Pennsylvania spotlights its hiking trails May 11-19

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – The first Pennsylvania Hiking Trails Week will run May 11 through May 19.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has teamed with the Keystone Trails Association to offer more than 100 organized hikes and walks available throughout Pennsylvania during the nine-day event.

A 5-mile kickoff hike begins at 10 a.m. May 11, at DCNR’s Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area in Dauphin County.

All of the scheduled hikes have leaders. Most hikes are on the two weekends of the event, but several weekday and evening hikes also are offered.

Special hikes include: a “Birds and Boats” program at Delaware Canal State Park in Bucks County; a Mother’s Day wildflower walk in Rothrock State Forest in Huntingdon County; hikes for people with disabilities at French Creek State Park in Berks County; lunchtime nature walks in downtown Pittsburgh; and a two-day scavenger hunt hike along the Laurel Highlands Trail in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Most hikes will take place in state parks and state forests, with a few hikes scheduled on the Appalachian Trail, in Allegheny National Forest and in city and community parks.

Volunteer efforts. Most of Pennsylvania’s hiking trails have been built and are maintained by hundreds of volunteers. In 1999 alone, volunteers from Keystone Trails Association member clubs devoted more than 42,300 hours to maintaining trails.

The association’s hiking guide, Pennsylvania Hiking Trails, describes more than 3,000 miles of trails in Pennsylvania. Many other publications, including the 50 Hikes series, list hiking opportunities and give full information about trails and directions for getting there. Both are available at local libraries, outing stores or booksellers.

For a complete list of hikes, visit www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword: “hiking,” visit KTA’s Web site at www.kta-hike.org, or call 717-772-9101.

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