September Trail Work Report

by wam_chapter on September 19, 2017


Snake Run Rd. East Courtesy of Lou Morrison and his new weed whacker.

Our volunteers spent the month maintaining and improving our existing pathway, with building new trail, and did a couple of sign installations along the way.  Preparing the trail for the fall backpacking trip in Lawrence county and the upcoming Health Hike in Beaver county involved our group work sessions which focused on mowing, weed whacking, pruning, refreshing paint blazing, and clearing trees all along our trail range.  Our individual Trail Maintainers did an outstanding job of getting out and making sure that their sections are in tip top shape for our hikers!  It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain our forty miles of trail and everyone’s help is appreciated.  A ‘shout out’ to these people who reported in that they had been out working on their sections of trail:  Lou Morrison, Doug Lawrence, Kathy Rea, Mike Troy, Jane Emminger, Rick and Sher Eiler, Candy Sprecker, and Tina Harkins.

The Wampum Chapter North Country Trail story board sign was installed at the Hell’s Hollow parking area at McConnell’s Mill State Park two weeks ago, and new trail navigation signing was put into place below Booth Hill at Game Lands 285 on Sunday the 17th

The BIG project for the month, which falls under the purview of another report, was the installation of the ADA Wheelchair Accessible spur trail at Watt’s Mill.  Suffice it to say in this report that the response of the Wampum Chapter volunteers was tremendous,  involving many different people with many different talents and skills to contribute, giving much of their time and energy to make this project move along successfully.  It’s quite a beautiful addition to the recreational potential for the entire Watt’s Mill area and for Beaver County.

JoEllen Sokoloski and Tina Harkins rolled, carried, and lugged a fire ring to the new shelter at Wampum Underground and with that addition all that’s left to do there in the short term is to carry in and install the picnic table, shelving and a hiker box for inside the shelter, add some signing and logos, and finish off the ‘tree stump table.’

Other projects to work towards getting completed before the snow flies this year include repainting all of our road walk paint blazing, dealing with trailhead parking area signing at Mines and Meadows, and any further work that needs to be done on the ADA trail at Watt’s Mill.  We always have sidehill to repair and short reroutes to work on, so our calendar is always full.

Thanks again to everyone for their hard work and support  over the past month.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Chapter Event Trailer Acquired and Outfitted

by wam_chapter on September 15, 2017

The Wampum Chapter’s Master Designer and Craftsman Dave Wright installed the Event Trailer shelving Monday afternoon and loaded most of our event supplies and equipment. Still plenty of room for our carving benches and anything else we need to haul to spread the word about the North Country Trail.

He has had the trailer officially inspected, properly licensed, acquired locks and keys – we are ready to roll to the McConnell’s Mill Heritage Festival on Sept. 23rd & 24th., to Beaver Creek State Park in October, and beyond!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

ADA Trail At Watt’s Mill

by wam_chapter on September 2, 2017

It began about a year and a half ago, during a conversation between Wampum Chapter President Dennis Garrett and a local governmental official, when the official tossed in an offhand comment.  “You know,” he said, “this county doesn’t really have a lot of recreational facilities for people who are mobility impaired.  I’m talking about people who are in wheelchairs or need a walker or special assistance to get around.  They really have a limited ability to get out and enjoy the beautiful woods in this area.”  This comment set Dennis to thinking about the possibilities of creating something like this as one of his passions is working with organizations in the community that serve disabled clients.


Many questions arose from that conversation, including:  Would the volunteers of the Wampum Chapter like to be involved in creating this kind of facility/trail?  Where should it be located?  What are the requirements for percentage grades on a wheelchair accessible trail?  Surface material?  Widths an clearances?  Parking areas?  Would there be funding available from the county to build an ADA certified trail?  Can the chapter obtain grants or donations to defray the costs?  Do we need to involve the PA Game Commission or any other of our landowners in the planning process?  Are there construction permits required?  Many questions all of which were answered over the course of a year and a half, scouting locations and routes, and consulting with the experts who donated their time.

This August the volunteers of the Wampum Chapter constructed a 200 yard wheelchair accessible spur trail along the North Fork of Little Beaver Creek at Watt’s Mill in Beaver county, PA on property is owned by Dennis Garrett and his wife Cathy.  The fine limestone-surfaced ADA trail parallels the route of the North Country National Scenic Trail and provides beautiful views of the creek and woods in this area, opening up outdoor recreational opportunities for our community’s mobility impaired citizens.

The ADA Trail at Watt’s Mill wouldn’t have come to fruition without the contributions and donations of the following individuals:

First and foremost are landowners Dennis and Cathy Garrett.  Dennis was the conceiver of the idea and project manager in completing this trail.  Also contributing were Landscape Architect and Trail Designer extraordinaire John Buerkle. 80,000 lbs. of limestone was donated by East Fairfield Coal, North Lima, OH,  and trucking of the limestone was donated by Kim Parrott of Bessemer Concrete, Petersburg, OH. Excavation was donated by Joe Demuzio of Joe Demuzio Developers, Beaver Falls, PA.  Amerikohl Mining of Wampum donated material, and United Rentals of Columbiana, OH donated the use of a brand new, out-of-the box roller for a weekend. 


The next phase of this project will involve extending the trail down the creek towards the historic Watt’s Mill bridge and installation of benches, tables, and interpretive signing.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

New Trailhead Signing at Hell’s Hollow

by wam_chapter on September 1, 2017

The first of 4 informational sign boards was installed at the Hells Hollow trail head at McConnell’s Mill State Park this afternoon. This sign board was designed by Tracy Hager and the frame was built by Dave Wright, both Wampum Chapter members. The sign board was made by Signs by Sam of Ellwood City.

Park Manager Dustin Drew of Moraine/McConnell’s Mill State Parks, assisted in the installation with Wampum Chapter members Joe Hardisky, Dave Wright & Dennis Garrett.


{ Comments on this entry are closed }

2017 Volunteers In Parks Awards

August 29, 2017

The North Country Trail Association, based out of Lowell, MI, with a very small paid staff of full and part time employees. a miniscule budget, and the support of only three National Park Service employees, administers the 4,600+ miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail.  This being the situation, the trail relies primarily on the efforts of [...]

Read the full article →

Distinguished Service Award 2017

August 29, 2017
Read the full article →

August 2017 Trail Work Report

August 21, 2017

This month the big story continues to be the efforts of our individual Trail Maintainers, out working hard to keep our sections of trail in good hiking shape.  They’re pushing through the heat and humidity, the spider webs, and the summer bugs with the DR mower, weed whackers, and loppers and the trail has never [...]

Read the full article →

Dennis Garrett Receives the NCTA’s 2017 Leadership Award

August 6, 2017

Congratulations to Dennis Garrett, Wampum Chapter President and North Country Trail Association Board Member for receiving the 2017 Leadership Award from the North Country Trail Association at the annual Celebration held in Marquette. From the award presentation: “The Wampum Chapter’s Dennis Garrett is an excellent leader. Although he first learned of the Trail as a [...]

Read the full article →

Work On The ADA Trail At Watt’s Mill Underway!

July 23, 2017

Work has commenced on the ADA Trail at Watt’s Mill! Thanks to Joe Demuzio (who’s is donating his time and equipment) the past week saw great progress on the Wampum Chapter’s long-planned project to make this historic area along the North Fork of Little Beaver Creek accessible for our mobility-impaired citizens. Plenty of thanks to [...]

Read the full article →

Wampum Chapter June Trail Work Report

June 20, 2017

June is always a busy, heavy-duty trail maintaining month on the North Country Trail in Wampum territory and our individual maintainers and trail crew have put much time into keeping our pathway clear of weeds, high grass, and blowdowns.  Everyone involved has done a great job of keeping our trail sections in good shape for [...]

Read the full article →