One of the (many) cool things about Keystone Hike Fest is that you get to create your own experience! Over the weekend, you can choose from 25+ outdoor recreation activities, 6 learning sessions, and endless options to explore downtown Johnstown.
As you look at all the options to create your itinerary, rather than asking yourself "is Hike Fest for me?" you'll find yourself asking "how will I choose?!"
When creating your weekend itinerary, consider what you want to experience, learn, or work on. Maybe you want to maximize your hiking miles and learn new skills, or perhaps this is could be a weekend for you to slow down and simply enjoy the company of others.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are six ideas for how you could plan your Keystone Hike Fest Itinerary!
Learn More and Register
Keystone Hike Fest is open to all ages, hiking experience levels, and walks of life. See all that Hike Fest has to offer and sign up here!
KTA's nominations committee has nominated David "Cyril" Quatrone and Steve and Rita Black to become KTA Representatives at Large. Voting will take place at the fall board meeting during Keystone Hike Fest in Johnstown, PA. Get to know these awesome hikers below!
Meet David “Cyril” Quatrone
Since David “Cyril” Quatrone hikes with forearm canes, his trail name is Fourfeet. He’s hiked over 750 miles each year for the past 3 years, including completing 40% of the AT (all the AT in PA), and all of Thunder Swamp, Black Forest, and Darlington Trails. He is almost finished with the Horse-Shoe Trail, and is working on the Ticonderoga. This past year he hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up. The 6.5-mile trip down the South Kaibab Trail was done in 3 hours, but the same distance back up took over 8! He has helped trail work crews several times, coming within 10 feet of a bear once, and has provided trail magic along the AT. Cyril has written an unpublished book, “Cripple on the Trail.” Most of his hikes are day hikes, but he is seeking a solution to a problem presented by his disability and hopes to one day be able to do more and longer multi-day hikes.
Cyril has a B.A. (Northeastern Bible College), a M.Div. from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary, and a M.Ed. from Kutztown University. He teaches mathematics (and sometimes history) in Allentown. With several former students, he started and ran a non-Profit corporation, “Ensuring Tomorrow” (ET) for 7 years. In addition to providing scholarships and calculators to students, the organization took them to museums, plays, restaurants, lectures, and introduced many of these inner-city students to hiking!
Meet Steve & Rita Black
Steve & Rita Black live in Ford City, PA (Armstrong County). Steve is a machinist at a local tool and die shop and Rita has had careers in real estate and Career & Tech Ed. They are members of the Butler Outdoor Club and enjoy hiking with the Clarion & Butler Chapters of the North Country Trail. Steve can be found walking dogs at the Orphans of the Storm or metal detecting in search of old coins and “treasures”. Rita volunteers at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Ford City food bank & the local libraries. Together they enjoy workdays at the Outdoor Discovery Center, Geocaching, and collecting stamps for the PA State Parks/Forests Passport. Favorite hiking areas are Clear Creek/Cooks Forest and Crooked Creek Lake Park.
KTA's nominations committee has nominated Julie Queen and Tony Vigliano for KTA's board. Voting will take place at the fall board meeting during Keystone Hike Fest in Johnstown, PA. Get to know Julie and Tony below!
Meet Julie Queen
Julie Queen is a passionate outdoor and adventure educator currently serving as the Manager of the Appalachian Trail Museum in Gardners, PA. Julie received a BS in Environmental Biology from Millersville University before going on to serve in the Peace Corps as a Natural Resource Conservation Volunteer in Ecuador. Julie has worked for the PA Department of Agriculture, PA Bureau of State Parks, and Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA. She thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2016 and served as a Ridgerunner in 2017. This is her third season as the AT Museum Manager. Julie also works as an Associate Adventure Guide with Adventure Explorations. She currently resides in Harrisburg, PA.
Meet Tony Vigliano
Tony Vigliano lives in Dillsburg PA with his wife and his dog and cats. He is a CPA that owns his own accounting firm and notary office. He and his two employees enjoy helping the community and small businesses and organizations. Tony likes working on cars, reading books, playing video games, exercising, and chocolate. Tony has adopted 3 sections of PA highway with PennDOT’s Adopt a Highway program. He also plays guitar, drums, keyboard, and cello and has recorded a couple music videos. Although Tony first started his career as a diesel mechanic, he went to college at the age of 30 and became an accountant in 2012 and finally a CPA in 2015. He started his own accounting firm in 2016. Although he’s extremely busy with his business he hopes to hit the trails again someday.
Though typically hot and humid, August offered some great weather for our two Trail Care events. Mostly, the rain held off until we were off the trail. When it did rain, though -- hoo boy! August 10-13, we partnered with the Allegheny National Forest and the ANF Chapter of the North Country Trail, to tend to some neglected trails between Tracy Ridge Campground and Allegheny Reservoir. They have not seen much attention since KTA's last Trail Care event there in 2019. In total, 13 volunteers contributed 200 hours toward clearing 16 miles of trails! Sincere thanks to: Tom Bastian, Steve Black, Syvia Grisez, Volunteer Leader Joe Hardisky (whose scouting report and workplan were invaluable), Dave Kazmierczak, Tom O'Donnell, Katie Prindle, Tony Robbins, Mike Toole, Jenn Ulmer, Shawn Weishaar, and Sam Zambardo. Thank you also to Allegheny National Forest for securing our camping at Tracy Ridge Campground, and showers at Willow Bay.
The last weekend in August, we had another successful event working on the Thunder Swamp Trail System in the Poconos.The thunder did indeed make an appearance, with a fantastic storm that some volunteers apparently slept through Friday night. The rain brought out hundreds of red efts, however, making for an awesome sight and some tricky footing the next day! We put a huge dent in trail needs along the main loop, and hikers should enjoy not having to clamber over downed trees or wade through thickets of saplings and berry bushes. A hearty group of seven volunteers worked 120 hours (miles being tabulated). We had another great stay at Resica Falls Scout Reservation (see pic of rain-swollen falls!) and owe Delaware State Forest a debt for opening some gates to allow better access to trail segments. Huge thanks to volunteers Shira Blady and Brian MaNamara (Volunteer Leaders who thankfully backpacked and scouted trail conditions), Tom Bastian, Al Germann, Tony Robbins, Dave Schurr, and Jenn Ulmer. Volunteers were treated to some new snacks donated by Kate's Real Foods, and received t-shirts from the fresh crop of Trail Care shirts.
In September, we'll be working on the gem in the Pine Creek Gorge that is the Golden Eagle Trail on Sept. 21-24. Unfortunately, Oil Creek State Park has decided to postpone their late September Trail Care until next spring. Since some people have already requested those days off from work, I'm coordinating with Sproul State Forest to get us back on the Chuck Keiper Trail. Watch the Trail Care website for updates!
Keystone Trails Association