HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania ??вЂќ The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Keystone Trails Association (KTA) are giving Pennsylvanians 83 ways to “take a hike” during Pennsylvania Hiking Week, May 28-June 5.
Festivities during the fourth annual Pennsylvania Hiking Week will take place in parks, forests, cities and towns across the commonwealth. Hiking Week coincides with National Trails Day, which is Saturday, June 4.
“If you are looking to take a leisurely stroll, learn something new or participate in a strenuous mountain excursion into remote woodlands, there’s something for everyone during Hiking Week,” DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. “The start of the summer season is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the many different types of trails that Pennsylvania has to offer.”
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. Hikes include a variety of lengths and difficulty — from easy strolls to strenuous day hikes. Some of the different hikes are:
- night hikes looking for nocturnal creatures;
- history and interpretive walks led by local specialists;
- hikes to spectacular vistas or through wildflowers and other scenic settings;
- hikes whose purpose is trail maintenance by volunteers; and
- an accessible hike for people with disabilities in southeastern Pennsylvania.
“This is the perfect way for us to showcase the thousands of miles of trails available in Pennsylvania — from backpack trails in the remote areas of our forests to short loop trails in our suburban parks,” Secretary DiBerardinis said.
Most hikes will take place in state parks and state forests, with a few hikes scheduled on the Appalachian Trail, in city and community parks.
Most of Pennsylvania’s hiking trails have been built and are maintained by hundreds of volunteers. Working in cooperation with DCNR field personnel, these dedicated volunteers — most coming from KTA membership organizations — have created an extensive network of trails throughout the Commonwealth.
“Hiking is for everyone – young and old, families and children – all you need is a pair of sturdy shoes, some water and a snack, and you’re on your way,” said KTA President Hugh Downing. “It’s quiet, non-polluting, inexpensive and a great way to spend some time with family or friends.”
Organized in 1956, KTA is an umbrella organization consisting of almost 60 hiking and outdoor organizations in and around Pennsylvania, representing some 1,400 members. For more information on KTA visit www.kta-hike.org.
For a complete list of hikes, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/info/hikingweek.