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!
On Sat., April 22nd come to a family friendly, average paced, 1.67 mile hike over easy to moderate terrain. Then learn about bluebirds from Phil Durgin, Vice President of the Bluebird Society of PA, and make your own bluebird box from 11:00 to 12:00. Cost is free. Donations for materials are appreciated but not expected. Meet at the Holy Spirit Duncannon Center at 9:00 am. to carpool or alternately at Little Buffalo State Park by the stage. If you do not wish to hike but want to participate in the bluebird workshop meet at the park stage at 11:00 am. Call Deb at 395-2462 or email email@example.com to register. Hope to see you there.
On March 11th Come to the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area to observe the thousands of Snow Geese and Tundra Swans as they migrate to 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 ranging from 300 to 400 ft. Meet at the Duncannon Family Health Center to carpool at 8:30 am or alternately at the Kmart parking lot at 9:00am. Call 395-2462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Please reimburse drivers 10 cents per mile and for turnpike tolls (total mileage is 124 miles). Bring your cameras and binoculars if you have them and pack a lunch. Hope you can make it!
On Sat., Feb. 18th the Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) will be hiking an average paced, three mile loop trail on easy terrain at Wildwood Nature Center. Come and learn about fur bearing animals in PA. This family friendly hike is for all ages and is dog friendly. We will be meeting at the Duncannon Family Health Center at 9:00 am.to carpool. Alternately meet at the Wildwood Nature Center at 9:30 am. Call Deb at 395-2462 or email email@example.com to register.
On Sat., January 21st join the Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) at The Ned Smith Center in Millersburg for an average paced 5 mile hike on moderate to strenuous terrain. There is one .75 mile climb up Mountain Laurel Trail to Berry Mountain Trail with a nice view at the top. Return on Berry Mountain Trail to Deer Run Trail. Then take Drumming Log Trail back to the starting point at the Ned Smith Center. If snow or ice is on the trail bring Microspikes or Yaktrax if you have them. Wear something orange for the hunting season. The theme for discussion will be coyotes. Meet 9:00 am. at the Holy Spirit Duncannon Center, a Geisinger Affiliate (formally the Duncannon Family Health Center) to carpool or alternately meet at the Clarks Ferry Bridge (RT 147/322) parking lot at 9:15 am. Please reimburse drivers 10 cents for a total of 36 miles. Call Deb at 395-2462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Click here for larger printable versions of the Ned Smith trail map.
Even though the weather has turned colder and the snowflakes are starting to fly, that doesn’t mean that your hiking trips need to wait until spring. Winter is a wonderful time to hike. There are usually no more crowds of people and a lot of trails take on an entirely different look under a blanket of freshly fallen snow.
Wearing layers is the most important thing to remember when hiking in the winter months. Although it feels cold at the trailhead, your body will start to generate heat after just 10 to 15 minutes of walking, especially if you are hiking on a particularly difficult trail. Layering is important to staying warm and maintaining a constant body temperature throughout the hike.
When you layer:
- Start with a base layer to wick moisture off your body.
- A fleece jacket is next for insulation and warmth.
- Finally, a shell keeps you dry and shttps://www.yaktrax.com/tops the wind from penetrating.
- Remember to avoid cotton. Once wet, cotton will no longer insulate you from the cold. Also, it wicks heat away from your body and puts you at risk for hypothermia.
Other winter hiking garments include:
Ice flow seen near the bottom of the steps leading up to Hawk Rock.
The Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) in their efforts to celebrate National Family Hiking Day in September, 2016. The DOC offered a “hike at your own pace” hike up to Hawk Rock. Prior to the assent participants decorated tree cookie necklaces provided by the ATC. They were so popular that other hikers at the top inquired how to get a necklace.
A group shot with out tree cookie necklaces.
Participants included a wide range of ages. A baby, kids, adults and three dogs comprised our list of adventurers. Many of our hikers had always wanted to hike Hawk Rock but were hesitant to do so independently or in a group because of the difficulty. When given the option to hike at one’s own pace in a group with an experienced leader, hikers chose to enjoy a safe, comfortable alternative and mastered the climb. Everyone made it to the top and back successfully without incident.
Checking out one of the riddles posted along the way,
In order to motivate the hikers and make it entertaining, thirty riddles, with answers on the flip side, were posted along the way. Many hikers, not with our group, read the riddles as they hiked up and down the mountain. A big thank you goes to Sean O for posting the riddles ahead of time. Riddles were removed by the sweep so as to leave no trace. What was the riddle at the top? : What does a mountain and an addition problem have in common? (answer at article’s end).
Below are pictures depicting the event.
Heading up the mountain.
Almost there. One on the way down.
At the top.
Taking in the view.
View from another angle.
Taking turns on the rock.
Reggie and John take a break.
On the way back down.
Answer to the riddle: You sum it.
On Sat., Dec. 17th join the Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) at Pine Grove Furnace State Park for a 7 mile, average paced, loop hike on moderate terrain to Pole Steeple. This hike will include one climb that rises 500 ft. for three-quarters of a mile. If there is snow on the mountain tops wear micro spikes or Yak Traks if you have them. We will be learning about Lyme Disease and how to prevent it. Meet 8:30 am. at the Duncannon Holy Spirit Center, a Geisinger Affiliate (formally the Duncannon Family Health Center) to carpool or alternately meet at the K Mart in Enola at 9:00 am. Pack a lunch and don’t forget fluids. Wear something orange for the hunting season. Please reimburse drivers 10 cents a mile. Total miles = 52 miles from K Mart and back. Call Deb at 395-2462 or email email@example.com to register. Hope you can make it!
We had a blast at Winterfest last night in Duncannon, PA! It was a nice little get-together at the Clark’s Ferry Tavern located at 600 North Market Street with about 12 different community groups, a campfire, some festive holiday yard decorations, Santa Claus, a Christmas tree, a DJ, and a few hundred happy people enjoying a night together in an average little American town.
The Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community set up a table near the campfire (of course) with our informational brochures, T-shirts, AT postcards made by Susquenita Middle School students, cookies, snacks, apple cider, and our most popular item of the night, reindeer crafts for the kids! Thanks to the hard work and generosity of DATC member Deb Takach, we helped Duncannon children assemble 50 cardboard tube reindeer tree ornaments. That’s 100 googly eyes, 200 pipe cleaner pieces, 50 yarn scarves, and 101 holes poked! That one extra hole went into my finger, (I shouldn’t be allowed to play with scissors). Unfortunately, we ran out of reindeer in the first hour but we had plenty of free goodies to hand out to the kids and their parents thanks to DATC members Patrick W. and Robyn S.
Patrick made delightful cookies with currants, nuts, and a coffee glaze; and Robyn made tasty treats combining pretzels, chocolate, and candies. Paul S. manned the free cider station while spreading the word about all of the good work the DATC does and fielding questions about trees, bugs, and wildlife. Me? I just tried not to bleed on the reindeer as I poked the holes for their little pipe cleaner antlers.
Special thanks to The Duncannon Parks and Recreation Committee and all of the other volunteers who came together to arrange such a pleasant event.