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