Monday, October 27, 2014

DCNR, Local Officials Dedicate Lycoming County Trail Bridge

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti Monday joined state and local officials and hiking enthusiasts on the Black Forest Trail in the Tiadaghton State Forest District to dedicate a new bridge spanning Slate Run in the village of Slate Run, Lycoming County.
“For all of you who patiently awaited this new, beautiful structure, today is indeed a day for celebration,” Ferretti told the gathering. “Once again the Black Forest Trail invites you to strike out in long, uninterrupted forays through some of the most scenic, uninterrupted and wild sections of our bountiful state.”
A bridge had been a missing vital link in this very popular state forest trail that annually draws thousands of hikers to the Lycoming County area of the Pennsylvania Wilds.
Noting that since 1996 a 7.5-mile segment of Black Forest Trail had been inaccessible to those not wishing to ford the stream, Ferretti said hikers were faced with sometimes dangerous and uncomfortable options.
“This span affords hikers safer passage and the opportunity to hike the Black Forest Trail as it was meant to be traveled,” Ferretti said. “Circling almost 42 miles through deep hollows of the Allegheny Plateau, the Black Forest Trail is intended to be hiked as a loop. When that loop could not be completed, quality was diminished.”
The span replaces former area crossings that either were washed out by Slate Run flood waters or dismantled, and offers year-round, safe passage across the Pine Creek tributary.
“While it’s going to complement the experience for thousands of hikers already drawn to the most popular hiking trail in the Pine Creek watershed, their safety has been the driving force behind this state forest improvement,” said Ferretti. “We know Tiadaghton State Forest is experiencing a steady increase in recreational users, especially hikers, and the new span helps meet their needs.”
Ferretti was joined at the dedication by Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), and representatives of hiking groups and local businesses.
Built by nearby Lycoming Supply of Williamsport, the 102-foot, prefabricated, steel truss, pedestrian bridge cost $204,000. The project received a $150,000 grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, overseen by DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
Described as “moderate to strenuous” in hiking difficulty, the Black Forest Trail is 27 miles north of Jersey Shore in the northwest corner of Lycoming County. Named for dense, dark, virgin coniferous forests that once covered the area, the rugged trail showcases several of the rugged vistas that define the beauty of the Pennsylvania Wilds. Located off Route 414, it overlooks Slate Run, Pine Creek and a number of other prominent Tiadaghton State Forest natural features.
Detailed trail-guides and maps are available at a cost of $12 from the Tiadaghton Forest Fire Fighters Association, P.O. Box 5091, South Williamsport, Pa., 17701. The donation helps defray costs of the private, non-profit trail-maintenance group.
For more information, visit DCNR’s Tiadaghton State Forest District webpage or telephone Tiadaghton State Forest District Office, 570-327-3450.

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner