June 2016 Trail Work Report

by wam_chapter on 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 also expended some effort to get the weeds and high grass at our trailhead parking areas, signs and kiosk spots, and the McBride Station Trail Stop just outside of Wampum knocked down. 


We took on a couple of additional trail-and-facility-improvement projects over the past thirty days, two of them at the shelter at Watt’s Mill and one along the trail on the Dismukes property.  At Watt’s Mill a natural wood fence was installed alongside the trail to discourage people from shortcutting up to the shelter, and over a ton of limestone gravel was hauled with the power wagon and spread to help to eliminate the mud in front of that structure.

A great group of volunteers from the SouLift Fitness Studio – organized by Polly Brown, thank you very much! – came out to the Dismukes property on Saturday, the 18th to clear and build some switchback trail up the hillside from the bridge over the little stream out there.  It’s a much needed improvement to that section as previously it had run straight up the hillside.  We’ll continue that project going forward as there is more opportunity to ease the way for our hikers up the rest of that long climb.


Joe Hardisky continues to work hard on maintaining the trail between Eckert Bridge and Hell’s Hollow at McConnell’s Mill State Park, recently having to reset a vandalized trail bridge back onto its piers.  Fortunately he had the help of some passing hikers as it is a solidly-built structure and it weighs quite a bit.  Corinne Thieleman has also been active at the park, getting the story board sign frame that we installed at Alpha Pass painted in state-park brown.  At the state line, Jane Emminger has done the same for our sign there as well as working on improvement projects on the trail near Watt’s Mill.  Our individual trail maintainers have been out, checking their sections, and working to keep the weeds and blowdowns at bay.

Lastly, in moving forward in stages on our ADA accessible trail project, a potential route was flagged out through the woods in the Watt’s Mill area.  It utilizes, in part, some of our existing trail there, as well as adding some additional yardage along a relatively flat part of the area.  We are still evaluating how to best proceed with this project.


My thanks to these folks who came out for our organized trail-work sessions:  Matt Williams, Mike Troy, Sabrina Royea, Dave Wright, George Kredel, Herb Adams, Jake Erhardt, Jim Houk, and Polly Brown and the SouLift volunteers.  Appreciation also for our individual maintainers and everyone who supports the effort.

Dave Brewer

June 20, 2016

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by wam_chapter on June 4, 2016

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Trail Safe!

by wam_chapter on May 27, 2016

Trail Safe!

In conjunction with the National Park Service, we are excited to share with you a new safety initiative designed specifically for trail volunteers called “Trail Safe!”

Trail Safe! is a very unique safety initiative, based upon NPS Operational Leadership training, where the human factor of safety is explored. Topics include things such as Stress & Performance, Situational Awareness, Effective Leadership, and more. NPS Operational Leadership training is typically a 16-hour classroom commitment, which is impractical for all North Country Trail volunteers to attend. Trail Safe! explores all of the core learning objectives found in NPS Operational Leadership training, but is made available to you in a series of eight short, self-study videos. Individual Trail Safe! video lessons run between 18 and 40 minutes long, and the entire series can be viewed in just three hours from the comfort of your own home. You may even see a photo of yourself or a fellow trail volunteer in the various lessons!

You will find them on the NPS’ https://www.nps.gov/noco/trail-safe.htm Please watch them in numeric order from Lesson #1 through Lesson #8, as the learning concepts for each lesson build upon the previous lessons.

IMPORTANT: After viewing each Trail Safe! lesson, please be sure to go back to the main web page to complete the Training Verification Roster which is found at the bottom of the Trail Safe! page just below Lesson #8. Completing the Training Verification Roster takes just a few moments and gives you credit for having participated in this important training tool. Once you have viewed all eight lessons and submitted Training Verification Rosters for each lesson, you’ll receive a Trail Safe! pin and other job aids through the mail from the National Park Service.

Thank you in advance for participating in Trail Safe! and for helping ensure other volunteers learn about this important safety initiative. Specific questions about Trail Safe! may be directed to NPS Volunteer Coordinator Daniel Watson at daniel_watson@nps.gov.

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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

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 [...]

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Parking Lot Improvements At Cannelton and Hodgson Road Trailheads

May 1, 2016

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 [...]

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April 2016 Trail Work Report

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 [...]

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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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