Forestry bureau implements fall 'Take a Hike' program as foliage creeps into Laurel Highlands
Forbes State Forest spans 50,000 acres across three counties. With so much space it can be difficult to know where to go and what to see. It is with this in mind that the DCNR Bureau of Forestry has devised its “Take a Hike” program, which provides a guided introduction to the outdoor recreational resources available throughout the park.
Environmental Education Specialist Rachel Christina has presented free Saturday excursions, which began in early September and will continue on into October. Christina was given the task to come up with public programs to increase visitation to the forest and state parks in the area.
“We have all of these recreational opportunities up here, I figured why not utilize that and implement outdoor recreational programs focusing on hiking, backpacking, trails and incorporating all of that together,” Christina explained.
The first program in the series involved a short walk to Spruce Flats Bog to learn about the ecosystem. Christina noted that it is a unique geographic feature, because most bogs are found in low-lying areas, whereas Spruce Flats Bog is on top of Laurel Mountain.
On other weekends, Christina offered an introduction into day hiking, walking trails such as Laurel Summit and providing a show-and-tell about the necessary equipment for day hiking. These materials include water, rain gear, a medical kit, knife, matches, rope, a light and a map. As well as these tools, Christina said one of the most important things to do before going on a hike is to let someone know where you will be and when.
“It doesn't matter if are going on a trail you have been on a million times, always tell someone where you are going and for how long you are going, because it's likely that you don't tell someone what is going on, something terrible is going to happen,” Christina commented.
In addition to these programs, Christina will conduct a fall foliage session on Oct. 12, presented by management forester Dave Planisek. The following week, an evening campfire program will be offered. Though meant primarily for beginning-level outdoor enthusiasts, Christina said the programs can be enjoyed by people at all skill and knowledge levels.
“What I want people to take away from the programs is a greater appreciation of the resources that I have shown them so that they can hopefully garner some kind of relationship with Forbes State Forest,” she said. “They will want to come back, they'll want to conserve it, and they will want to use this land. It is such a great resource that is so often overlooked.”
For more information on future “Take a Hike” programs, call 724-259-2201 or email email@example.com.
Peter Turcik is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ligonier Township planners begin review of revised ordinance
- Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center dedicates outdoor center
- Likely no tax hike for Ligonier Township
- Santa Claus is coming to Ligonier
- Laurel Valley’s Kids Korner provides clothing for families in need
- Renowned artist brings history home to Ligonier
- Ligonier merchants celebrate 40 years in business