Appalachian Trail Conservancy unveils new help resource for Pennsylvania

In June 2008, the PA Appalachian Trail Act was amended by Act 24, requiring the 58 PA municipalities along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) to take action to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, and aesthetic values of the Trail and to conserve and maintain it as a public natural resource. The legislation was prompted by a Commonwealth Court case related...

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail: Boots not made for Pennsylvania

The Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania is “where boots go to die,” and “lots of people leave Pennsylvania limping and bruised.” After traversing all 220 miles of the AT in the Keystone State, both statements are indeed accurate. The reason is entirely geological, owing to the amazing jumble of rocks of all types, sizes and shapes – known scientifically as felsenmeer –...

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Pennsylvania Celebrating Hiking Week With Almost 100 Organized Events

Hiking through the woods is one of the best ways to exercise, but those in Pennsylvania over the next week will be in for a treat as the state celebrates Hiking Week 2015 starting on Saturday, May 30. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Keystone Trails Association, there will be almost 100 organized hikes that will make...

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Wind Gap named Appalachian Trail Community

The Appalachian Trail has put Wind Gap, PA on the map – a map of communities along the 2,180-mile trail, that is. Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community means Wind Gap will be highlighted in guidebooks and hiking maps, and the recognition could be a financial benefit to the borough. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy created the Appalachian Trail Community...

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Pennsylvania hiking trails featured in four films at Keystone Trails Association gathering

The Keystone Trails Association’s second annual KTA Membership Celebration and Film Festival will feature four films about Pennsylvania trails. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at the Wesley Center of Camp Hill United Methodist Church, Camp Hill. The four films will include the following. Best of Pennsylvania – 1000 Steps Hiking Trail is a...

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Featured National Recreation Trails – Mason-Dixon Trail, Pennsylvania

The Mason-Dixon Trail section receiving NRT recognition is a 30 mile-long hiking path, following the western slopes of the Susquehanna River Gorge between Wrightsville and Norman Wood Bridge (at PA Rt. 372). This blue blazed hiking trail rolls along river hillsides and drops into deep ravines while crossing a number of tributaries to the Susquehanna River. Along the way...

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Pennsylvania considering all-out hiking ban on state game lands during hunting seasons

Fall foliage season is a popular time for hiking in Pennsylvania. But fall hiking on state game lands might be prohibited if a new regulation under consideration by the Pennsylvania Game Commission is approved. The commission is scheduled to consider a new rule Jan. 27, 2015 that would forbid hiking and other non-hunting activities on state game lands during fall and...

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Hard Times in a Boom Town: Pennsylvanians Describe Costs of Fracking

The Marcellus is the largest and fastest growing shale gas play in the US and more than half of its 50 most productive wells were drilled in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Susquehanna and neighboring Bradford County produced 41 percent of all Marcellus gas in the state. While drilling is down in other shale gas plays across the US, with major oil companies selling off...

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Mechanicsburg man honored on hiking all 798 miles of Pennsylvania State Forest hiking trails

Richard “Dick” Shelly, 76, of Mechanicsburg, received the prestigious State Forest Trails Award at the recent annual meeting of the Keystone Trails Association at Doubling Gap Center, Newville. He earned the award by hiking all 798 miles of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry’s 18 state forest hiking trails. The award is a collaboration between the...

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New Earl Shaffer biography published by Appalachian Trail Museum

Appalachian Trail legend Earl Shaffer is the subject of a new biography, “A Grip on the Mane of Life,” by thru-hiker David Donaldson and Maurice J. Forrester, a long-time activist in the Pennsylvania hiking community. Shaffer, a native of York, became the first person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in a single season in 1948. His feat was featured the...

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Grand History Trail would connect Pennsylvania, Maryland and D.C. Will it ever exist?

The goal is a biking and hiking trail that would take you to major cities in the Mid-Atlantic and allow you to explore more than 250 years of American history. You could ride through York and see the reconstructed Colonial Court House, where the Continental Congress met and adopted the Articles of Confederation. You could meander through the Gettysburg battlefield, the...

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Drilling in Pennsylvania has damaged the water supply 209 times in last seven years

Whether or not you think that’s alright depends on your perspective. According to Patrick Creighton, those numbers are pretty good – so many oil and natural gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania in the past seven years that 209 problem wells is a mere 1 percent of the total. But Creighton happens to be the spokesperson for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a trade...

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Appalachian Trail Museum aims to expand displays

Joe Harold may have just begun serving as director of the Appalachian Trail Museum, but he’s already leading plans to triple its size. The museum, which opened in 2010 in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania just off of the trail, is perhaps best described as quaint — big on ambiance from wooden paneling, a new grass-covered wheelchair ramp, and scenic views, but...

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Four Of 10 Fracked Wells In Pennsylvania Are Projected To Fail, Spewing Methane Into Air And Water

About 40 percent of the oil and gas wells in parts of the Marcellus shale region will probably be leaking methane into the groundwater or into the atmosphere, concludes a Cornell-led research team that examined the records of more than 41,000 such wells in Pennsylvania. In research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers...

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Appalachian Trail names Delaware Water Gap a best friend

Delaware Water Gap, PA made official June 28,2014 an identity embraced for decades by its citizens and the Appalachian Trail hikers they welcome. The borough was named an Appalachian Trail Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservacy, which has designated about 35 towns so far for their proximity to the trail and support for it. Delaware Water Gap is the fourth AT...

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Group of 13 hiking/biking trails will link Allegheny Ridge, Allegheny River

Rails-to-trails advocates have announced the formal launch of the Trans Allegheny Trails network. “The Trans Allegheny Trails are 13 trails that stretch from the Allegheny Ridge to the Allegheny River,” said Laura Hawkins, a greenway coordinator with the Allegheny Ridge Corp., which is working to promote the recreational, historical and economic assets along the...

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Duncannon Appalachian Trail community to host annual trail festival

Through hikers, weekend warriors and Duncannon, PA residents alike will show their support for the United States’ first national trail when they gather for Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community’s third annual festival on June 21, 2014. The celebration, originally called the Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Festival, got its start when Duncannon was...

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Waynesboro, PA designated an Appalachian Trail Community

In 2013, the greater Waynesboro area was recognized by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy as an official Appalachian Trail Community. Waynesboro has joined Boiling Springs and Duncannon as Appalachian Trail Communities in Pennsylvania. On April 26, 2014 a Saturday, representatives from the Borough of Waynesboro, Washington Township, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and...

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Appalachian Trail Conservancy Launches ‘Third Thursdays’ in Pennsylvania Trail Communities

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) invites you to step out onto the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) this spring, summer and fall during “Third Thursdays,” a series of free, public events in the Central Pennsylvania region. Events begin in April and run through October with a different event each month. “With a focus on art, music, community and volunteer stewardship, Third...

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Long-awaited Trolley Trail project inching closer

Fourteen years after a Pennsylvania nonprofit embarked on its community trail project, work on the first multimile stretch appears to be on the horizon. The Countryside Conservancy received bids from 10 contractors to build the first phase of the 14-mile Trolley Trail. The 3-mile, mostly crushed-gravel path will run from South Turnpike Road in Dalton, PA to Old State...

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Conservancy set to start work in 2014 on community trail

Nearly two decades after its founders devised the project, a nonprofit is moving forward with plans to build a 14-mile trail that snakes through the Abingtons in Pennsylvania. The Countryside Conservancy will put the first phase of its Trolley Trail project out to bid in the coming weeks, with construction on the 3-mile stretch planned for the spring, Executive Director...

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Big Valley Vista perfect hike for Thanksgiving

Central Pennsylvania is blessed with many natural wonders and a great network of trails for exploring those special wild places. If you want to see such a place and burn off a few Thanksgiving calories, then the hike to Big Valley Vista is perfect for you. Accessible only from the westbound lanes of U.S. Route 322 as it crests the Seven Mountains region, the Seven...

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Hiking through Pennsylvania’s fall splendor

Any trail at the right point in autumn will lead to some spectacular fall foliage, but some offer something extra that enhances the hiking and leaf-peeping experience. Here are 10 of those trails. The Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park near Benton has plenty of difficult spots along its 7.2 miles, including some gorge wall-hugging, steep sets of steps, but it also...

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Appalachian Trail Conservancy Celebrates 3rd Annual Family Hiking Day

On Saturday, September 28 at 4 East First Street, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), invites families to venture out on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for the 3rd Annual Family Hiking Day. Held on National Public Lands Day, Family Hiking Day is an initiative developed by the ATC to introduce families to the A.T. and the benefits that...

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Breaking the cycle of poverty starts on the Appalachian Trail

Cierra Schell, an incoming junior at Philadelphia’s High School of the Future, finished her ninth day of backpacking limping down the Appalachian Trail. She was in misery but so proud of it. “This is ridiculous,” she said. “I feel dirty. My feet got blisters all over. But it was worth it. I reached my breaking point yesterday. I fell. I...

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Plan would eventually link Chambersburg Rail Trail, Appalachian Trail

Talks are under way for the first phase of an 18-mile trail connecting the Chambersburg Rail Trail at Wilson College to the Appalachian Trail in Caledonia State Park, Pennsylvania. The six-mile section of the Conococheague Trailway would cross the campus of the former Scotland School for Veterans’ Children and the Chambersburg Country Club. The first phase of the...

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‘Prowl the Sproul’ State Forest Hiking Activities Set for July 19-21

Hikers and other visitors are invited to sample the rugged beauty of the Sproul State Forest in Pennsylvania when the three-day “Prowl the Sproul” series of hikes begins on Friday, July 19. Marking its 10th year, the increasingly popular hiking program links forest visitors with guides from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (DCNR)...

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Group of teachers, coaches take hiking challenge

Hiking 34 miles in steamy, hot temperatures probably isn’t what most schoolteachers dream about doing on their summer vacation. For five Hampton School District teachers and coaches, though, it was their idea of a “challenge.” The group got together June 22 for the 17th annual Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy Challenge – a 34-mile hike between...

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Conewago trail hike includes wetlands, farmland, forest

Visitors to Conewago Recreational Trail in Central Pennsylvania can look forward to lungs full of fresh air and olfactory nerves tickled by trailside bunches of honeysuckle while they exercise. The county’s first of four rail-trails — trails built over abandoned railways — begins at its largest parking area off Route 230 in Elizabethtown and continues along...

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Hiking can be just the ticket to cure what ails us

Medications are a regular part of daily living for many people. But there’s something to be said for time spent walking and hiking in the fresh air, surrounded by the wisdom and kind way of trees, as a prescription for what ails us. Saturday, June 1, is National Trails Day, and next week is Pennsylvania Hiking Week, so it’s worth stepping into the footfalls...

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