2010-05-27 / Features

PA’s Hiking Week Again Showcasing State’s Trails, Walkways

Goal of 100 hikes set for statewide event

Amid Pennsylvania’s bountiful outdoors, hikers again will be picking their pace and path when Hiking Week 2010 steps off Saturday, May 29, offering participants at least 100 organized hikes across the state.

“Thanks to the cooperative efforts of the cosponsoring Keystone Trails Association and our bureaus of state parks and forestry, a wealth of healthy hiking activities is being offered to all ages and abilities,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary John Quigley.

“This year is the ninth anniversary of an event that continues to become increasingly popular, largely by reaching out to the uninitiated and offering a wide variety of highly organized hikes,” said Quigley. “We hope to draw novices and trail-hardened veterans alike into our state parks, forests and municipal greenways in this annual salute to healthy exercise and the serenity of those very special places found outdoors.”

“The Keystone Trails Association encourages all Pennsylvanians, whether they are newly retired, young or old, empty-nesters, graduating seniors, or anyone just looking for a new sport to take a hike,” said Curt Ashenfelter, executive director of the Keystone Trails Association. “Hiking with new friends will open a wonderful world minutes from your home where you can enjoy the splendor and serenity of the outdoors for your mental and physical well-being.”

Special events planned by DCNR and the Keystone Trails Association will take place in parks, forests, cities and towns across the state. All of the scheduled hikes have leaders and include variety of lengths and terrain

from easy strolls along urban greenways to strenuous treks in some of Pennsylvania’s rugged mountain areas. Special hikes include night hikes; wildflower walks; hikes for people with disabilities; pet walks; geology walks and more.

More information may be found at www.dcnr.- state.pa.us/info/hikingweek. For more Hiking Week details, as well as information on hiking clubs across the state, visit www.KTAHike. org.

Organized in 1956, KTA is a 1,172-member umbrella organization made up of 52 hiking and outdoors organizations in and around Pennsylvania.

Cowans Gap State Park: Forest Discovery Hike (Easy/Moderate)

There’s more to a forest than the trees! Explore some of the relationships within a forest and learn about what you can do to protect forest habitats. This hike involves a moderate incline over some uneven and loose rocky terrain, so sturdy footwear is advised. Meet at the amphitheater to join in this hike.

Date: Sunday, May 30, 2010. Meet at the amphitheater, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Contact: 717-485-3948, cowansgapsp@ state.pa.us

Buchanan State Forest: Salvage Timber Sale Hike 4.00 mile(s): Easy/Moderate

Are you curious why so many trees are being cut along Route 915, north of U.S. Route 30? The Buchanan State Forest staff is still cleaning up what was killed in the gypsy moth outbreak of 2007-2008. On this loop hike you will see four timber sales that have been affected by gypsy moth defoliation in some way. The foresters will be available to answer your questions. Date: Tuesday, June 1, 2010. Meet at Sideling Hill Foreman Headquarters, 9 a.m. Contact: Dave Scamardella at 717-485-3148, or dscamardel@ state.pa.us

Buchanan State Forest: South Penn Historic Hike

2.00 mile(s): Easy/Moderate

Hike is a two-mile loop (takes appx two hours) mostly on the South Penn Rail Bed from the 1880s. We cover the history of the railroad and also the PA Turnpike with a stop at the entrance of the Sideling Hill Tunnel. We will also explore the history of the Oregon CCC, CPS and POW camp on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Meet at Oregon Road and the CCC Camp. Located off SR915;10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Note: Coming from Mc- Connellsburg take Rt. 30 west to Rt. 915 north at the top of Sideling Hill. Oregon Road will be four miles from the intersection on the left just before you leave the state forest. From Breezewood take Rt. 30 east to the intersection of Rt. 915 north and follow above directions.

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