by Ed Lawrence, KTA Trail Care Coordinator
The Mid State Trail in the Tioga region traverses a mix of state forest land, state park lands, state game lands, Army Corps of Engineers lands, and (thanks to the generosity of land owners) private property. Consequently, the June 22-24 Trail Care Weekend, based out of the Twin Streams Campground in Morris, Tioga County, covered a variety of different territory. Among the main tasks we accomplished during the event was removing and obscuring the graffiti that had been spray-painted on rocks along a section of the trail in Tioga State Forest. Forestry reports that the perpetrator of the vandalism has been identified, apprehended, and charged.
Addressing the graffiti was a coordinated effort involving Tioga State Recreational Forester Tom Oliver supplying and running a fire pump that drew treated mine-discharge water through 250 meters of hose to a pressure washer that sprayed down the painted rocks after they’d been slathered with “elephant snot,” a paint remover provided by the Mid State Trail Association. This was the first (and hopefully last) time that graffiti removal has been on a Trail Care agenda and was definitely a learning experience for all involved. Other activities, of a more traditional trail-maintaining nature, involved some chainsaw work, lopping, brushcutting, and running the DRâ Mower through several different sections of open fields on Army Corps of Engineers lands and private property. The installation of 8 new trail signs and some blazing rounded out the eventful weekend.
As always, with volunteer-fueled events, it is the dedication of the participants that makes the work possible. Thanks to the 12 volunteers who prioritized coming to the Trail Care Weekend and logged 216 hours of work: John McFaden, Scott Kent, Tony Robbins, Jenn Ulmer, Donna Thompson, Elwood Loudenslager, Denny Colegrove, Kevin Busko, Dave Walp, Tom Bastian, Ed Lawrence, and leader Pete Fleszar.
Keystone Trails Association