Chairman Connolly Receives Trail Champion Award


Dec. 22, 2008

News Highlights  

  • Award presented by the Potomac Heritage Trail Association.
  • Connolly cited for “dedication, support and enthusiasm for trails throughout his career.”
  • Connolly championed the National Scenic Trail and the Cross County Trail.

More Information 

The Potomac Heritage Trail Association presented Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly with its inaugural Trail Champion Award during a ceremony at the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in Vienna on Saturday, Dec. 20.The trail association presents annual awards to individuals, volunteer groups and government agencies whose work has been instrumental in fulfilling the vision for connecting the more than 830 miles of existing and planned trails that have been recognized as segments of the National Scenic Trail.  

“Chairman Connolly’s dedication, support and enthusiasm for trails throughout his career has been extraordinary and unmatched in our area,” said Bill Niedringhaus, president of the Potomac Heritage Trail Association. “He has led the charge for the best and most scenic solutions for the National Scenic Trail, even in the face of stiff objections.” The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail was designated a unit of the National Park System by an act of Congress in 1983.

The Potomac Heritage Trail Association is a partnership to develop a network of locally managed trails in a corridor between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands, touching Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.Key connections of the trail that were recently completed through Fairfax County include stretches along the Pohick Bay, across the property of Fairfax County’s Noman M. Cole Jr. Pollution Control Plant and another segment in Great Falls. The Fairfax County Park Authority was instrumental in the effort to connect the trail in the county.

“Chairman Connolly has set ambitious goals for Fairfax County in terms of new off-road trail mileage and new parkland acreage and taken steps to achieve them,” Niedringhaus said. “There would not be a Cross County Trail in Fairfax County were it not for Chairman Connolly’s efforts.”

The Cross County Trail was a 10-year effort spearheaded by Connolly, Niedringhaus and other trail enthusiasts to create a seamless 40-mile connection from one end of the county to the other for walking, hiking or bicycling. It was completed in the spring of 2006.

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