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About Us

The York County Rail Trail Authority is a volunteer, ten-member Authority formed in 1990 under the direction of the York County Board of Commissioners. The Authority’s mission is to enrich York County communities and countryside through the development of a network of public trails.

The Authority, which is incorporated under the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Act of 1945, is a political subdivision of the County of York.

Here is  where you can find the latest Meeting Minutes and our Policies and Procedures.

York County Rail Trail Authority

  • Executive Director: Gwenyth Loose, CPRP
  • Executive Assistant: Denise Tushingham
  • Chairman: Frank Kempf
  • Vice-Chair: Brandon Wingert
  • Treasurer: Albert Gleichauf
  • Secretary: [ VACANT ]
  • Members: Silas Chamberlin, Sean Kenney, Ed Hughes, Mack Johnson, Clair “CJ” Weigle and Ann Yost; Emeritus Members, Henry Herrman and Lori Mitrick
  • Solicitor: Scott Beaverson, Esq.
  • Engineer: Jeffrey Shue, C.S. Davidson, Inc

Authority Committees

  • Executive Committee – Frank Kempf, Brandon Wingert, Albert Gleichauf, Melanie Playdon.
  • Hanover Trolley Trail Development Committee — Frank Kempf, Silas Chamberlin, Carl Knoch, Ann Yost, Jeff Shue, and Gwenyth Loose
  • Hanover Trolley Trail Operating Committee — Authority Members: Mack Johnson and CJ Weigle. Municipal representatives: Clayton Black (Penn Twp), Dave Brown (Jackson Twp), Peg Moulton (Heidelberg Twp), and Scott Miller (Spring Grove Borough). Citizen Members: Kate King, Patrick Sterner, Joe Montminy, Terry Reichard, and Chris Wagman.
  • Planning Committee— Chairman: Carl Knoch; Authority Members: Mack Johnson, Ed Hughes, and CJ Weigle. Citizen Members: Beverly Hilt, Matt Chronister, Kathy Deporter, Corey Wolfe, Kim Hogeman, Karen Knuepfer, Denise Tushingham, Joe Kempf, Brian Greth, and Terry Steyer.

Authority Members

  • Frank Kempf, Chairman  |  Frank was appointed to the Authority in January 2014. Prior to this, Frank served as a citizen member of the Authority’s planning committee and Hanover Trolley Trail operating committee since 2012. Frank became chairman of the planning committee in November 2015, and then stepped down from this position to become Authority chairman in October 2018. Frank has more than 40 years public and private-sector experiences in the highway-building industry. Most notably, Frank retired as chief engineer of the PA Turnpike Commission.  He is an avid hiker, runner, and cyclist who looks forward to expanding his community service.
  • Brandon Wingert, Vice-chairman  |  Brandon joined the Authority in February 2022. Brandon is a lifelong resident of Hanover, PA, where he and his brother started Legacy Athletic, a custom-decorated baseball cap and apparel company in 1992. Their company has grown into L2 Brands, now employing over 400 workers and serving retail customers across the USA and around the world.  Bandon also serves the Hanover community as vice-president of the Kiwanis Club of Hanover and member of Hanover’s action team for the Trails Town Program.
  • Albert Gleichauf, Treasurer  |  Having been appointed to the Authority in April 2020, Albert offers his financial expertise as a property tax consultant and senior vice-president of Weinstein Realty Consultants to serve as the Authority’s treasurer. Albert believes in giving back to the York community, which he does as an assistant wrestling coach for York College of Pennsylvania and as a past varsity wresting coach for Red Lion School District. He resides in the City of York.
  • Melanie Playdon, Secretary  |  Melanie was appointed to the Authority in April 2021. As Executive Assistant for Shipley Energy, Melanie takes great interest in facilitating the company’s health and wellness programs, planning company events, and coordinating charitable giving. She is an avid runner with special interest in long-distance trail running.
  • Silas Chamberlin  |  Silas was appointed to the Authority in February 2019. Silas brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences related to Pennsylvania’s trails community to his position on the Authority. These include past positions as executive director for the Schuylkill River National Heritage Area, regional adviser for PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, and director of stewardship/operations manager for the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. Silas hold a Doctorate Degree in environmental history from Lehigh University and is the Chief Strategy Officer and Vice-President of Economic and Community Development for the York County Economic Alliance.
  • Mack Johnson  |  Mack joined the Authority in May 2002. He served as a non-voting representative for the County of York, until his appointment in April 2003 as a voting member of the Rail Trail Authority. He served as the Authority’s vice-chairman from 2011 to 2022. Mack brings to the Authority approximately 30 years of experience in management in both the public and private sectors, and he is an avid proponent of rails-to-trails.
  • Ed Hughes  |  As past owner of the Whistle Stop Bike Shop in New Freedom, PA, Ed has seen the Heritage Rail Trail County Park develop from its inception in the early 1990’s. He served as secretary of the Authority from 1994 to 2022, and has served on such committees as the planning committee, owners and operators committee, Hanover Junction and New Freedom Stations’ restoration committee, and heritage committee. In addition to being an avid bicyclist, Ed has a keen interest in railroads. He is a past Shrewsbury Township supervisor.
  • Clair “CJ” Weigle  |  CJ was appointed to the Authority in April 2021, having previously served on the Authority’s Hanover Trolley Trail operating committee. CJ has held various positions within state and federal government over the last several years and has worked for his family’s business here in York, North Hills Flooring. He currently serves as District Director for State Representative Thomas Kutz, where he works to address the needs and concerns of constituents in the Cumberland County area. CJ is a trail enthusiast as he enjoys long distance running and biking with his wife.
  • Ann Yost  |  Ann was appointed to the Authority in November 2014. She is a registered landscape architect and principal with YSM, a York-based park and recreation planning firm. Ann brings to the Authority a wealth of talent, including over twenty-five years experience in both private and public landscape design, feasibility studies, and master plans for park and recreation agencies across Pennsylvania. She resides in Hopewell Township, where she serves as chairman of the planning commission.
  • Sean Kenny  |  Sean is Executive Director of Farm & Natural Lands Trust of York County which preserves land through conservation easements – including many along the Heritage Rail Trail.  FNLT has over 14,000 acres in their preservation family on over 160 properties – growing that number annually by an average of 1,000 acres with a small staff and volunteers.  Sean lives along the Heritage Rail Trail on a FNLT preserved farm with his family.  In addition to the RTA, Sean has or had volunteered with York County Planning Commission, York Central Market, York Young Professionals and the York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade – to name a few. 

Emeritus Members

  • Henry Herrman  |  Henry served on the Authority since its beginning in 1990 and became its first emeritus member in May 2016. His service included chairman of the Owners and Operators Committee and most recently as a member of the Hanover Trolley Trail’s Trail Operations Committee. During his active tenure, Henry brought to the Authority a tremendous amount of local railroad knowledge and enthusiasm for converting the County’s Northern Central rail line to a rails-with-trails county park. Henry’s other community service included the Red Lion Historical Society, the local volunteer fire company, and St. Paul UM Church. Henry’s favorite pastime was riding the rails by motor car.
  • Lori Mitrick  |  Lori was appointed to the Authority in June 2016. Her broad experience in local government includes past positions as an adjunct professor in the Department of History and Political Science of York College of Pennsylvania, as president commissioner of the York County Board of Commissioners from 2004 to 2008, and as chairman of the Springettsbury Township Board of Supervisors from 1992 to 2003. Other community service includes President of the Board for the York County Literacy Council and Board Director of the York County Community Foundation. Lori stepped down from the Authority effective August 2020 and became the Authority’s second member emeritus.

Who's Using Our Trails?

A study was conducted in 2022 and the results can be viewed by downloading the PDF below!