by Ed Lawrence, Trail Care Chair
KTA Fall Weekend wrapped up the 2017 Trail Care Season, which began after last year’s Fall Weekend. Every Trail Care Event has a positive impact on the trail it focuses on, and it all happens because of the commitment of volunteers who want to take their love of hiking to another level. Highlights of the season included a “Flash Crew” (organized on short notice) at Black Moshannon State Park, Centre County, which stepped up to build a boardwalk in the park after a work crew from the American Hiking Society’s Volunteer Vacation program cancelled. The Rachel Carson Trail, in Allegheny County, hosted its first week-long Trail Crew this summer that netted 299 hours of solid work. KTA will be returning to the Rachel Carson Trail in 2018. The Trail Care Program also managed to successfully reschedule our first Code Orange workday at the Nolde Forest Environmental Center, Berks County, after the original date got washed out.
A sincere thank-you to everyone who came out to help keep Pennsylvania’s hiking trails open and accessible. Volunteers put in 2624 hours of honest work across the state this season. The following people deserve special recognition for coming to multiple events and, in the process, earning themselves an Orange Trail Care shirt. The honor role for the 2017 season includes Tom Bastian, Kevin Busko, Mary Ladish, Ed Lawrence, Elwood “Woody” Loudenslager, Tony Robbins, Wanda Shirk, Rick Stibgen, Donna Thompson, and Jenn Ulmer. The 2018 season begins with the final Trail Care of the year (November 3 to 5) on the Bucktail Path, based out of the historic Brooks Run Fire Tower Cabin, Elk State Forest.