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After 13 Trail Care events in 2023....
October was a very busy Trail Care month as we wrapped up the 2023 season. First up was a return trip to work on the Chuck Keiper Trail September 27-October 1. After repeated efforts, the Boggs Run 5-mile section is now finally cleared of the mess of blowdowns. Unfortunately, this stretch, along with some other sections of the CKT, could use some brushing then rebenching. Sproul State Forest is hoping to utilize some PA Outdoor Corps crews next summer on some of these sections, as well as more KTA Trail Care work. Also this weekend, we completely reopened the neglected Little Beaver Trail. This involved finding the trail and some very faded blazes, painting some new beautiful yellow blazes, chainsawing, then DR mowing and brushcutting to re-establish the treadway. Now, hikers can enjoy the novice-friendly 3-mile Little Beaver Loop. Volunteers also cleared downed trees from the Yost Run and Drake Hollow sections. Tom Bastian, Al Germann, Sarah Mocker, Tony Robbins, Rick Stibgen, Donna Thompson, and Jenn Ulmer contributed 112 work hours from Thursday through Sunday -- thank you! Angela, Sproul's new Recreation Forester, also joined in the fun for two days.
October 7th found us returning to Gifford Pinchot State Park's Beaver Creek Trail (Mason Dixon Trail) for a Code Orange workday. One crew continued work on bog bridges and a short footbridge, while others spread some stone and lopped brush. 12 volunteers from KTA, Friends of Pinchot SP, and Mason Dixon Trail, plus staff, contributed 96 volunteer hours. Thanks to Erick Ammon, Tom Bastian, Joe Hardisky, DanHassell, Gozde Hazar, Wendy Johnson, Betsy Leppo, Cecil Leppo, Alan Noble, Tony Robbins, Jenn Ulmer, and Colin Wareham, and to the Friends group for providing Subway lunches.
The not-so-scary Shades of Death Trail in Hickory Run State Park was our focus October 12-15. Forecasted rain shortened our work days to Friday (the 13th!) only, but we still accomplished a lot. The entire trail was chainsawed, lopped, and re-blazed. Three separate wet areas were addressed with digging and rockwork. All working around the most hikers I've ever seen during a workday. That is one popular trail! 6 volunteers contributed 60 hours; much thanks to Tom Bastian, Martyann Gutierrez, Tony Robbins, Dave Schurr, Donna Thompson, and Jenn Ulmer, as well as Megan from HRSP.
The final Trail Care of 2023 brought us back to northeast PA to work on the Pinchot Trail October 26-29. Volunteer Leader Jeff Mitchell had scouted the entire trail and mapped out work sites. We had gorgeous weather Friday and Saturday, and 11 volunteers worked for 104 hours chainsawing, brushcutting, lopping, and painting. Thanks to Pinchot SF Recreation Forester Megan Finnen for all the help with gates and for working with us Friday. Almost half of the volunteers were new to KTA Trail Care; thanks for trying something new, and we hope to see you back next year! Appreciative hikers and backpackers thanked: Tom Bastian, Luther Case, Tim Caspar, Eamonn Connor, Matt Eckle, Al Germann, Martyann Gutierrez, Ted Lewis, Jeff Mithchell, Tony Robbins, and Jenn Ulmer.
Celebrate with us!
Lots of exciting plans for 2024 are starting to take shape! But first, we really want to take some time to fully appreciate everyone that helped contribute to 2023's success. To that end, we're planning a Trail Care Volunteer Celebration, to be held Sunday afternoon, December 3rd. Tentative location is Rock God Brewing in Daville, PA, with some food, beverages, and awards and rewards! All are welcome -- whether you came to one event or all 14. Also, there will be a virtual option for those who'd like to participate but not travel. Watch your email for your invitation!
Keystone Trails Association