September 24, 2008

Pennsylvania DCNR Presents Trail Challenge Award to Hikers From Lehigh, Lycoming Counties


Contact: Terry Brady of PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, +1-717-772-9101

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Their quest to traverse all 18 major state forest trails and complete a 780- mile trek has earned two Pennsylvania residents recognition from a statewide hiking organization and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Bureau of Forestry.

William S. Geiger of Allentown, Lehigh County, and John Potter of Montoursville, Lycoming County, are the 2008 recipients of the State Forest Trails Award.

DCNR and the Keystone Trails Association first unveiled the honor, earned by hiking all 780 miles of the 18 state forest hiking trails, six years ago. The hikers will be honored Saturday evening at the association's annual fall meeting at the Pocono Environmental Education Center Resort, near Dingmans Ferry in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Geiger and Potter each will receive a certificate, patch and ceremonial wooden walking stick at KTA's annual meeting.

"There is a dual reason why we teamed up with the trails association to present this coveted award," said DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis. "By honoring these major hiking achievements, we also draw attention to the vast wealth of hiking opportunities in this state."

The award recognizes anyone hiking all of Pennsylvania's 18 state forest hiking trails, totaling 780 miles. There is no required sequence, direction, speed or length of time to complete the system.

"These two blazed a trail that others want to follow, and their accomplishments merit a strong salute from fellow hikers and DCNR," said DiBerardinis. "Some forest trails may be too challenging for some hikers, but sections of others can serve as portals to healthy days afield and new adventures outdoors."

The 18 trails generally are longer and more rugged than other hiking opportunities offered in Pennsylvania's state forests and parks. Most of the trails were formerly part of the local trail networks, logging roads, tram railways and carriage paths. Many sections are designated for hiking use only and each trail has its own map or guidebook.

Most of the trails are maintained by volunteer hiking groups, such as the KTA and affiliated clubs, with support from DCNR's Bureau of Forestry. The 18 trails making up the state forest hiking trail system are:

* Baker Trail, one mile in Kittanning State Forest, Clarion County;

* Black Forest Trail, 42 miles in Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming County;

* Bucktail Path, 34 miles in Elk State Forest, Elk County;

* Chuck Keiper Trail, 50 miles in Sproul State Forest, Clinton County;

* Donut Hole Trail, 90 miles in Sproul State Forest, Clinton County;

* Golden Eagle Trail, nine miles in Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming County;

* John P. Saylor Memorial Trail, 18 miles in Gallitzin State Forest, Somerset County;

* Lost Turkey Trail, nine miles in Gallitzin State Forest, Somerset County;

* Loyalsock Trail, 48 miles in Tiadaghton and Loyalsock State Forests, Lycoming and Sullivan counties;

* Mid State Trail, 173 miles in Buchanan, Rothrock, Bald Eagle, Tiadaghton and Tioga state forests through central Pennsylvania;

* Old Loggers Path, 27 miles in Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County;

* Pinchot Trail, 23 miles in Lackawanna State Forest, Luzerne County;

* Quehanna Trail, 75 miles in Moshannon and Elk state forests in Cameron, Clearfield and Elk counties;

* Rocky Knob Trail, four miles in Michaux State Forest, Cumberland and Adams counties;

* Susquehannock Trail, 83 miles in Susquehannock State Forest, Potter County;

* Thunder Swamp Trail, 26 miles in Delaware State Forest, Pike County;

* Tuscarora Trail, 38 miles in Buchanan and Tuscarora state forests, Franklin, Fulton, Cumberland and Perry counties; and

* West Rim Trail, 30 miles in Tioga State Forest, Tioga County.

For more information on recreation in state forest lands, hikers can visit "Forestry," then "Recreation"). For more information about the award, contact Matt Beaver at (717) 783-7941.

CONTACT:Terry Brady

(717) 772-9101

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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