CONSERVATION

Water trail activities support the conservation of the aquatic ecosystem, contiguous lands, and important cultural artifacts. Trail builders and activists are a respected constituency advocating for resource protection and participating in resource restoration. The water trail community is a watchdog in prevention of environmentally harmful acts, striving to sustain the natural integrity of the trail and preserve the quality of the trail experience.

This adorable hellbender - a giant salamander found in the clean waters of eastern North America - was spotted by Derek Krajk on a kayak trip through the Loyalhanna Gorge. The presence of hellbenders in the Loyalhanna Creek are a testament to the conservation work being done on this water trail. Hellbenders depend on a constancy of dissolved oxygen, cool temperatures and flow found in swift water areas. A below-favorable oxygen content can make life difficult for these cutie pies. The Loyalhanna Watershed Association manages the Loyalhanna Creek Water Trail and works hard to protect the quality of our water and watershed through research, monitoring and protection.