The first KTA trail care weekend of the year in the State College Region of the Mid State Trail was held April 11 - 13, 2014 at Seven Mountains Boy Scout Camp. If the turn out was any indicator of things to come then we are in for a good year of Trail Cares and Crews. We had twenty volunteers signed in for the weekend. The weather could not have been any nicer and we did not even need to fire the wood stove Saturday night.
Friday evening Tom Bastion got a jump start on the rest of us by stopping at Hairy Johns Picnic Area and clearing a couple blow downs on the MST north of the park on his drive to the camp. We divided into four work crews for Saturday morning. The first crew headed down to brushcut, lop, and chainsaw the MST from Colerain Road south to the Tussey Mountain vista above the Little Juniata Natural Area. The Moshannon Sierra Club group will go back there in June to do some finish trimming and blaze painting. The second crew worked the MST north out of Penn Roosevelt SP brushcutting, lopping, and painting blazes. The third crew cleared blow downs and re-blazed the unsigned Maple Spring Trail which is a water access for the MST between Brewer Path and Tussey Trail north of the Colerain Road crossing. After finishing this they also did a sweep of the MST from Ewing Path to Tussey Trail clearing winter debris. The fourth crew met up at Cinder Pile Spring and replaced the sign on top of Winkelblech Mountain at the Sheesley Hollow -Winkelblech Trail junction of the MST. After this we headed over to Poe Valley to the section of the MST between the Little Poe fire road and Long Mountain near Boiling Spring to do some blowdown removal and lopping. Sunday morning saw us down to a still very respectable twelve volunteers so we split into three groups. The first group headed back to Penn Roosevelt to finish clearing to the Trico junction north of the park. The second group headed to Greens Valley to do some lopping and blaze painting (Thanks Donna, your check will be in the mail). The third group headed back to Poe Valley to do some brushcutting, lopping and blazing to clear the old fire lane that ascends Long Mountain from Boiling Spring southbound on the MST. We were finished and cleared out of the cabin by noon and hopefully the weather and turnout next year will both be as nice as this year. Thanks everyone.
In addition to all the regulars we were pleased to see several new faces this year: Samantha, Karla, Lizzie, and Wellis. Hopefully we will see all of them at future Trail Care and Crew events. We were also pleased to have David Taylor from Dover, PA step up to become an overseer for the Greens Valley section of the MST.
Jane Huston, Ernie Werstler and Catherine McLaughlin make replacing a Mid State Trail directional sign on top of Winkelblech Mountain, north of Hairy Johns picnic area, look deceptively easy. Not shown is how they had to break out and dig up a concrete "donut" at the base of the old post, courtesy of Tom Thwaites. The three volunteers were part of a motivated crew led by Kevin Busko during KTA's April Trail Care on the State College Region of the MST.