The following is a list of hiking clubs that help maintain, manage, promote, protect and preserve hiking trails throughout the central Pennsylvania region. By joining any of these groups you will gain a greater understanding of the effort and discipline required to create and maintain the trails which are so beneficial to our region.
I’ve finally solved the riddle of the Mystery Grape. The mystery started when I found a spherical translucent speckled green grape-like “fruit” lying in the middle of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. Native Pennsylvania grapes are not green and there weren’t any visible grapevines in the area. So what did I find?
I literally delved deeper into the mystery by ripping open the green sphere to reveal an even more mysterious center mass resembling a white sea urchin. The central mass had tendrils which reached out through hollow space and clung to the bright green soft outer shell. It looked alien, like something from a science fiction movie that, if left unchecked, would grow into a pod-person.Continue reading
The small town of Duncannon, PA has been chosen to become an official Appalachian Trail Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy which is the national not-for-profit corporation in charge of managing, protecting and maintaining the Appalachian Trail. This official designation is mutually beneficial to Duncannon and the A.T. Conservancy. Duncannon gets promoted on a national level as a scenic nature-oriented town while the AT Conservancy gains a community of people willing to help promote and preserve the A.T. and surrounding local natural resources.
Duncannon will be having a festival on June 2nd, 2012 to celebrate its new status as an official Trail Community. In the morning there will be river trips, hikes and nature walks and Continue reading
I had a very interesting hike along the Peters Mountain Loop Trail today. My first surprise was that I found yet another Mystery Grape at the fifth switchback on the north-bound Appalachian Trail above the Shermans Peek Vista. This one was browning but still had the telltale speckles and urchin-like center.
The second surprise was much more dangerous. Continue reading
I found this green speckled fruit, which looks a lot like a grape, while hiking the Appalachian Trail near the Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area. It was in the middle of a wide section of the trail where its bright translucent green color stood out from rocks and dirt so clearly that it was nearly impossible to miss. I snapped a quick picture thinking I could easily identify it when I got home but Google was of little use. Continue reading
I am currently on my fourth pair of Keen shoes. I’ve worn out the soles of three different styles of Keen shoes in seven months. I hike an average of about two miles a day which means each pair of Keen shoes has lasted approximately 120 miles when you deduct all of the time spent without hiking shoes due to their replacements being in transit via postal service.
Here is a timeline with photos showing the various defects: Continue reading
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