America · canals · Conservation · destination management · Friends and Family Travel · hub and spoke transport · intercity transit · Travel · travel plan

East to West Rails and Trails

The Great American Rail-Trail is the nation’s first cross-country multiuse trail, stretching more than 3,700 miles between Washington, D.C., and Washington State. This infrastructure connects thousands of miles of rail-trails and multiuse trails, serving those living along the route as well as visitors from around the country and the world.

A unique experience away from vehicle traffic, with gentle grades, for all types of trail users, from long-distance cyclists and runners to casual daily explorers developed in partnership with state agencies, nonprofits, volunteers and trail partners country wide to ensure a contiguous and direct route.

A nation connected by trails

The gateways to the Great American Rail-Trail:

D.C. and Maryland’s Capital Crescent Trail    D.C. and Maryland’s C&O Canal Towpath

West Virginia and Pennsylvania’s Panhandle Trail    Ohio’s Ohio to Erie Trail


Indiana’s Cardinal Greenway    Illinois’ Hennepin Canal Parkway    Iowa’s Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Nebraska’s Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail    Wyoming’s Casper Rail Trail

Montana’s Headwaters Trail System    Idaho’s Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes

Washington’s Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail

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The Great American Rail-Trail is a signature project of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to connecting people and communities through a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. The “Great American” is the most ambitious project in its TrailNation™ portfolio—the organization’s initiative to encourage the rapid replication of regional trail networks across the country.

Rails and Trails USA

ambiente · America · birrifici · cantine vinicole · efficienza energetica · gastronomia · sviluppo del territorio · traspporti · vacanze · viaggi · viaggio di lavoro

Alla Scoperta dell’America

Viaggi Trasporti Ambiente e Sviluppo del Territorio

Sono un americano che ha vissuto, studiato e lavorato in Italia e diversi altri paesi e ritengo importante che un viaggio in America deve includere esperienze nella capitale, le grandi città etniche della costa atlantica e del midwest, l’ospitalità del sud, così come la diversità americana, le rotte allla scoperta del West e dei nativi americani.

Vorrei mostrarvi gastronomia, cantine vinicole e birrifici ma anche i progressi fatti nella efficienza energetica, la conservazione storica nei piccolo comuni, le iniziative in ambito trasporti locali e lo spirito imprenditoriale di questo paese.

chi vi accogliera’ e vi fara’ da Cicerone e’ altresi’ interessato al modo di fare degli italiani

Viaggi che vanno da 2 notti e 3 giorni per itinerari nelle città a una settimana per programmi regionali e 14 notti e 15 giorni per tragitti in piu’ stati; progettati e personalizzati per gruppi tematici, vacanze in famiglia e viaggi di lavoro.

Un Turismo di Conoscenza che presenta costumi, valori e tradizioni locali effettuati con competenze specifiche nella gestione del tuo viaggio per meglio apprezzare:

Musei che rivelano un patrimonio archeologico e storico alla riscoperta di storie locali attraverso l’arte, la letteratura e l’architettura con obiettivo la conservazione della biodiversità e delle culture associate alle comunità agricole, costiere e fluviali che visiterai.

L’Ambiente incontra i custodi dell’ambiente a livello locale per misurare e anche suggerire le migliori pratiche e programmi nella gestione del territorio.

Agricoltura Commercio Industria visita alcune realta’ in transizione da tradizionali attività agricole industriali e commerciali a quelle che utilizzano la knowledge economy.

viaggiando in compagnia di persone che vivono e lavorano nei luoghi che visiti

Contattaci per saperne di piu’

America · Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · food and wine itineraries · Friends and Family Travel · Historic Towns · hub and spoke transport · intercity transit · Mobility · mobility network · Rivers · Transit Calculator · Travel · travel plan

Seven Ways to See the USA

American City and Country Destinations

East to West

Pennsylvania Kentucky Minnesota South Dakota and Seattle

Bucks County is one of the three original counties created by William Penn in 1682. Pennsbury Manor stands on the point of land formed by the Delaware River between Morrisville and Bristol. Painstaking research went into restoring the prim-fronted, three-storied, brick manor-house, rebuilt on the original foundations.

The Lehigh Valley Gave Birth to the American Industrial Revolution


Lehigh Valley Allentown was a rural village founded in 1762 by William Allen, Chief Justice of Colonial Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. By 1829 Allentown expanded from a small Pennsylvania Dutch village of farmers and tradesmen to a center of commerce. With the opening of the Lehigh Canal, many canal workers made their homes here.

Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic

New Orleans Mobile Savannah Charleston

Mobile Alabama is located at the head of Mobile Bay and the Central Gulf Coast. Mobile was founded by the French in 1702. During its first 100 years, Mobile was a colony of France, Britain and Spain; it became a part of the United States of America in 1813.

Gingerbread House in Savannah

Savannah was founded in 1733 on the Savannah River, it became the colonial capital and later the first state capital of Georgia. Its port was of strategic importance during both the American Revolution and the Civil War


Mississippi River Towns and Trails

Minnesota Illinois Memphis and New Orleans

Minnesota means clear blue water from the Dakota language. Nearly 60 percent of the population lives in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the center of transportation, business, industry, education, government and an internationally renowned arts community. The remainder of the Land of 10,000 Lakes consists of western prairies, forests in the southeast and mining, forestry, and recreation in the North Woods.

Mississippi the Inland and coastal WaterwayIllinois River Towns Scenic Vistas Tranquil Landscapes and Historic Sites

The Great River Road in Illinois National Scenic Byway runs along the banks and bluffs of the Mississippi River, through quaint river towns and urban cities as it hugs the western border of Illinois for 550 miles. Experience an Illinois winery, brewery, farm, u-pick, or local farm to table restaurant.

Texas Cities and the Hill Country

Houston Austin San Antonio Dallas Grapevine Fort Worth Guthrie

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the US South as well as America’s fourth-largest. A cosmopolitan destination and home to an energetic arts community, Houston was founded in 1836 near the banks of Buffalo Bayou. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and commander at the Battle of San Jacinto, 25 miles – 40 km – east of where the city was established.

Museum DistrictAustin, on the eastern edge of Texas Hill Country, is the state capital, the live music capital of the world, a center for film, home to the University of Texas and Formula 1’s Circuit of the Americas raceway. The city’ parks and lakes are popular for hiking, biking, swimming, boating and other outdoor pursuits as well as a ballet, world-class museums and a unique shopping experience.

Traveling the USA on Route 66

U.S. Route 66 also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America and the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the United States. Established on November 11, 1926, it became one of the most famous roads in America, running from Chicago to Santa Monica California and covering 2448 miles – 3940 Km.

This Road served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and was instrumental in the growth of the communities through which it passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due its growing popularity.

Grand TetonRocky Mountain States

Montana South Dakota Wyoming Utah and Colorado

Western History and Culture Montana has many unique guest ranches of different types: dude, working, or luxury resort ranches that offer a diverse array of activities from horseback riding to fly fishing, spa treatments to gourmet meals, hiking to rafting.

Rapid City is centrally located to visit the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park and the Badlands. The historic downtown with notable buildings such as the 1914 First National Bank building at 7th and Main. The West Historical District is residential in character; portions of 18 blocks contain examples of the city’s finest late 19th century and early 20th century structures.

Southwest and Pacific Coast Trails

Phoenix Palm Springs LA Sonoma and Oregon

Minolta DSCPhoenix is the cosmopolitan heart of Arizona, the soul of the American Southwest and where you will find sports venues, live music, rooftop lounges, museums, theaters and art galleries.

Downtown and its Cityscape two block entertainment district is also home to the Phoenix Convention Center and Arizona State University’s downtown campus; all served by one of the newest light rail systems in the nation.

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America · Atlantic Coast · Cultural Heritage · Maritime Heritage · museums · Rivers · travel plan

Fort Washington Maryland

a Peaceful Oasis Just Outside Washington DC

By Lara Lutz   Chesapeake Bay Journeys Ft Washington Image by Steven L Markos copyright 2016

From the heights of Fort Washington Park, the shores of the Potomac River frame the skyline of the nation’s capital with the Washington Monument jutting toward the sky. Today, the city is a seat of national and international power, backed by an enormous military force with missiles, warships, aircraft and hundreds of thousands of soldiers at its disposal.

In 1809, it was defended by the earthen walls of Fort Washington, the ditch at its base and the cannons that lay inside. The fort was small, but well positioned on an outer bend of the Potomac River in Maryland, just a few miles south of the capital. Washington DC has changed dramatically over time, and the fort has too. The original structure, destroyed in 1814, was replaced by a brick fort in 1824 and later enlarged to include the long, massive walls that loom over the river today.

Fort Washington has enjoyed a remarkably peaceful riverside presence for more than 200 years. “It was never fired upon, and it never fired a shot in anger either,” said National Park Service ranger Barbara Wadding. Today, Fort Washington is a historic site and public park in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Its 900-acre grounds include a 3-mile foot trail, paved bike lanes on the main road, picnic areas, woods and meadows. Fishermen gather constantly near the base of the Fort Washington lighthouse on the Potomac River. Birders visit, too, enjoying the frequent sight of eagles, bluebirds, kestrels and shoreline species like blue heron and osprey.

Urban life seems far away. Combined with the neighboring properties of Piscataway Park and National Colonial Farm, the shoreline here is quivering with the tender green leaves of spring. Downstream, on the Virginia side of the river, is George Washington’s historic estate, Mount Vernon. In morning light, its red roof can be seen through the trees from Fort Washington.

Fort Washington Park Main GateGeorge Washington often crossed the river to visit this site, which was home to the Digges family, and repeatedly urged that a fort be built here

The United States had barely finished its war for independence, and tensions with Britain ran high. The Chesapeake Bay had long served as a productive means of trade and travel, but it also provided an effective approach for the powerful British navy. Its rivers ran like exit ramps toward American cities, including Washington itself.

The Potomac River was the most obvious route to the capital, but George Washington saw a way to defend it — from Digges Point. “He knew the river, and he knew this part of the channel is unique,” Wadding said. The deepest part of the river swings east along the bend, forcing larger ships to move toward the Maryland shore, closer to the fort and its cannons. “This was the most defensible part of the river, before it goes upstream and widens,” Wadding said.

Fort Washington 1812Fort Washington has enjoyed a remarkably peaceful riverside presence for more than 200 years (Dave Harp)

The fort was built about 10 years after Washington’s death and originally called Fort Warburton. It took only five years before British warships did appear on the horizon. It was August 1814, and the War of 1812 was reaching its peak. The British were advancing on Washington. Thousands of troops landed along the Patuxent River in Southern Maryland and began marching inland. Others came by ship on the Potomac. American leaders believed the Potomac would deliver the thrust of the attack and realized too late that the real threat would arrive by land. On Aug. 24, after a brief battle at Bladensburg, MD, the British arrived in Washington and set fire to most public buildings, including the Capitol and the White House. But their ships hadn’t arrived. “The river is tidal, and it put them behind schedule,” Wadding said. British soldiers reversed their march. Three days later, seven British warships appeared on the river near Mount Vernon.

Inside Fort Warburton, U.S. Capt. Samuel Dyson had some problems. Dyson had taken command of the fort only 10 days earlier. He had 56 men. The cannons had not been tested — many of the gun stations were incomplete and installed on uneven platforms. Dyson estimated that they would only be able to fire about five of the guns from inside the fort and two from a small blockhouse.

South Branch Potomac RiverTo make matters worse, British foot soldiers were rumored to be marching toward the fort to help their warships with an attack. Dyson and his officers took a vote. They agreed to destroy the fort rather than allow the British to capture it. They made an exit plan, then lit 3,000 pounds of stored gunpowder.

The tremendous explosion leveled the fort. The British then sailed upriver to Alexandria, VA, where they captured 21 vessels and raided local warehouses before rejoining the rest of the fleet and moving on to Baltimore.

Dyson’s supervisors weren’t happy with his decision or its outcome. After being court-marshaled for abandoning post and destroying government property, he was dismissed from service. The fort, however, rose again, this time with the increasingly popular name of Fort Washington. The most distinctive change was placing the fort on the bluff, rather than using the low ground by the river. “It was completely redesigned with a larger, new shape and a smaller water battery close to the shore,” Wadding said.

Today, the fort has a castle-like presence, a brooding river guardian with thick high walls and a dry moat. Guests enter the grassy courtyard through a decorative arch, where gears and pulleys mark the operation of a drawbridge that no longer exists. Although the fort was in active military use through 1946 and spawned hundreds of buildings and tent quarters on the surrounding grounds, the interior of the old fort retains a much older feel. The guard rooms on either side of the gate feature fireplaces and worn wooden floors. Light filters through tall windows, but the prison cells are dank and dismal. Along the interior parade grounds, the barracks and officers’ quarters are a paired set of two-story brick buildings, each with a tiered white porch. Modern military aircraft occasionally roar overhead, oddly matched by the eagles and osprey that weave through the air with fish in their talons.

Mt Vernon Aerial CREDIT LautmanWadding looks at the brickwork and the cannon stations, which are mostly empty, and sees signs of endless change and adaptation. Over and again, engineers tinkered with the fort to change the types and numbers of guns, update water and power sources, and convert parts of the fort to new uses. In the late 1800s, defensive batteries of steel and concrete were built around the fort’s exterior. Their crumbling remains, including a gun tower, exist in the park today.

When the Spanish-American War began in 1898, an electrified minefield was laid down in the Potomac River. Fort Washington housed the generator. But not all the changes had a military purpose. Some just made life more comfortable. For example, the well water turned brackish shortly after the new fort opened, so the residents installed cisterns to collect rainwater. In the 20th century, the vault of one cistern was re-purposed to house a power source for the barracks. Casements on the fort’s lower level were intended for cannons, but one was quickly abandoned. “The ventilation system did not function well and you ended up with roomfuls of smoke,” Wadding said. “They used it for storage and laundry.”

Another casement may never have housed guns at all. “There’s no evidence they ever put them in there,” Wadding said. “But there is evidence they turned it into a bakery.”

Fort Washington MapFort Washington became home to the capital’s honor guard and was also used for a variety of training purposes. Historic photos in a park exhibit show the impressive colony of buildings and people that once filled its grounds. Now, all but three of the buildings that grew up around the fort are gone. An old home and aging gymnasium, both sealed up and closed to the public, sit near the park entrance. A yellow brick house, built in 1921 for the fort’s commander, is perched above the river next to the fort and serves as the visitor center. As the fort lost buildings and people, the upstream metropolitan area continued to grow. Today, Fort Washington has delivered a public benefit that was never part of its plan – a large swath of preserved green space along an intensely developed urban corridor where people can walk their dogs on a riverside trail, cast a fishing line and imagine a time when this spit of waterfront land could help the nation feel secure.

Fort Washington Lighthouse a guiding light has stood at Fort Washington since 1857, when a pulley system was used to raise an oil lamp to the top of a light pole. The 32-foot lighthouse that operates on site today was originally a fog bell tower that was installed in 1882 and was modified to include a light in 1901. The interior of the Fort Washington Lighthouse is open to visitors during the annual Maryland Lighthouse Challenge.

A Travel Plan to Visit

Fort Washington Southern Maryland Alexandria VA and Washington DC

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America · Cultural Heritage · destination management · Historic Towns · museums · Travel · travel plan

Colonial America Heritage and the Industrial Revolution

Museums and Educational Travel

One of the Largest Historical Societies in America, LCHS comprises the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, a state-of-the-art historical research library, as well as 6 galleries with 13,000 square feet of exhibits. The Society administers 7 museum sites that date from Colonial America through the Industrial Revolution along with 35,000 historical artifacts, 80,000 vintage photographs, and over 3-million documents.

haines millsBooks Maps Photographs and Other Resources for Historians and Genealogists

Educational Tours and outreach programs designed by Museum Educators that tell stories and enlighten adults, schoolchildren, scouts and others about local heritage with visits to historic sites and the Heritage Museum with its exhibits, research library and archival collection.

lockridgeA Coal Burning Iron Furnace that Looks Like a Medieval Castle

Lockridge Furnace was built in 1868 and produced some of the iron that helped transform America from a nation of farms into an industrial giant. The Museum comprises several buildings in a park setting.

The Saylor Park Cement Kilns were erected in 1893 to power the industrial revolution and produce cement. Learn about this industry and the people that worked in it.

Haines Mill has stood on the banks of Cedar Creek since colonial times.

Troxell Steckel HouseThe Early Technology that Supported Farm Life

Troxell-Steckel Farm Museum is an authentic Pennsylvania-German farm house that provides a unique perspective on farming in the Lehigh Valley.

Your Delaware Lehigh and Hudson River Valley Travel Plan

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America · Business · Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · destination management · entrepreneurs · Historic Towns · museums · Sustainable Communities · Travel

Community Museums Transit Stations and Libraries

New Small Business and employment begins with the training of new entrepreneurs in key skills, including: tourism operations, customer and transit services, energy savings, water resources, information and library management.

A facility small museum, train station, bus depot, library, civic center or other similar public or private building is the point of reference to carry out the above referenced training as well as to act as info point, meeting place and event location for local residents as well as visitors from other communities acting as the point of reference in the local area for cultural and other itineraries.

Grand Central Station Main ConcourseEach community has Unique Capabilities and Resources

A Collaboration with your facility is open- ended, can be terminated at any time and does not impact on your current resources; where staff time is involved, it will be compensated on terms and conditions to be negotiated on a project basis.

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Partial facilities use for meetings, events and the tourism info point can be paid:

o   at rates to be negotiated, or

o   in kind with equipment and services for use by the general public

The Results of this effort are:

job creation in the community,

new revenue and tax receipts from tourism, transit and other business activities,

positioning of your structure as the community’s most important asset.

Liverpool Road railway station, ManchesterTell Us About Your Community and Facility

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America · canals · Cultural Heritage · destination management · Historic Towns · intercity transit · Maritime Heritage · museums · Rivers · travel plan

Historic Towns in the Lehigh Valley

Allentown Bethlehem Easton Nazareth Hazleton Jim Thorpe Wilkes-Barre

Allentown Symphony HallAllentown was a rural village founded in 1762 by William Allen, Chief Justice of Colonial Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, known as Northampton town. A thriving town with roots in the iron industry, by 1829 Allentown expanded from a small Pennsylvania Dutch village of farmers and tradesmen to a center of commerce. With the opening of the Lehigh Canal, many canal workers made their homes here.

The Lehigh Valley Gave Birth to America’s Industrial Revolution

The Allentown Art Museum is one of the city’s main attractions and the Museum of Indian Culture honors the legacy of native Lenape people. Allentown’s Canal Park provides easy access to the D&LTrail and access to the waterways for hikers, bikers, joggers, paddlers and fishermen.

Monocacy Creek BethlehemBethlehem was named on Christmas Eve, 1741, by a group of Moravians who relocated from North Carolina and settled at the confluence of the Lehigh River and Monocacy Creek. The canal and the railroads lured large-scale industry to the south bank of the Lehigh River and the Bethlehem Iron Co., soon dominated the town’s economy and way of life. Steel made from local iron, coal and limestone was milled and forged, launching the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th Century.

Bethlehem is the Oldest City in the Lehigh Valley

Bethlehem has six distinct National Historic Districts as well as two National Historic landmarks. Many of its original structures built by early settlers still line downtown streets.

Easton ViewEaston is located at what the Lenape Indians knew as the Forks of the Delaware where the Lehigh and Delaware rivers merge and where the frontier town was laid out by William Penn. The town’s focal point was, and still is, a large central square. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence outside of Philadelphia took place in Easton’s Centre Square in 1776 near the oldest continually running open-air Farmer’s Market in the United States.

Nazareth is located seven miles northwest of Easton, four miles north of Bethlehem and twelve miles northeast of Allentown at the foot of the Blue Mountain and includes the townships of Bushkill, Lower Nazareth, Upper Nazareth and the boroughs of Nazareth, Stockertown and Tatamy. Nazareth is the hometown of the world-famous Andretti formula 1 auto racing family.

Hazleton in the foothills of the Poconos is a year-round vacation destination 

Jim Thorpe Lehigh ValleyJim Thorpe was named after the legendary Native American athlete. It was originally established in 1818 as Mauch Chunk where entrepreneurs led by Josiah White formed the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company that shipped anthracite coal and other goods to market via the Lehigh and Delaware Canals. The town’s steep hillsides, narrow streets, and terraced gardens earned it the nickname The Switzerland of America. Today, the restored Old Mauch Chunk Railroad Station in the center of the town offers visitor services and train rides into Lehigh Gorge. The Opera House presents live theater and music.

wilkes-barre ViewWilkes-Barre is part of the Wyoming Valley with the Susquehanna River flowing through the center of town. In the 1800s, hundreds of thousands of immigrants came here to work the mines leading to economic and cultural changes and affecting the railroad-and-canal system that stretched 165 miles southward to Bristol.

Your Travel Plan to visit the Historic Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania Towns

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