May 2016 Trail Work Report

by wam_chapter on May 17, 2016

A productive thirty days for the Wampum Chapter as we worked all along our range of North Country Trail!  A very large accomplishment for the month was the completion of the half-mile trail reroute at the Mines and Meadows ATV Park, taking our pathway down lower on the hillside there through the woods and away from the main riding trails.  Thanks to Rick Southers of the Student Conservation Association out of Pittsburgh for sending a crew of six youth volunteers and their two advisors to spend a couple of days working with us to dig and grub out that new pathway!  Carsonite posts are installed and the new route is blue blazed, with our first hikers traversing that half-mile beginning minutes after we put the wraps on the project Sunday afternoon!

The other big news for May is the celebration of the Wampum Chapter’s new arrival; a 310-pound, 500 cc, 16.5 HP DR Field and Brush Mower!  Thanks to the North Country Trail Association Field Grant Committee we were able to secure this new piece of trail maintaining equipment the first week of May and gave it a good inaugural run from the Possum Hollow Rd. parking area to the Edward’s Family Farm shortly thereafter.  We’ll be using that new mower hard over the next few weeks to get our trail sections whipped into shape for our hikers.

Other work that we tackled along our trail range involved installing our new story board panel signing at the Alpha Pass Trailhead at McConnell’s Mill State Park and putting in two new, wooden trailhead signs in Beaver County, one at Louthan Rd. and the other along Route 168 in Darlington near Crescent Supply.  We spent some time at Watt’s Mill working to obliterate the informal pathway between the hiker shelter and the NCT by transplanting multi floral rose, some pine trees, and by adding some log barriers into the area.  Additionally, we spent time one Sunday afternoon with Excavation Contractor Joe Demuzio exploring the possibilities for adding an ADA compliant section of trail in the Watt’s Mill area.

Our individual Trail Maintainers have been reporting on their trips to their NCT sections, and as a result we’ve been able to be more efficient in getting out and removing blown down trees in various areas.  Rick and Sher Eiler report that they cleaned up an illegal (and messy) campsite in the Hodgson Rd. area.  Higher trail usage has its downside.  Appreciate ALL the scouting and work ALL of the Maintainers have been doing.

Thanks to these folks for making the trip out for our organized sessions over the past thirty days:  Dave Wright, Dennis Garrett, Sue Knechtel, Matt Williams, Dave Gayhart, Mike Troy, Sabrina Royea, George Kredel, and Dave Adams.  And thanks to everyone for their support of the effort.

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Wampum Chapter Officer Election June 2016

by wam_chapter on May 3, 2016

The Wampum Chapter’s Bylaws state that officers for the chapter will be elected every two years, on the even-numbered years.  Below is the ballot of those up for election, and it will be voted on at June’s Chapter meeting on the 20th by members in good standing of the Wampum Chapter of the North Country Trail Association.




President: Dennis Garrett

Vice-President: David Wright

Secretary: Carol Wright

Treasurer: JoEllen Sokoloski

If you have an interest in being placed on the ballot for one of these positions, or if you’d like to request an absentee ballot, please contact the Nominating Committee Chair Jim Rarick at  You must be a dues-paying member of the NCTA and the Wampum Chapter to hold a chapter office and/or vote in the election.

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Thanks to the PA Game Commission, the National Park Service, the NCTA, the Beaver County Sportsmen Conservation League of Baden, and Parrot Trucking we have a new, all-weather parking lot at the Cannelton Rd. trailhead! What used to be a grassy (or muddy) pull off is now a nice, firm surface for our hikers to park their vehicles on while visiting the Hippy Bridge and Indian Rock area. We were also able to put in 18 tons of gravel at the Hodgson Rd. trailhead the same day.

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April 2016 Trail Work Report

by wam_chapter on April 19, 2016

Our group excursions by the Wampum volunteers over the past thirty days were somewhat limited by weather, other planned events, and work schedules, but we WERE able to be out to install our new National Park Service/North Country Trail story board signing near the state line parking area, we explored about three miles of a potential new, off-road trail route between Darlington and Wampum, and in conjunction with a Cub Scout group and the Genevea College volunteers (directed by Matt Williams) some site preparation for the overnighters at Watt’s Mill for the backpack trek was done.  

Joe Hardisky lead a group of Student Conservation Association volunteers in trail work projects at McConnell’s Mill over the weekend of April 9th and 10th and they did an excellent job of repairing some sidehill about a mile from Hell’s Hollow on Saturday, following up on that Sunday by rerouting the North Country Trail above a perpetually muddy stretch nearer the trailhead there.  We appreciate all the contributions the SCA has made along our trail sections over the past several years and look forward to continuing this partnership over the years to come.

Our individual trail maintaining efforts are going strong with reports of trips out to trail sections coming in, along with requests for assistance of the removal of fallen trees along our range of North Country Trail.  The decking was replaced on the waterfall bridge at Watt’s Mill/Game Lands 285 by Jane Emminger, multi floral rose is being pushed back all along our range, and preparatory sign work is being completed so we can get our roadside signing in place along our new sections.  The small NCT directional sign at Cannelton Rd. was repainted and replanted on the access road, and a new sign directing hikers to the location of Indian Rock was mounted on the 4” x 4” below Painter Knob at Game Lands 285.

The Chapter’s new DR Mower (obtained through a North Country Trail Field Grant) is on order and we should have that in service by the end of April.

The Wampum Chapter reported 1201 hours of volunteer service to the national office for the first quarter of 2016, with 655 of those going towards trail maintaining and building efforts.  That’s quite a strong number for the winter months that normally have us shut down from our outside activities.  Thanks to all who’ve contributed their time and talents to the effort!


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North Country Trail Association Annual Report

April 3, 2016

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March 2016 Trail Work Report

March 25, 2016

  State Line Reroute Project A productive month for the volunteers of the Wampum Chapter as we worked on North Country Trail reroutes, maintained and improved our existing pathway, and worked on some miscellaneous tasks along our forty miles of trail.  Our individual trail maintainers were out on their own also, scouting trail segments, repainting [...]

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Scouting Outreach NCT Hike 100

March 10, 2016
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Bee Tree at McConnell’s Mill

March 7, 2016

From Joe Hardisky, NCT Maintainer at McConnell’s Mill on 3/6/16: Had an interesting tree to clear this weekend. Noticed some insects flying around as I was working on it. Only to realize the cut was through a honeycomb. The bees were sluggish due to the temps. so I was able to finish. The nest was about [...]

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Painters Wanted!

March 1, 2016

March 1, 2016 I was out walking some of our North Country Trail sections at Cemex today and was reminded (by what I saw) of an idea we had batted around about developing a Wampum Chapter Paint Blazing Team.  It’d be good to have a crew in place to keep those little navigational reassurance rectangles [...]

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Trail Maintainers’ Patch Design

February 21, 2016

 Calling on all artists or aspiring-artists to work on designing a sew-on patch for our maintaining crew.  We’d like to have some special recognition for the folks that are going out and doing this work on their own since the pay for doing so remains lousy (although the sense of satisfaction is IMMENSE!).  It should [...]

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