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Connellsville in Fayette County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Chestnut Ridge

Named for trees that have disappeared

 
 
Chestnut Ridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, August 24, 2014
1. Chestnut Ridge Marker
Inscription. The Youghiogheny River has cut a winding gorge through the Chestnut Ridge, the western-most uplift of the Appalachian Mountains. The tall ridges bordering the river are heavily forested but lack the tree species for which the ridge is names: the American Chestnut.

The American Chestnut was a large, dominant tree of our eastern forests. It succumbed to an Asian fungal pestilence called "chestnut blight." The blight was first observed in New York City in 1904, and it spread rapidly throughout the distribution of the tree. By the early 1950's, even the most remote stands of chestnuts had become infected. The fungus blocks nutrient transport in infected trees causing the above ground tissues to die. The roots, however, are not affected and are able to re-sprout. These newly sprouted stems can grow several ears but will eventually become infected by the fungus and die back to roots.

The chestnut and Laurel Ridges are at the western edge of the Allegheny Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain chain. The Youghiogheny River is older than these mountains and has been cutting through Chestnut Ridge and Laurel Ridge since they rose up 300 million years ago. This rugged topography was a formidable barrier to 18th century pioneers.

A healthy American Chestnut Tree. For more information, check out the American Chestnut Foundation

Chestnut Ridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, August 24, 2014
2. Chestnut Ridge Marker
Marker faces travelers emerging southward on the trail towards Connellsville. Seen just beyond the marker is the "Connellsville - Gateway to the Laurel Highlands" marker. The left fork continues to Connellsville. The right fork leads to the trail head and free public parking behind Martin's grocery store.
at www.act.org [sic]. Photo: American Chestnut Foundation.

Virgin American Chestnut Trees, circa 1911. The American Chestnut grew to be a very large tree, up to 70 to 90 feet in height and, on average, three to four feet in diameter. Photo: Forest History Society.

Great Allegheny Passage. For more information: www.gaptrail.org
 
Erected by Southwestern PA Heritage Preservation Commission, Allegheny Trail Alliance, Regional Trail Corporation.
 
Location. 40° 1.334′ N, 79° 36.208′ W. Marker is in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, in Fayette County. Marker can be reached from Great Allegheny Passage (North). Touch for map. Marker is at the Great Allegheny Passage (north) trail head, Youghiogheny River Trail section, behind the Martin's grocery store plaza, address 800 Vanderbilt Rd. (PA Route 201), Connellsville, off of U.S. Route 119. Marker is in this post office area: Connellsville PA 15425, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Connellsville (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Connellsville (a few steps from this marker); Braddock's Twelfth Camp (approx. 0.2 miles away); Home of Colonel William Crawford

Chestnut Ridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, August 24, 2014
3. Chestnut Ridge Marker
Northward, back of marker; comfort station at left in the distance.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Colonel William Crawford (approx. 0.3 miles away); Benjamin Wells (approx. 0.3 miles away); Connellsville Memorial Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); World War II Connellsville Canteen (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Connellsville.
 
More about this marker. There is public parking at the trail head which features a stationary caboose painted B&O red.
 
Also see . . .
1. Yough River Trail Council. (Submitted on August 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Great Allegheny Passage. (Submitted on August 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
3. American Chestnut Foundation. (Submitted on August 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
 
Categories. Horticulture & Forestry
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 224 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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