Recognition For Our Wampum Trail Maintainers

by wam_chapter on September 25, 2016

The Wampum Chapter is fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers who make their way out to our sections of the North Country National Scenic Trail and work to keep it in excellent shape for our hikers.  There are those who are regular attendees of the chapter’s organized trail work sessions and also individuals who’ve volunteered to go out on their own and maintain a section of trail.  Our volunteers dig and repair our sidehill trail, cut down the weeds and other trail overgrowth, fix our bridges, paint signs and blazes, and generally monitor the overall condition of our thirty-nine miles of pathway through Beaver and Lawrence counties.  Their contributions can’t be appreciated enough!

In recognition of our volunteers’ efforts the Wampum Chapter has developed a patch to award to the members of our maintaining crew.  Thank you to Tracy Hager who did the design work on this project – it looks great!

The paramount consideration in all that is done while out working on the North Country Trail is the safety of our volunteers.  With this in mind, the chapter has set one of the criteria for receiving this patch is the completion of the National Park Service’s Trail Safe ProgramTRAIL SAFE! is a unique safety training program designed specifically for NPS trail volunteers, but is useful to everyone! It’s based upon NPS Operational Leadership Training, where the Human Factor of safety is explored.  Trail Safe! captures the core learning objectives of the 16 hour Operational Leadership course while allowing volunteers to learn from their own homes on-line.

The Trail Safe! series are found below in eight video lessons, each ranging in length from 18 to 40 minutes long. Viewing the entire eight lesson series will take approximately three hours. Watch them over the course of multiple days, or “binge watch” the entire series in three hours…it’s up to you…but please watch them in numeric order from Lesson 1 through Lesson 8.

After viewing each individual lesson, please open the “Training Verification Roster” found at the bottom of this page and register yourself (and others if you are watching as a group) to receive credit for participation. When you have viewed and registered for all eight individual lessons, you’ll receive a Trail Safe! pin and a SPE/GAR card in the mail for your use in the field. Not sure what a SPE/GAR card is? You will after viewing the Trail Safe! series!  You can find the Trail Safe! program here

Information about the Wampum Chapter’s trail maintaining program, including contact information for Coordinator Sister Lyn Szymkiewicz can be found here

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September 2016 Trail Work Report

by wam_chapter on September 20, 2016

Trail Work Observer At Snake Run Rd. West

The big trail-work news for the Wampum Chapter over the past month has been the granting of approval from Wampum Underground to build a hiking shelter along the section of North Country Trail that they host, the selection of the specific spot, and the beginning stages of clearing the area for our construction.  We’ll be locating the new overnight accommodation for our hikers about .6 of a mile from the Route 18 trailhead in Wampum, at a vista area that is open to the northwest.  We’ll continue to formulate our plans to get the materials onsite and work to have this new facility built by this fall.  Wampum Underground (formerly known as the Gateway Commerce Center) is a long-time partner of the chapter and the North Country Trail and their willingness to take this next step in helping us create a high quality National Scenic Trail is very much appreciated!

Our other effort over the past thirty days, both in group trail work sessions and by individual maintainer efforts, has been to keep our pathways clear and hikeable for our constituents.  A major effort was put into getting the ten miles between the state line and Darlington in great shape for the Knights of Columbus Health Hike.  A thank you to all who worked on this.  We also took some time and mowed and pruned the trail at Game Lands 148, on some of our Cemex sections, and at Wampum Underground.  .  We removed trail-blocking blown-down trees at Alpha Pass, Snake Run Road, at Crawford’s, and in the Watt’s Mill area this month.

Other notes:

  1.  The signing that encourages hikers to stay on the established pathways at Watt’s Mill has been installed.

  2. A conversation with the Maintenance Supervisor at Game Lands 148 indicates that our desire to move the trail off of the double track there will not be accommodated for the foreseeable future.

  3. Orange Wampum Chapter shirts and hats for our individual trail maintainers and regular trail work crew members are available.

  4. Some of our Carsonite posts along the trail have been taking a beating lately from vandals (or have just been removed entirely).  If you’re out and about and notice a damaged one please let us know so we can get out and repair that ‘broken window.’

  5. There is a need for a volunteer in the Lawrence county area to take on the short-but-wild section of trail from Snake Run Road East, past the lime kiln area, to the short field walk above to the stream.  The weeds out there grow like, well,   . . . like weeds, and that .3 of a mile of trail needs attention every two or three weeks during the growing months to keep it open.  A weed whacker and loppers would do the job. 

Thanks to these folks who’ve been out for our trail work sessions over the past month:  Dorothy Buquo, Sister Lyn, Sabrina Royea, Dennis Garrett, Stephanie Parrot, Mike Troy, Matt Williams, Dave Gayhart, Jim Houk, and Dave Wright.  Also a thank you to the individuals who’ve been out working on the trail, and those who’ve done the recon work to let us know of issues that need to be dealt with.

Dave Brewer  September 19, 2016

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Hiking Stick Medallions Available

by wam_chapter on September 20, 2016

The new, limited edition, Wampum Chapter NCTA hiking stick medallions have arrived! These are available to purchase from the chapter at this weekend’s McConnell’s Mill Heritage Festival, at the Pumpkin Pie Hike on October 16th, or at the regular Wampum Chapter monthly meetings (while supplies last). Thanks to volunteer Tracy Hager’s hard work to get this medallion designed and approved by the NCTA.

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August 2016 Trail Work Report

by wam_chapter on August 23, 2016


Natural bridge along the NCT at McConnell’s Mill

This month’s shout out and kudos goes to our Wampum Chapter Volunteer Trail Maintainers.  As we’ve added more miles of off-road North Country Trail segments over the past several years the need has become acute to have people willing to get out and work with a weed whacker or weed whip, loppers, pruners, and have a good eye for what our trail segments should be like for the enjoyment of our hikers.  Some of these folks have dedicated themselves to taking care of a specific mile or two of trail within our range, getting out every couple of weeks or once a month and keeping the pathway hikeable.  We have some other folks who are great free- lancers, out and about Lawrence and Beaver counties and seeing opportunities to help out with a special project that needs done, or keeping an eye on the general condition of the hiker shelter at Watt’s Mill.  And, we have a small crew that likes to do the painting that needs taken care of along the way, maintaining the blue blazes and the trailhead signs.  Also, we have a couple of Wampum Chapter members who do their individual trail maintaining across the state line in Ohio.  Once you add in our weekly group trail work sessions, all of this work that’s being done by these individuals adds up to the excellent result of having the Wampum Chapter’s range of trail in great shape, and it’s appreciated. 


First, thank you to Sister Lyn for coordinating our individual Trail Maintainers’ program, handling the communication with them and following up as to what has been done and what yet needs to be taken care of.  Then, appreciating these people who’ve either adopted a section of trail or who’ve tackled some of the above listed issues:  Sher and Rick Eiler (who have a second DR mower running in Beaver County now!), Stephanie Parrott, Jane Emminger, Polly Brown, Doug Lawrence, Kathy Rea, Mike Troy, Sister Lyn, Tracy Hager and Family, Joe Hardisky, Corinne Thieleman, Deb Charleson, Cody Magill, The Edwards Family, Raina Hrenko, Rick Ostheimer, Mark Corless, Bill Majernik, Tina Hs, John Rarick, George Kredel, and Teresa McMillon. 

We have on our Wampum Chapter website some information about trail maintaining for NCT volunteers here  We do have some of our sections of North Country Trail, particularly in Lawrence county, that could use some extra attention.  If you’d like to get involved please let us know.


Thanks again to our individual Maintainers and all who’ve come out over the past month on our group trail work sessions. 

Dave Brewer

Trail Coordinator


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Volunteerism Rewarded

July 23, 2016

Wampum Chapter member Sher Eiler is one of those “under the radar” type trail volunteers – out maintaining and scouting the North Country Trail sections near her house, coming out for trail building sessions, hosting thru hikers as they travel through the area, and always talking to people that she knows and meets about the trail [...]

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July 2016 Trail Work Report

July 23, 2016

Basic trail maintenance was our program over the past thirty days, working to keep our North Country Trail sections open for the hikers.  We succeeded in many cases, working three of the five miles at Cemex, hitting the new Mines and Meadows reroute twice, working on the Sterling Rd. access trail reroute, at the 4 [...]

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Benefit Hike For Josh Landsbach 7/3/16 A Huge Success

July 3, 2016

From Event Organizer Tracy Hager: Thanks to all the hikers that came out today! Thank you for everyone’s help and support….Jason, Jen, Josh‘s family and friends, hikers, and sponsors! Wampum Chapter NCT for the guidance and help, JKells Frontdoor tavern for the bus, Minuteman Press for the bandannas, posters , & flyers, the Beaver County [...]

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Wampum Chapter Officers Elected in June 2016

June 26, 2016

Thanks to these people for volunteering their time and talents to lead the effort to build, maintain, and promote the North Country National Scenic Trail in Beaver and Lawrence counties.

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June 2016 Trail Work Report

June 20, 2016

The Wampum Chapter’s new DR Mower had a busy first month as our primary effort since the middle of May involved getting our North Country Trail sections whipped into shape for our spring hikers.  From Cemex to the state line we mowed, weed whacked, and pruned over eleven miles of our off-road trail sections.  We [...]

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Why is Pennsylvania a Top Trail State?

June 4, 2016


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