Well, “Spring Around The Trail” is off to a pretty good start. The weather is cooperating for the most part, and several sections have been either checked and/or cleared.
I realize section numbers do not mean much to the average reader, but it is our system of sectioning off the Susquehannock Trail System, and how we assign volunteer maintainers to each section. These sections range in length from a little over a mile to the 10-mile Hammersley stretch (and at present even that is divided into two five-mile sections).
So the longest now is the stretch from Short Run Road to Ole Bull State Park, at 7.13 miles. These sections usually run road-to-road. For example, Section-1 is from the register box at the Denton Hill trailhead to Thompson Hollow Road, at 2.79 miles. And the last section, No. 21, is from Sunken Branch Road back to the register box at Mile-0., for a 4.37 mile hike.
Our volunteer maintainers come from such diverse places as Jonestown, York, Altoona, Lebanon, Wellsboro, Galeton, Gold, Cross Fork, Shinglehouse, Coudersport — all in Pennsylvania, along with Wellsville, N.Y. And some not only take care of their section but take time to help out with other sections as well.
This works out well when there’s the inevitable illness, accident, etc. Also, some sections may be shorter and easier, while others are longer and more of a challenge.
Besides, we, along with most organizations, have an aging membership. So it’s a bright spot when some youngster comes along and has the notion to join the trail crews, or even become a maintainer. As for “youngster,” anyone under 70 qualifies for that.
And what a job it is. The rewards are all the fresh air and vitamin D you can use, along with meeting some great people, lots of healthy exercise (free, no gym fees), hours are flexible, get to see some of the PA Wilds critters, never a fear of layoffs, and you can quit and even rehire anytime you like, with no penalties.
Of course, the chainsaw is our go-to tool, but if you don’t run one of those, but can handle a pruning saw, weed whacker, loppers, paint brush, you’re in! We even have openings for carpenters, engineers, photographers, even storytellers.
I know, I digress some here but things went quite well through this past troublesome year, and we expect things to only improve considerably this year. So, stay safe and happy trails.