Pennsylvania names Mid State Trail 2019 Trail of Year
HARRISBURG – The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced the Mid State Trail has been named Pennsylvania’s 2019 Trail of the Year.
“Showcasing some of our state’s most scenic areas, and offering hikers everything from gentle rail-trail travel to rigorous rocky climbs, the Mid State Trail captures the essence of Pennsylvania’s abundant trail system,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “Known to so many, the Mid State truly is most deserving of this honor.”
The Mid State Trail is Pennsylvania’s longest trail. Its 327 miles traverse some of Pennsylvania’s most remote and scenic areas, and stretch from Maryland’s border to New York’s. Its sheer length offers more challenge to hikers than any other trail in the state. Sometimes difficult hiking takes travelers through isolated forests and past historic sites, vistas, waterfalls, and natural springs.
Pennsylvania is a leader in trail development, providing its citizens and visitors with more than 12,000 miles of trails across the commonwealth, from gentle pathways threading through miles of preserved greenways, to remote, rugged trails scaling the state’s mountains.
Each year, the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee designates a Trail of the Year to help build enthusiasm and support for both large and small trails, and raise public awareness about the value of Pennsylvania’s trail network.
The Mid State Trail was created to foster simple, natural experiences that foster a greater respect for nature and a will to protect for future generations. Largely on public land, the trail passes through eight state parks; five state forests; eight state forest Natural Areas; four state forest Wild Areas; four state forest picnic areas; two Scout camps and one roadside rest.
The Mid State Trail is divided into four distinct regions. Traveling from the south, hikers pass through the Everett Region, State College Region, Woolrich Region, and Tioga Region. The trail’s main route, marked by rectangular, orange blazes, also features several long side trails.
The Mid State Trail Association was formed in 1982 to guide the Mid State Trail’s continued growth and protect its future. The association engages many local volunteers who construct and maintain only foot paths.
The Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee is charged with implementing the recommendations of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan to develop a statewide land and water trail network to facilitate recreation, transportation, and healthy lifestyles. The 20-member DCNR-appointed committee represents both motorized and non-motorized trail users and advises the commonwealth on use of state and federal trail funding.