Cited for beauty and public support
MIFFLINBURG — Hikers and outdoor advocates gathered Friday at R.B. Winter State Park to acknowledge the naming of the Mid State Trail as Pennsylvania Trail of the Year for 2019.
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn, Ed Lawrence, Mid State Trail Association president, hikers and others celebrated the founding, popularity and scenic beauty of the trail. It is part of the Great Eastern Trail system, which covers terrain from the Finger Lakes region of New York to Flag Mountain, Ala.
Henry Stoud, chair of the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee, told the group that the Mid State Trail’s application was a clear winner.
“When we evaluate the applications every year, we look at a number of different factors,” Stoud said. “I think Mid State Trail really stood out for the sheer length of the trail and all the hard work that’s gone into it. It is not just an honor about the trail, it is about all the hard work that goes into it.”
Scenic beauty is also a big component of being named. Rocky stretches in R.B. Winter State Park are among its attractions.
“We look at if there is a strong volunteer corps, that sort of thing,” he added. “Also ‘gut feeling.’”
Stoud hoped being named Trail of the Year would attract additional attention and hikers to the Mid State Trail. He admitted he didn’t know as much about it as he would have liked.
Adams added trails are always rated tops by the public when polled about recreation.
“That is our ace in the pocket,” Dunn said. “That is going to be what keeps young people in Pennsylvania and really assures the future of this commonwealth.”
The secretary also said trail and park infrastructure was in need of rehabilitation and was supporting the Restore Pennsylvania initiative introduced by Gov. Tom Wolf.
A poster was unveil promoting the MId State Trail, the longest and most varied trail in the commonwealth.
Staff Writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.