STC News by Bill Boyd

Susquehannock Trail Club

Sitting here this morning of July 5, I’m hoping for at least a little break in the weather for the Galeton parade tomorrow. And of course all the other festivities.

I do hear that these parades rarely get cancelled — maybe delayed sometimes, so I imagine we’ll start lining up around 10 am as usual and just hope for the best. The fire departments spend a lot of time cleaning and polishing their equipment, then there are the open floats and all the marchers.

We tow our tool-trailer (traveling billboard) and usually have a few “hikers” trailing along. Joe Allis did a real nice job of putting the decals on the trailer — “Susquehannock Trail Club” and “On Foot In Potter County,” along with our website. If you are following us on the highway, you’ll see “Take A Hike On the STS.”

The trail club has been at this now for more than 50 years, and it just keeps getting better, both the club and the trail. There are now around 300 members from at least a half-dozen states and Canada.

The STS is almost entirely on Susquehannock State Forest lands, and it’s about a full-time job keeping it in decent condition. I wonder if the folks in Potter County realize what a treasure they have right here in their backyard, the 264,000 acre Susquehannock State Forest?

This forest is professionally managed for sustainable growth of timber and it is said to produce some of the finest black cherry timber in the world. That is quite notable.

And the recreation as far as hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, birding, whatever, is nearly unlimited. There are few rules, and countless trails to explore.

Sadly some trails are not maintained — they are on the map, and still many of them can be found and followed using good “woods-sense,” maybe a compass and GPS work.

If all else fails and you think you are “lost,” simply follow a stream or trail downhill and you’ll shortly come to civilization.

I would suggest that you not try to find a high spot so you can get phone signal, and wait for someone to rescue you. In the time that would take, you can simply walk out. Potter County is a pretty hard place to actually get lost.

So even if hiking a well-established trail like the STS, I would suggest you carry the guide-book and maps. Occasionally there may be a confusing turn not well marked, so the book and maps will keep you on the right track.

And there are a few short road walks where you’ll have to look for blazes on telephone poles or maybe guide rails, and the book will simplify that for you.

Bill Boyd is a member of the Susquehannock Trail Club. He can be reached at billboydsts@gmail.com.