HARRISBURG — Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn invited Pennsylvanians to step outside and appreciate the woodlands around them in annual “Walk in Penn’s Woods” outings planned Sunday throughout Pennsylvania.
“Our spectacular foliage puts our forests in the limelight at this time of the year, but Pennsylvania’s woodlands bring us values we sometimes take for granted,” Dunn said. “Trees and ground cover provide nutrients for the soil; food and homes for wildlife; clean air and water; wood products that we use daily; and peace and tranquility for us to enjoy. The woods truly ‘work’ for us.”
The third annual “Walk in Penn’s Woods” will feature easy-going hikes and rambles at more than 60 locations, including at least one state forest and eight state parks. All are designed to get Pennsylvanians of all ages out in the woods; build appreciation of forests and those who own and manage them; and show the importance of caring for them.
Walks will be held in Buchanan State Forest, Bedford County, and state parks that include: Cook Forest, Clarion County; Greenwood Furnace, Huntingdon County; Hickory Run, Carbon County; Kinzua Bridge McKean County; Mont Alto, Franklin County; Presque Isle, Erie; Raccoon, Beaver County; and Swatara, Lebanon County.
For a complete list of individual walk locations, times, descriptions, and more, go to www.walkinpennswoods.org. The website is being updated regularly as new walks are added.
Since 2017, the first Sunday in October has been set aside for Pennsylvanians to join hosted walks to learn more about Penn’s Woods and gain easy access to expert forest and wildlife professionals.
Last year, more than 1,100 people joined in 68 walks throughout the state. Some this year will have children’s activities; others will highlight managed wildlife habitat or watersheds; and still others will feature wheelchair and stroller-accessible walks.
The 2019 Walk in Penn’s Woods organizing partners include: Pennsylvania Forestry Association; Center for Private Forests at Penn State; Penn State Forestry and Wildlife Extension; Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Pennsylvania Forest Stewards; Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Consulting Foresters; and Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
For more information on Pennsylvania’s state parks and state forests, visit www.dcnr.pa.gov.