Tag Archives: state park

Laurel Highlands Trail November 7-9, 2008

Organized by:

Zack Haas Nick Clabbers

This late season backpacking trip to the Laurel Highlands was overwhelmed by a large group of Boy Scouts. The scouts consumed most of the shelters forcing the group to make due outside with interesting results. The weather for the trip was cool, but overnight showers moved in on the shelterless group making things… interesting. Advice to future trips: make reservations for shelters in advance, watch out for goats, and don’t lose the hummus.

Members in attendance:

  • Zack Haas
  • Nick Clabbers
  • Kaitlin Pope
  • Jesse Hein
  • Tony Hemming
  • Rob Justice
  • Sarah Gettel
  • Noah Johnson
  • Andrew Kinsey
  • Natalie Kovac
  • Pam Lin
  • Joe Moran
  • Zach Orban
  • Diana Zahuranec
  • Anne Sheldrake
  • Amber Slike
  • Sam Roesemann

Allegheny Front Trail December 6-7, 2008

Organized by: Ryan Mullins

This multi-day winter hike was intended for the Allegheny Front Trail, but due to many cancelations the day of the trip was shortened to a single overnight near wolf rocks. The trail was covered with a few inches of snow with deeper sections around a foot. The AFT, as always, was a pleasant hike. A miscommunication resulted in one member not having a sleeping bag for the 5 degree weather. All the extra gear was given to this participant, however the night proved too cold and two members were forced to share a sleeping bag. The AFT still stands as one of the best trails around, even in the dead of winter.

Members in Attendance:

  • Ryan Mullins
  • Dan Trew
  • Ben Hardwick
  • Scott Teal

Oil Creek State Park January 23-25, 2009

Organized by: Joe Moran

This expedition in late January to Oil Creek State Park met with biblical weather, namely 2-3 feet of snow and near-zero temperatures. The following is a detailed description of the trip as related by Joe Moran, the master story teller.


The most memorable portions of the trip were pretty much the entire ordeal.From start to finish it was some of the coldest/most difficult camping I’ve ever done

Initially, the first friday night, we drove into the Wolfkiel Run shelter parking area and just had to make a short quarter-mile walk down from the parking to the shelter area map link: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/oilcreek/oilcreek_mini.pdf

We had rented Two shelters, but decided upon everybody cramming into one, we were joined that night by a group of Boy Scouts who had taken up the rest of the 6 or 7 shelters.

We woke up that Saturday morning in good spirits ready to take on the Day, (The Boy scout group was also heading to the same Cow run campsite, except they were taking a direct route )

It was about 10:30 and we had to make a choice as to what were were going to do, we could have followed the boy scouts and done the 5 mile route, OR if we were feeling up to it then we could try out the 11 Mile route. We (being all the optimists) voted to do the 11 mile route that took us North along the river to a Suspension Bridge Crossing near Boughton run, and back South to the Cow Run shelters on the other side of the Oil Creek river

So we made our way along the absolutely stunning and snow drenched terrain. The Snow was about 3 feet deep and I was ahead breaking through it. After about thirty minutes to an hour of trudging through the snow, we came to a sort of marker sign and I incorrectly judged that we had gone about 2 Miles already…

In actuality we had probably gone a half a mile at most. From then on it was just snow and exhaustion. We finally reached the suspension bridge and had an extremely cold lunch as we were not hiking anymore and our body temperatures went down. The oranges though, I will say and everyone will attest to, those oranges were the best oranges I have ever eaten.

After we crossed the suspension bridge we still had more than half to go. Instead of following the Trail we decided to go along the train tracks that ran parallel to Oil Creek. It was still absolute brutality. At this point everyone was on their last leg of energy just giving everything they had trudging through the snow, trying to follow the footprints that Ed was making.

Walking along those train tracks seemed to take FOREVER, we might have been going 1 mile an hour tops. We took ALOT of breaks, I once heroicly gave everyone a pep talk to just keep pushing and we’ll make it to some picnic area in two miles and like “we’re not going to stop until we get there, we’re going to make it. No breaks. We can do it.” Not more then ten minutes after we set off from my pep talk, I was like “Oh shit I need a break” and we stopped and took a rest. (LOL)

Those train tracks were pure hell and we hadn’t even gotten to the hills.

Along the tracks, Rich’s shoe had a hole in it and his feet were on the verge of freezing, and he switched socks during one of our rests, that was a bit scary.

After what seemed like forever, we finally got to the Miller Farm bridge where the boy scouts had crossed earlier in the day. From then on it was basically following the Tracks that the boy scouts had made.

Problems from then on. Our Water bottles kept freezing and we all were running out of water

it then got dark and right about the time it got dark we started to climb upwards.

We must have been climbing steadly upwards on long switchbacks

Rich was dehydrating and Ed pretty much saved his life, since I was in the front with my headlamp down just basically in a ZONE following the tracks that the boy scouts made. If I didn’t have those tracks to follow it would have taken us alot longer to find our way not to mention not having to break snow.

We were already beyond tired even before it got dark and we started to make our way up the terrain. That last climb up the hill, I remember stopping and waiting a while for Thad and Michele to catch up and then we waited literally 20 minutes for Rich and Ed to catch up.

It was just insane. Without a doubt the most exhausted I had ever been in my life, my feet and hands were freezing, everyone was just BEAT DOWN. We finally made it to the campsite about 3 hours after dark and got a roaring fire going in the shelter. The next day we hiked the short 4 mile route back to the cars. This way was pretty tiring as well. we, myself at least, were able to enjoy the snow covered pines and the scenic beauty of the trail a little more knowing that we weren’t going to DIE.

it was pretty EPIC looking back on the trip one year later. Something that I’ll never forget.


For those wanting to replicate this experience it is highly recommended that you reserve the shelters in advance, either on line or by phone, because they fill very quickly. Also, tarps to cut the wind coming into the shelters would be a good idea.

Members in Attendance:

  • Joe Moran
  • Michele Gebhart
  • Cat Leece
  • Thaddeus Line
  • Ed Wilson-Ewing
  • Emily Riddle
  • Rich Schatz

Hickory Run SP 2009

Organized by: Nick Clabbers

Many attended this outing to the Hickory Run State Park. The trip consisted of day-hikes and campfires, with new members getting to know old members. The chicken suit made many appearances on this trip, and even took its life in its own hands on the Shades of Death trail. The weather for this strip was spectacular, though there was an unusual cold-snap that resulted in frost on one member’s hammock and car window. There is currently an album up on the photo-gallery of this trip.

Members in Attendance:

  • Catherine Campbell
  • Jake Catt
  • Nick Clabbers
  • Renee Fledderman
  • Rohit Gandrakota
  • Zach Haas
  • Natasha Lucas
  • Ryan Mullins
  • Brittany Murphy
  • David Semple
  • David Smith
  • Dan Trew
  • Carolyn Weber
  • Emily Wychock

Allegheny Front Trail October 2-4, 2009

Organized by: Dan Trew

This backpacking trip was to the Black Moshannon State Park along the Allegheny Front Trail. The trip consisted of the Southern-half of the trail, moving a clockwise direction. The trip started in darkness and rain but ended in sunlight and cloudlessness. The fall colors were in full tilt on the Allegheny Plateau resulting in beautiful vistas and a wonderful back-drop for hiking. The trip was greatly downsized prior to its departure due to illness and accidents resulting in a large rented gear surplus (namely 4 tents and 5 backpacks). The beginning portion of the trail should not be attempted in darkness. The many rocks and sudden trail changes make traversal hazardous and requires constant blaze-vigilance. The group did not talk much during the actual hiking, however once at camp the group became quite boisterous. All said, it is a great hiking trail and a great trail.

Members in Attendance:

  • Dan “were-wolf that eats people” Trew
  • Brennan “Brenda” Becker
  • Toma “Gypsy” Zikatanov
  • Joe “Don’t you dare close your eyes” Sumereau
  • Jackie “The Girl” Don
  • Greg “geologist that saw it on a special” Smith

Rustic Cabin Camping 2009

Organized by: Dan Trew

This cabin camping trip was in Black Moshannon State Park. The only difficulty of this trip was getting the wood-stove to heat the cabin consistently. It was cold, and it snowed 2 inches during the first night. The cabin was in excellent condition and well maintained with large quantities of wood nearby. There is no running water in the cabin, a small inconvenience but not much more. Many board-games were played as well as card-games. Fun was had by all, no one died. The cabin is moderately priced and well maintained, however it is not suitable for groups larger than 6-7. The cabin is also only available from April until mid-December making Fall semester the only winter option.

Members in Attendance:

  • Ryan Mullins
  • Joe Sumereau
  • Darcy McKinley Lester
  • Dan Trew

Ricket’s Glen October 9-10, 2010

Organized by: Darcy McKinley Lester

This car camping trip to Ricket’s Glen, one of the most beautiful places in PA, went out over the best time of the year. The fall leaves were in full swing, colors abounded at every turn and the weather was classic fall. The Sun shone the entire trip and the temperatures stayed hospitable. The group stayed a local camp site, headed by none other than Robert Downy Jr. (or someone who looked like him). The days were spent hiking about the park admiring the awesome forces of nature and soil formation. The group was never lost, at least not on the trail. Much fun was had and no one died.

Members in Attendance:

  • Darcy McKinley Lester
  • Dan Trew
  • Grace Cho
  • Sid Deshpande
  • Ben Huey
  • Steve McKaveney
  • Lyndsie Wszola
  • Aaron Clair

Quehanna October 24, 2010

Organized by: Ed Wilson-Ewing

This stunning conclusion to a trip that began over a year ago was an ‘a’ adjective that means really cool. The weather was nearly perfect for the hike. Only a small drizzle was experienced on the second day, and even that was only a few minutes. The moon provided illumination for the night-hiking that the group frequently participated in. The trail itself proved to be a bit of a challenge, with many ups and downs with a few miles thrown in for good measure. The group took this and turned it, making a great time with the perfect weather and lots of physical activity. The consumed meals were amazing, starting with a stop at Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub for some pre-trip dinner and ending on home-made chili on tortillas. Much thanks to James, who is a pro. Wildlife sightings were plentiful on the road, mostly elk and a few dear, and rare on the trail, turkeys and a few pheasants. People should be aware that everyone had fun, and no one died.

Members in Attendance:

  • Ed Wilson-Ewing
  • James Basham, Pro
  • Renee Fledderman
  • Joe Moran
  • Emily Riddle
  • Alie Treciak
  • Dan Trew

Rustic Cabin Camping 2010

Organized by Dan Trew

This cabin camping trip revisited the same cabin as last year in Black Moshannon State Park. The only difficulty of this trip was getting there as the ground was covered with snow and ice. It was not that cold, and it snowed very little during the actual weekend but had snowed the day before the trip. The cabin was in excellent condition and well maintained with large quantities of wood nearby. There is no running water in the cabin, a small inconvenience but not much more. Many board-games were played as well asa fun game of charades. Fun was had by all, no one died. The cabin is moderately priced and well maintained with ample game playing space.

Allegheny Front Trail February 13, 2011

Organized by Dan Trew

This adventurous group of peeps ventured forth into the snowy wilds of the Allegheny Front Trail for some winter backpacking. This crazy troop soon learned that the snow was not just snow but death, layered into snow. A thick layer of ice below the first snow layer covered up yet another layer of death snow waiting to consume a person’s foot. The ice would hold initially, but low, it would break sucking your foot into the crystalline fluff making it a bazillion times harder to walk. The group ditched the original 6 miles for the first day and opted for a shorter 3 miles of snowy back road walking. All in all this group of hardy pioneers had a great time and no one died.