by Ed Lawrence, Volunteer Trail Care Coordinator
The 2018 Trail Care season will range across the state and offer volunteers the opportunity to help maintain some of Pennsylvania’s best-known hiking trails, as well as ones that are off the beaten track.
The season begins the first weekend of April, returning to Bald Eagle State Forest’s Weikert area—the site of the 2017 Fall Weekend—to work on the remote and challenging White Mountain Ridge Trail. At the end of April (26-29), the Pinchot Trail, in Pinchot State Forest east of Wilkes-Barre, will be the focus of the first of 2 Trail Care Weekends in 2018 dedicated to improving the hiking experience on this 25-mile loop. Both of these Trail Care Weekends are newly designated as “Bonus Trail Days” (BTD events), meaning that Friday will be included as a designated workday. What better excuse to take a 3-day weekend than participating in a KTA Trail Care. For BTD events, the camping area will be available on Thursday night, as well as Friday and Saturday. If you can’t come for Friday, plan on joining a crew for the rest of the weekend.
May will feature the first Code Orange workday on Saturday the 12th, with the Trail Care crew going to Hickory Run State Park, in Carbon County, for the first time. May will also feature BTD events on the Chuck Keiper Trail (Sproul State Forest), based out of an on-trail private camp, as well as on the Black Forest Trail (Tiadaghton State Forest). June will feature a BTD event on the Donut Hole Trail (Sproul State Forest).
The 2 Trail Care Weeks scheduled for 2018 will be on the Everett Region of the Mid State Trail (June 12-17) and the Baker Trail (June 26–July 1). These Trail Care Weeks will, as always, include meals for participants. June will also feature a BTD event on the Tioga Region of the Mid State Trail, based out of the Twin Streams Campground.
Both of the July BTD events will continue focusing on western Pennsylvania trails. The first (12-15) will take place on the Allegheny National Forest’s Tracy Ridge Trail System. At the end of the month (26-29), KTA will return to work on a section of the North Country National Scenic Trail.
The second Pinchot Trail BTD event will be held August 2-5 to continue work on the reroute that was initiated last year. Later in August (23-26), the crew will move east to Delaware State Forest’s Thunder Swamp Trail System, where volunteers will again be based out of the Resica Falls Boy Scout Camp.
In September, KTA will partner with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club to continue work on Pennsylvania’s portion of the Big Blue: the Tuscarora Trail.
The Code Orange banner will again fly on October 6th at Gifford Pinchot State Park, in York County, where the Friends of Pinchot State Park will host a cookout for volunteers.
Later in October (25-28), the Joe Gmiter Trail, located in State Game Land 57, Wyoming County, northeast of Ricketts Glen State Park, will receive some much-needed attention. The Trail Care season will close out the first weekend of November on the Bucktail Path in Elk State Forest.
I want to especially thank all the people who stepped up to lead these events—their dedication is very much appreciated. Everyone is welcome to participate in a KTA Trail Care Event. There is always meaningful work that can be done to keep our hiking trails open and accessible to all.
2018 Trail Care Brochure
2018 Trail Crew Application
Keystone Trails Association