

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