Did you ever want to hike up to Hawk Rock but didn’t want to go alone or were afraid to hold up a hiking group? On Sun., Sept. 30th the Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) is hosting a special hike to celebrate Family Hiking Day. Bring friends, family, or just yourself to a hike up and back from Hawk Rock Lookout for a total of two miles on moderate to strenuous terrain. Everyone hikes at their own pace so there is no pressure to finish at a specific time. Come join the beautiful view. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Health Center in Duncannon at 9:00 am. to carpool. Call 1-812-320-5184 or email Josh at Pureseeking@yahoo.com to register. Phone contact preferred. Hope you can make it!
On Sun., Oct. 1st join the Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) for a 2 mile average paced hike through the wooded Takach mountain land on moderate terrain. We will be looking for animal signs as we hike the property and learn how to establish a Hunter Management Program for those of you who own land. This hike is part of the “Walk in Penn Woods” effort, a statewide event to build appreciation for forests, the people who care about them, and the importance of tending them. Call Deb Takach at: 717-395-2462 or email email@example.com to register.
Schedule: Third Saturday of each Month. Time will depend on the hike event for that Saturday. Date may change due to conflicts.
Jan. 20th – Join the DOC at Pine Grove Furnace State Park for an average paced 4.2 mile hike on moderate to strenuous terrain. We will climb up Pole Steeple Trail, take in the view and descend on the
AT, returning to Pole Steeple Trail via the Mountain Creek Trail. If snow is on the ground make sure to wear hiking boots and bring micro spikes or yak tracks if you have them. The theme for discussion will be skunks. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center at 8:30 or alternately at the RT 114 Park and Ride at 9:00 am. Call 717-395-2462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Feb. 17th – Come to an average paced 8.5 mile loop hike over easy to moderate terrain at Pinchot State Park. Bring micro spikes or yak tracks depending on the weather. Snow shoes are welcome provided there is snow on the ground. Meet at 8:30 am. at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center or alternately at the Camp Hill Mall/Santander Bank at 9:00 am. We will be learning about voles and moles! Call 717-395-2462 or email email@example.com to register.
Mar. 3rd – Come to the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and observe the migration of Snow Geese and Tundra Swans as they touch down at this important way station. Then hike an average paced 6 mile hike over moderate to strenuous terrain on a series of trails that form a loop back to the visitor’s center. There are 2 climbs from 300 to 400 ft. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center at 8:30 am. or alternately at the Kmart parking lot in Summerdale at 9:00 am. Call 717-395-2462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Please reimburse drivers 10 cents per mile and for turnpike tolls (124 miles total). Bring your cameras and binoculars if you have them and pack a lunch.
April 21st – Come to a family/dog friendly, average paced, two mile hike over easy terrain from Scotts Farm to Sherwood Drive and back. We will identify violets along the way and make violet syrup at hikes end. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center at 8:30 or alternately at Scotts Farm at 9:00 am. Call 717-395-2462 or email email@example.com to register.
May 19th– Come to a dog friendly, average paced 6 mile loop hike on moderate terrain from RT 850 AT trailhead to Darlington Trail to Miller’s Gap Road back to 850. We will learn about dogs, what to do if attacked, dogs and hiking, etc. Meet at the State Game Lands 170 parking lot along 850 at 9:00 am. Call 717-395-2462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register and for directions if needed.
June 16th – Join the DOC on a canoe/kayak trip from Blue Mountain Outfitters (BMO) to West Fairview for an opportunity to observe the nesting birds on Wade Island and learn about the biodiversity of the Susquehanna. Cost is $12.50 if you bring your own boat. Rent a kayak for $45.00 plus a $7.50 shuttle fee, a two man kayak for $65.00 plus $7.50 each person, a canoe for $45.00 plus $7.50 each person. Tax is not included in these figures. Call 717-395-2462 or email email@example.com to register. We will meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center to carpool at 9:00 am. or alternately at BMO at 9:30 am.
July 21st – Join us for an average paced 6 mile hike over moderate to strenuous terrain starting at the AT RT 850 trailhead to Scotts Farm. The theme will be Daylilies. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center to carpool at 9:00 am. or alternately at RT 114 Park and Ride at 9:30 am. Due to limited parking, if there are a large number of cars we will drop some cars off at Scotts Farm and then carpool to the AT RT 850 trailhead. Call 717-395-2462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Aug. 18th –Join us for an average paced 9.6 mile hike over moderate terrain from the AT RT 225 trail head to the RT 325 trailhead. The hike follows the ridge of Peter’s Mountain and has 3 nice views. At the beginning of the hike we will be making a delicious drink out of Sumac Berries and learn the difference between Staghorn Sumac and Poison Sumac. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center at 9:00 or alternately at the AT parking at the RT 325 trailhead/Clarks Valley Rd (40.451386,-76.776430) at 9:30 am. Bring water and a lunch. Call 717-395-2462 or email email@example.com to register.
Sept. 15th – Hike an average pace 2 mile loop hike over moderate terrain as we bushwhack through the Takach Property in search of galls. This is a kid friendly/family friendly hike. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center at 9:00 am. to carpool. Call 717-395-2462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Oct. 20th – Join the DOC for a 5 mile average paced, shuttle hike on moderate to strenuous terrain up the Canyon Vista Trail at Worlds End State Park to a beautiful vista onto Link Trail following a creek down to the park office. This is a difficult hike with steep sections. Pack lunch, snacks, and water. Wear orange. Meet at the Giesinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center to carpool at 8:00 am. Driving distance is approximately 196 miles total. Please pay drivers 10 cents per mile for gas. Call 717-395-2462 or email email@example.com to register.
Nov. 17th – Want to learn how to identify trees. Come out for a 2 mile average paced hike over easy terrain off RT 325 on state game lands. Be sure to wear orange! Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center at 9:00 am. to carpool or alternately at the intersection of RT 225 and RT 325 parking area (40.38867,-76.94168) at 9:30 am. Call Paul at 717-648-8226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Dec. 15th – Come to Little Buffalo State Park for an average paced 5 mile hike over moderate and strenuous terrain. There are approximately 8 short climbs and one big one. This hike is not for beginners. Learn about where animals go in winter. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center at 9:00 am. to carpool or alternately at Little Buffalo Park Office at 9:30 am. Call 717- 395-2462 or email email@example.com to register.
On Sat., Sept. 16th the Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) invites you to attend an in and back, average paced hike for a total of 3 miles on easy terrain at the Stoney Valley Rail Trail. This is a family friendly/dog friendly hike. If you cannot make the 3 mile distance you are welcome to turn back earlier. We will be learning about Pennsylvania’s Natural Symbols. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Health Center in Duncannon at 9:00 am. to carpool or alternately at Dauphin Park and Ride at 9:30 am. Call 717-395-2462 or email Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Hope you can make it!
On July 24th the Duncannon Outdoor Club had 11 participants kayak from Blue Mountain Outfitters to the West Fairview boating access. Weather was perfect for the 6 mile venture down the Susquehanna River which was completed in record time due to the swift moving waters from previous rains.
Two stops were incorporated into the trip. The first, was a pullover to Wade Island where we were lucky to find some Double-Crested Cormorant, Black-Crowned-Night Heron and Great White Egret hatchlings still in their nests. One could hear the continuous squawking from all the birds remaining on the island. Many of the kayakers were not aware that the Black Capped Night Heron and Great White Egret are endangered in Pennsylvania and are being overrun by the increasing population of Cormorants.
For our second stop we docked on an island to eat lunch and learn about watersheds, assessing water quality and river basins.
A watershed is land where surface water runs off into lakes, creeks, reservoirs and other bodies of water. A river basin is a land mass made up of many watersheds. (The watershed we were in is the Lower Susquehanna Swatera Watershed.) Maps were used to help participants visualize the 5 river basins in Pennsylvania: the Susquehanna, Potomac, Ohio, Great Lakes Basin, and Delaware Watersheds. Yes you guessed it, we are in the Susquehanna River Basin, the largest basin, making up the vertical mid-section of the state.
For assessing water quality, plans were to collect larva and nymphs from rocks on the bottom of the river shallows near the island, but due to the rapid river flow and muddy water we opted not to collect samples but discuss which larva and nymphs indicate good water quality. On past trips when samples were collected mayfly and dragonfly nymphs, and caddisfly and water penny larvae were found. Mayflies, caddisflies, and water pennies are sensitive to pollution, while dragonflies are moderately sensitive to pollution. The presence of these macroinvertebrates indicate acceptable water quality. Stoneflies were not evident, but are normally found in waters with high oxygen content such as that found in riffles, which were not present where samples had been collected.
Our samples were taken upstream from the mouth of the Conodoguinet. Recent studies downstream have indicated the Susquehanna is not that healthy. Mutated bass have been found to have two genders (intersex). Lesions, sores, and cancerous growths have also been evident on bass caught in the Susquehanna River. Studies have indicated a correlation: a higher percentage of agriculture in a watershed results in increased mutations. Natural animal hormones are excreted in manure which is spread on fields and washed into water sources by rain. Complex mixtures of chemicals such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides seem to be contributing to the problem. Round up, which is used by many homeowners in pursuit of the perfect lawn, is an endocrine disruptor (a chemical that interferes with hormone systems), and inevitably ends up in watersheds polluting our water sources. Another source of hormonal disruption, found in more populated areas, is the improper disposal of prescription drugs which are often flushed down drains, contaminating the water.
The Susquehanna is beautiful river providing many recreational pursuits. We all need to be cognizant of our influences upon it. Let’s make the Susquehanna healthy again!
On Sat., July 8th join the Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) for a three hour tour at Fort Indiantown Gap to observe the endangered Regal Fritillary butterfly and the habitat necessary for breeding and providing success for 100 other species of conservation concerns in PA. Wear appropriate shoes and clothing for a nature walk on gravel trails and mowed paths. Bring bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, lunch, and cameras. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Center at 8:00 am. or alternately at the Kmart in Summerdale ready to leave by 8:30 am. Driving distance is approximately 80 miles total. Please pay drivers 10 cents per mile for gas. If you opt to drive without passengers you do not have to stay the whole three hours. Call Deb at 395-2462 or email email@example.com to register.
On Sat., June 24th join the DOC on a canoe/kayak trip from Blue Mountain Outfitters (BMO) to West Fairview for an opportunity to observe birds on Wade Island, learn about the Susquehanna Watershed, and check the water quality of the Susquehanna. Cost is $12.50 if you bring your own boat. Rent a kayak for $45.00 plus a $7.50 shuttle fee, a two man kayak for $65.00 plus $7.50 per person, or a canoe for $45.00 plus $7.50 per person. Tax is not included in these figures. Call 395-2462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Meet at the Geisinger Holy Spirit Duncannon Center to carpool at 9:30 am., or alternately at BMO at 10:00 am.
RSVP by June 18th.
Do you have a dog and like to hike? Want to learn more about hiking with dogs? Come to a dog friendly, average paced, 6 mile loop hike over moderate terrain on Sat., May 6th. We will be walking on the AT from Rt. 850 up Blue Mountain to Darlington trail to Miller’s Gap, returning down the road to the AT back to the start. Since there is limited parking at the AT trailhead, we will meet at 9:00 am. at the State Game Lands 170 Parking area located on Rt. 850 about 18 miles west of Marysville on the left side of the road. It is 0.5 miles past Cove Rd which will be on your right. If you get to the AT trailhead parking area you have gone too far. We will walk the 0.3 miles from the game lands parking area along the road to the AT trail head. Call Debra at 395-2462 or email email@example.com to register.
I got a few good pictures from the latest snow storm and thought I’d share them with you all.
On Saturday February 18, 2017 the Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) gathered for an opportunity to hike 3 miles at Wildwood Park, Harrisburg. The theme of this hike was, Fur-bearing Animals.
The park provides ideal habitat for many of the fur-bearers that we learned about. With a 90 acre shallow lake and many different tree, shrub and other plant species there were plenty of opportunities for viewing wildlife.
Pennsylvania has 13 critters that are legally harvested to manage animal populations. Beaver, bobcat, eastern coyote, fisher, grey fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, red fox, river otters, striped skunk and weasels. Proper licensing and certifications are required to participate in wildlife management. Abiding by the laws, regulations and bag limits set forth by the Pennsylvania Game Commission ensures safe and effective practices.
We enjoyed our time outdoors, especially in the sun filled areas of the park, as the air was cold on this February morning. The park was busy with hikers (dogs included), runners, and photographers.
Another successful trip for the Duncannon Outdoor Club! We look forward to seeing you next time!