Take a guided walk in Penn’s Woods on October 7
If you’re looking to get outdoors this weekend and explore the beauty of the Pennsylvania Wilds, consider a “Walk in Penn’s Woods” on Sunday, October 7. Knowledgeable guides will be leading a number of guided walks across the Commonwealth that day, and you’re invited!
Pennsylvania’s woodlands are taking on a whole new aesthetic as autumn sets in and leaves begin to turn hues of red, orange and yellow.
The Center for Private Forests at Penn State and partners help manage the annual Walk in Penn’s Woods as a way to celebrate nature’s beauty and help people learn about Pennsylvania’s forests.
“Penn’s Woods is one of the state’s prized Crown Jewels. Not only does it provide a spectacular and valuable regenerating timber resource, but it provides incalculable value as a water resource, pollution filter, carbon store, wildlife habitat and biodiversity reserve, urban refuge, and a priceless source of recreational and aesthetic enjoyment,” says the Center’s website.
Check out the following walks taking place throughout the Pennsylvania Wilds!
Centre County: Ott Woods
Description of Walk – This strenuous walk starts at 12 p.m. and will last about 2 hours. Participants will walk uphill to the ridge top Golden Wing Warbler habitat treatment area. Forest types, crop tree release treatment area, and nest box installations will be discussed along the journey. Rough terrain, including stream-crossings and log-jumping, are expected, as well as a steep half-hour walk to the ridge top. Wheelchairs and strollers may take a self-guided tour up the dirt/gravel township road to a dead end and back. Distance is about half a mile. No pets permitted on either walk. Walk Address – 748 Gravel Point Road, Howard, PA 16841
Clarion County – Rail 66 Country Trail
Walk Description – This easy walk starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Join Lee Swoger, DCNR Forester, for a hike on the newly-paved Rail 66 Country Trail. Participants should meet at the parking area located at the intersection of Route 322 and Willow Lane, and will hike the trail up to the intersection with Route 66 before returning. Friendly pets on leashes are permitted to join participants on this easy 4-mile walk. Participants must clean up after pets. This is a wheelchair and stroller friendly path. Event hosted by the Woodland Owners of Clarion-Allegheny Valley. Walk Address & GPS Coordinates – RT. 322 and Willow Lane – 41.237133, – 79.417480
Lycoming County – Penn College Earth Science Center Property
Walk Description – This walk starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. Participants will explore the Penn College Earth Science Center Property, which has hiking trails and areas for people of all ages to explore. There are 4 trails on the property, in addition to a recreation field and a 2.5-acre pond. Most of the trails are somewhat mountainous and consist of gravel paths closed to motor vehicles. Those attending will have opportunities to enjoy various paths. People-friendly pets on leashes are allowed; however, participants must clean up after their pets. There are trails which are wheelchair and stroller accessible. Walk Address – 203 Allenwood Camp Lane, Montgomery PA 17752
Elk County – Finley Tree Farm
Description of Walk – This easy, one-hour walk starts at 3 p.m. Tour the Finley Tree Farm and learn about oak regeneration and beech control. While easy, this walk will not be on a groomed trail. People-friendly pets on leashes are permitted; however, participants must clean up after their pets. This walk is not wheelchair or stroller friendly. Walk Address – 12099 Rt. 219, Ridgway 15853
Clinton County – Sproul State Forest
Walk Description – This moderate, 4.7-mile loop walk starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. Participants will start at the Hyner Run State Park parking area and will begin on the Long Fork Loop in Sproul State Forest, which features an old CCC camp along an old logging road. Participants will see a recent regeneration cut, an old shallow well, and a beautiful view from a vista overlooking Hyner Run Valley. People-friendly pets on leashes are allowed; participants must clean up after their pets. This is not a wheelchair or stroller friendly walk. Walk GPS Coordinates – 41 deg. 21′ 40.44″N & 77 deg. 37′ 32.31″W
Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds
Forest County – Summit Trail & Tionesta Lake
Description of Walk – This two-hour walk starts at 2 p.m. Participants will spend an afternoon in the woods, learning about tree identification. The hike will take place along Summit Trail, which is located beside Tionesta Lake. Walk Address – 477 Spillway Road, Tionesta, PA 16353
Forest County – Cook Trail
Description of Walk – This 2.5-mile easy-to-moderate hike starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The Cook Trail in Cook Forest State Park is a newly-renovated interpretive trail with education signage posted at certain points. There are some slight hills, as well as dirt terrain with rocks and roots. This walk is not wheelchair or stroller friendly. Event hosted by the Friends of Cook Forest. Walk Address & GPS Coordinates – River Road at Henry’s Run Road by River Cabins and Playground – Cook Forest State Park, 41.32778, – 79.19302
Warren County – Farmland to Forestland Conversion
Description of Walk – This one-mile walk starts at the barn at 2 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The conversion of farmland to forestland walk will help participants understand what historical and recent landowner activities have led to what is seen today. The walk will also include tree identification and discussion of future management options, as well the impact that deer have on forests. Other topics to be touched on include use of herbicides to control beech, birch, ferns; invasive plants; and examples of equipment used. This is an easy-to-moderate walk on mowed and gravel trails. People-friendly pets on leashes are allowed; however, participants must clean up after their pets. Walk GPS Coordinates & Address – Lat. 41.7156, Long. 79.5621, 700-1948 Chappel Hill Road, Grand Valley, PA, At the end of Chappel Hill Road (dead end road), about 1 mile from Route 27 near Grand Valley, Eldred Township, Warren County, PA. A bridge on Chappel Hill Road was recently closed. There is a short detour on Eldred Center and Flat Roads through the village of Grand Valley. Follow the detour signs.
Potter County – PA Lumber Museum
Walk Description – This walk starts at the PA Lumber Museum at 1 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The program will be led by DCNR Service Forester Eric Monger. Walk Address – 5660 Rt. 6 , Ulysses, PA
Pine Creek Valley & the PA Grand Canyon
Tioga County – Tioga County State Game Lands #37
Walk Description – This walk starts at 2:30 p.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. Held on State Game Lands #37, participants will be able to take a nice hike in the woods and explore a variety of natural resource topics including: game food plots, state and regional hiking trails, timber harvesting, wildlife, and general forest management principles. Participants are free to come and go as they please. Walk Address & GPS Coordinates – GL37, Parking lot address is 2407 Carpenter Road, Wellsboro, PA 16901. GPS – 41’49’29.13″N, 77’11’33.19″W
Although this article outlines the walks taking place in the PA Wilds, plenty more are happening throughout the state. Be sure to learn more about walks near you at www.walkinpennswoods.org.