The McDonald Trail Station & History Center serves the users of both the Panhandle Trail and the Montour Trail, as well as the community of McDonald. It is the only facility of its kind along either the Panhandle or the Montour Trails.
The McDonald Area Redevelopment Association (MARA), recognizing the potential benefits for the town of McDonald, opened the McDonald Trail Station in 2002 to assist users of both the Panhandle and Montour Recreational Trails.
In addition to serving passing trail users, it was also recognized that the Trail Station would provide the McDonald community with a needed venue for public and private meetings and a centrally located structure that could serve as a local History Center.
McDonald is very conveniently located near the Panhandle Trail, Montour Trail and the downtown business sector, which offers many amenities often sought by recreational trail users and other visitors.
The McDonald Trail Station & History Center is located directly adjacent to the Panhandle Trail and only ¾ of a mile from the Panhandle’s intersection with the Montour Trail. The Trail Station, which has a very large trailhead parking lot, is also just three blocks from the center of McDonald’s commercial district and its many trail user-friendly businesses.
Today, the trail station also serves as a venue for any community events, including a farmer’s market, voting site, meeting venue, event center and more.
Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am.-3 p.m.
The McDonald Trail Station & History Center is owned and operated by the McDonald Area Redevelopment Association (MARA), a 501c3 volunteer organization.
MARA, working closely with Borough Council and the local Police and Fire Departments, focuses its efforts on serving the community of McDonald through the sponsoring, funding and accomplishment of needed community improvement projects.
MARA maintains and operates the Trail Station & History Center as a welcome center to greet the many recreational visitors that arrive via the Panhandle Trail and the Montour Trail, to serve as a local history exhibit venue and to promote McDonald’s businesses.
The volunteers of MARA also work very closely with the Washington County Parks and Recreation Department and the Washington County Tourism Agency to help maintain and promote our county’s two excellent recreational trail systems.
In 2017, McDonald underwent a detailed analysis by the Progress Fund and was officially certified a Pennsylvania Trail Town.
At the Trail Station, visitors will find a very wide variety of Washington County tourism information and also clean restroom facilities. The History Center portion of the main building serves as a venue for several photographic and artifact exhibits dedicated to telling McDonald’s long and storied history, which dates back to 1775. The meeting room is fairly large, very clean, well appointed and available to rent.
A large trail-head parking lot and picnic area is located directly in front of the Trail Station and serves as a great starting point for visiting downtown McDonald businesses or for walking, running or riding on the Panhandle and Montour Trails. There is also adequate parking throughout the town’s business district.
MARA and its volunteers at the Trail Station are always looking for new members to help accomplish its many projects that improve the McDonald community, the Trail Station and the County’s trail systems.
BE SOMEBODY SPECIAL …. JOIN MARA
MARA meets at the Trail Station the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. Meetings are open to the public. Come join us!
To Join MARA, mail the following information to:
P.O. Box 152
McDonald, PA 15057