by Ed Lawrence, KTA Trail Care Chair
The Chuck Keiper Trail is a remote and challenging 50-mile loop with the East Branch Trail serving as a cross-connector. It’s a designated Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) hiking-only trail, located between Snowshoe, Centre County, and Renovo, Clinton County, and traversing some of the most wild and rugged terrain in Sproul State Forest. The May 3-6 Trail Care had the good fortune to be based out of the private Middle Branch Camp, close to the heart of the trail, thanks to the generosity of the club members. Being able to stay at the Middle Branch Camp saved a lot of shuttle time, and I would like to especially thank Darren Miller, who facilitated our use of the camp and acted as host from the club for the weekend.
Nine people put in a total of 124 hours of work during the event. Volunteers were Tony Robbins (leader), first-time participants John Eveler and Jim Neylon Jr. (we hope to see them again), Ben Auer, Jenn Ulmer, Donna Thompson, Ed Lawrence, Elwood Loudenslager, and Tom Bastian. The crew was also augmented on Friday by Sproul Forester Ted Ligenza, who accompanied a crew, Pulaski in hand, into Yost Run to refurbish some sidehill treadway.
A lot of work, including reblazing, power brushcutting, lopping, and blowdown removal, was done in the section of the trail that includes the Cranberry Swamp Natural Area loop. The cross-connector was also brushcut. A crew went down into Yost Run along the Second Fork both Friday and Saturday, lopping and rebenching sections of the trail that required widening. With the Chuck Keiper’s 50-plus miles of incredible hiking trail to help maintain, the KTA Trail Care Program depends on volunteers who appreciate this trail and other hiking opportunities in the state and are willing to do the good work needed to help keep our hiking trails open. There will be many other opportunities during 2018 to join a Trail Care crew and experience the honest satisfaction and conviviality of doing trail work. Please see the full schedule for details.
Keystone Trails Association