Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Visitors Guide is Available

The new year always brings a new Schuylkill County Visitors Guide and this year of course, is no different. The 2009 version of our guide provides a focus on the many great hiking opportunities that abound in our county.

The cover scene was taken along the Historic Tow Path Trail, which meanders along the Schuylkill River near Port Clinton. When most hikers hear the name Port Clinton, they think of the Appalachian Trail which cuts through the southern end of town. Every year thousands of "Through Hikers" visit the Port Clinton Hotel for a meal, or stop in at "Ye Olde Backpacker" to resupply.

Most of the locals know that three hiking trails pass through Port Clinton including the Tow Path Trail, the "AT" and the John Bartram Trail. The John Bartram Trail is part of the Schuylkill River Trail system and when completed, will link Hamburg in Berks County, with Schuylkill Haven and Pottsville years from now. At present only a six mile stretch of trail runs from Hamburg to an old Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge located a mile below Auburn. But this trail, which was completed in 2007, is experiencing an increasing amount of activity.

Hiking in Schuylkill County is not limited to these three trails. There are dozens of trails found in every corner of the county, with popular trails being found at the Schuylkill County Fairgrounds in Summit Station, Sweet Arrow Lake County Park near Pine Grove, Tuscarora State Park and Locust Lake State Park near Barnesville, the Schuylkill Valley Trail between Tamaqua and Middleport, and the Lehigh and New England Rail Trail that runs parallel with Route 309 south of Tamaqua.

For scheduled walks through Schuylkill County, Porcupine Pat leads hikers on a variety of hikes throughout the year. Here is Pat previewing the day's hike on January 24th. More than 80 individuals showed up in 30 degree weather for the first of the season's hikes. Through Pat's efforts with "Schuylkill on the Move" residents and visitors to Schuylkill County will have a variety of hikes to choose from throughout the year. You can check out the Schuylkill on the Move website for more details.

I can tell you that in February, Pat will be taking a crowd out to the Silver Creek Fire Tower in Blythe Township on the 28th. So hey, go take a hike in Schuylkill County.

No comments: