HARRISBURG, Pa., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Hikers will be picking their pace and path through Pennsylvania’s bountiful outdoors when Hiking Week 2012 steps off Saturday, May 26, offering participants a variety of organized hikes across the state.
“Thanks to the cooperative efforts of the co-sponsoring Keystone Trails Association and our bureaus of state parks and forestry, a wealth of healthy hiking activities again is being offered to all ages and abilities,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan.
“For 11 years now, this event has become increasingly popular as we reach out to the uninitiated and offer a wide variety of highly organized hikes,” said Allan. “The ‘welcome mat’ is out to novices and trail-hardened veterans alike, inviting them to hike in our state parks, forests and municipal greenways in this annual salute to healthy exercise and the serenity of those very special outdoors places.”
The nine-day Hiking Week concludes Sunday, June 3, and encompasses National Trails Day on June 2. The co-sponsoring trails association and DCNR have been encouraging suggestions on new hikes that could be added to this year’s schedule at www.ExplorePAtrails.com.
“We welcome all non-hikers to join us for a hike,” said Curt Ashenfelter, executive director of the Keystone Trails Association. “Guided hikes offer a great opportunity for non-hikers to learn the skills necessary for a safe day outdoors. Call the hike leader to confirm that you have picked a hike that is right for you — whether that is steep or flat, long or short.
“Also, ask for advice on appropriate footwear, clothing, food and drink and then enjoy your healthy lifestyle choice while you explore one of Pennsylvania’s many beautiful, secret spots!”
Special events planned by DCNR and the Keystone Trails Association will take place in parks, forests, cities and towns across the state. All of the scheduled hikes have leaders and include a variety of lengths and terrain — from easy strolls along urban greenways to strenuous treks in some of Pennsylvania’s rugged mountain areas. Special hikes include night hikes; wildflower walks; hikes for people with disabilities; and pet and geology walks.
A goal of more than 100 hikes has been set, with state forests and parks across the state being asked to schedule and oversee activities.
Organized in 1956, KTA is a 1,306-member umbrella organization made up of 44 hiking and outdoors organizations in and around Pennsylvania.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources