Boyd’s Hike – Black Bears

It was a cold start to a great day. We had 9 brave hikers who weathered the 19 degree temperatures, including one hiker who lives in California! We began our hike on the East Loop Trail. Once on the steep power line connector trail we followed Janie Trail where we ran into problems. It was too icy for those without Yak Traks or Micro Spikes, so we had to go off trail to reach the top of the mountain. While we broke a “Leave No Trace” policy, the priority was the safety of the hikers. We had planned on hooking up with the Coach Trail, Creek Trail and return on the Pond Trail, but icy conditions required we cut the hike short. We ended staying on Janie Trail, intersecting Lower Springs Trail and following it back to the parking lot.

Prior to starting the hike we had a brief presentation on Black Bears in the education pavilion. It started with the “true – false” test below. Try taking it yourself and see how well you do before reading on for the answers.


  1. Two species of black bears live in the wild in PA – the grizzly bear and the black bear.
  2. The main food of the black bear is meat.
  3. The best way to keep away from black bears is to climb a tree.
  4. Scientist determine the age of a black bear by counting the rings on a bear’s tooth.
  5. Black bears can be black, brown, and even cinnamon color.
  6. In PA bear cubs are born in April.
  7. Black bear cubs usually weigh around 5 lbs. when they are born,
  8. Black bears are true hibernators.
  9. Black bears return to the same den year after year.
  10. Black bears will not den near people.
  11. Black bears can go almost six months without eating, drinking, or excreting.
  12. Black bears will climb trees to take a rest during the day.
  13. Because of their large size black bears are slow.
  14. Feeding black bears in the wild is unlawful.
  15. Black bear populations in PA are low because of lack of habitat.

Whew! Did you make it through all those questions? Let’s see how well you did. Now for the answers…. Continue reading

Duncannon Outdoor Club February Hike

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When you are hiking and someone is coming toward you on the trail, who yields?  What does leave no trace mean?  Join the DOC on Sat., Feb. 21st to learn the answers and more interesting information on these topics.

We will then hike an average paced 2 mile hike over moderate to strenuous terrain.  We will be hiking up Hawk Rock if weather conditions permit to a great view.  If the trail is too treacherous with ice, we will alternately hike the Takach property in Duncannon over moderate terrain.  Meet at 9:00 am. at the Hawk Rock Appalachian trail head across from Tubby’s restaurant.  Alternate meeting location will be at the Duncannon Family Health Center at 9:00 am.  Call 395-2462 or email to register.

DATC Meeting – Jan 14, 2015

Duncannon as seen from Eagles Edge Overlook at the end of Cove Mountain

MEETING TIME AND LOCATION:  The Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Wednesday, January 14th at 6:30 p.m. in the Duncannon Municipal Building located at 428 N. High Street.  An RSVP is not required but it is greatly appreciated.

MEETING AGENDA: We’ll discuss fundraising for the 2015 DATC Festival, current vendor applicants, anti-graffiti signage and other festival preparations.

THERE WILL BE FREE PIZZA AND SODA! Send your RSVP to help us determine how much pizza we should buy.  Special thanks to everyone who chipped in to help pay for last month’s pizza!  Contact if you or your group would like to contribute to the DATC Meeting Pizza Fund.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME!  Anyone who would like to be involved with the DATC, offer guidance or influence its policies is welcome to attend our meetings. You might find a volunteer opportunity that suits you in any number of fields such as: planning our next 2014 DATC Festival, fundraising, supporting the Duncannon Outdoor Club, learning about Appalachian Trail maintenance and inspiring people to enjoy outdoor activities in the Duncannon area.

We look forward to seeing you there!

DOC January Hike

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What do you do when you cross paths with a black bear?  Do black bears really hibernate?  Join the DOC on Sat., Jan. 17th to learn the answers and more interesting information on the common black bear.

We will then hike an average paced 5 mile hike over moderate to strenuous terrain.  We will be hiking at Boyd’s Tree Farm.  There are two short climbs.  If there is snow or ice, do not forget your micro spikes if you have them.  Wear orange.  Meet at 9:00 am at the Duncannon Family Health Center to carpool or at Boyd’s at 9:30 am.  Call 395-2462 or email to register.

DOC Volunteers At Little Buffalo

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On December 6th it was raining very hard, trying to dampen the spirits of the Duncannon Outdoor Club volunteers helping to decorate the Little Buffalo State Park Christmas Trails. It did not stop us from an enjoyable helpful experience though. Some of us painted, others went through what seemed like miles and miles of lights looking for burnt out bulbs and lights that just no longer worked. Some of us were very brave and took to the outdoors to string the lights in the pouring down rain for 3 hours!

A great thank you to Elizabeth, Verilee, Peg, Luke, Rod, Hanna, and Kathleen for your efforts which were greatly appreciated.

DOC Hawk Mountain Hike Nov. 2014

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The weather for our November hike was a little cold. When we got there the thermometer registered 29 degrees, but once we got started things began to warm up. Our first stop was at the lookout on Lookout Trail. We spent a little time there looking for the raptors listed as migrating November 15th, which included: the Golden Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Northern Goshawk, and Vulture. Continue reading

DOC Little Buffalo Christmas Trails

DOC LogoOn Sat., Dec. 20th join the Duncannon Outdoor Club for a night out at the Little Buffalo State Park Christmas Trails.  This event is for the whole family, especially the little ones.  Learn about where common animals go in the winter, and then walk the quarter mile trail lit with lights and decorated with many Christmas displays.  Stop at the North  Pole to visit Santa and stop by for cookies and hot chocolate on the way.  We will meet at the Duncannon Family Health Center at 7:00 pm. to carpool.  Call 717-395-2462 or email to register.  Bring some money since donations are requested and a small fee may be asked for the hot chocolate and cookies.  Hope to see you there!

DOC Volunteer Opportunity

DOC LogoOn Sat., Dec. 6th join the Duncannon Outdoor Club as we help the workers at Little Buffalo State Park decorate for their Christmas Trails to be held Dec. 17th through the 23rd.  They are in need of volunteers to make this event a wonderful experience for all.  If interested in volunteering call 717-395-2462 or email   We will be helping from 1:00 to 4:00 pm,  We will meet at the Duncannon Family Health Center at 12:30 to carpool or at the park office at 1:00.  Please consider lending a hand for this free community service,

Ricketts Glen Hike Review

Duncannon Outdoor Club Group Photo at Ricketts Glen

The Duncannon Outdoor Club at Ricketts Glen

Our hike to Ricketts Glen State Park was a little wet, but we still had a great time.  Mother Nature rained on us off and on, but we did not let that dampen our spirits.  The falls were beautiful since it had rained a few days before and water levels were high.  You could hear the roar of the falls all along the trail.

We had the privilege to hear Judy Adamac, the park naturalist, as she spoke about the history of Ricketts Glen, past logging practices, trail safety, and the best way to hike the Falls Trail.  She recommended we change our plan and go down the less steep side and go up the steeper side since trails were so wet and slippery.  We followed her recommendation on the Falls Trail, but chose to hike Highland Trail back to the beach parking lot where we started instead of taking Bear Trail back.

We learned a lot about Colonel Robert Bruce Ricketts, who fought in the a Civil War.  At one time he  owned or had control over 80,000 acres of land Continue reading

Oldest Female Thru-Hiker

Couple at Hawk RockWhile hiking to Hawk Rock today, I met a young couple sitting on the rock and enjoying the view.  I presented my usual speech about the DATC, what we do, how they could help, and added some general trail info.  While doing this, a lady and her gentleman friend arrived and overheard our conversation.  After I finished talking to the young couple, I turned my attention toward the older hikers.  I was glad they had arrived early enough to hear our conversation so I wouldn’t have to repeat it for them.  I got to talking with the lady in the older group and correctly guessed that she was section-hiking and had come in from the south at Rt. 850.  All of my other assumptions about her were incorrect.

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