New Business Taps Into Tourism for Water and Trails

Mike Bruno stands next to his kayak that is now available for rental as well as bicycles for trail rides. He not only offers the rentals, but also the transportation.

A new business is taking advantage of tourism in Armstrong County.

Mike Bruno, originally from the Vandergrift area, describes his new business called “Workhorse Transport & Outfitters.”

“I have a fleet of 20 kayaks. I have inner tubes. I will be renting those on Crooked Creek and on the Allegheny River, complete with transport. I have a 13 passenger shuttle van that I will meet people in Rosston and take them up to Crooked Creek or up river to Kittanning and they will float back to their cars at Rosston.”

Several businesses have tried renting kayaks but Bruno is the first to actually provide transportation for the boaters.

In addition to serving the local waterways, Bruno is also planning some on –land excursions.

“I’m hoping to do some one way transports on the Armstrong Trail as far as up to East Brady and/or the Redbank Valley Trail up to Brookville. I’m really excited for the Pittsburgh to Erie initiative on the rail trails to develop because we’ll be passing right through Rosston, where my biking and my water sports will be ending. Additionally, I have a fleet of rental bikes that I’m going to be offering as well. With the rental bike, I will be offering transport to Buttermilk Falls where they can pedal back to Rosston or they can just take their own path.

Bruno, an avid cyclist, said he is putting various trips together locally as well as a guided and fully-supported five-day bike tour from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC.

“I have a group that is going to do a two-day trip in August that is going to be from Franklin to Foxburg then I will get them, bring them back down to East Brady then they’ll pedal their way back to Rosston. That trip will be a supported trip with luggage transport.”

Bruno is also quite the athlete, participating in several marathons and qualifying for the Boston Marathon again this year.

“I ran for 12 years, then I took 20-some years off and I got back into distance running again for charity. My 12-year-old daughter is blind and has autism so I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon blind-folded.  This year, I pushed her in her jogging stroller. We took pledges for every person we passed. We started at the very back and we ended up beating 11,000-some people out of 13,000.”

Bruno’s work has already begun for the season and will continue until late-Fall.

“I’m so looking forward to doing the Autumn foliage paddles and Fall foliage bike tours. I can’t wait to tap into the resources here. Armstrong County is a gem. There are so many trails and waterways. I’m just so excited to bring my passion to other people and just get them to share these beautiful resources here in Armstrong County.”

Bruno feels there is a market for his services.

“I feel confident, that there’s a demand for this. I think a lot of people will come in from Pittsburgh to see Armstrong County.”

To contact Bruno, visit his website at: www.workhorsetrans.com or call him at 412.545.3910.