Monthly Hikes Revived for Butler Chapter of the North Country Trail Association

Spring is here and the Butler Chapter of the North Country Trail Association is happy to announce its monthly hikes have restarted!  Anyone interested in joining a hike is welcome to come.  The April hike is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, April 6th, at 1:00 PM.  Everyone is to meet at McDaniel’s Launch at Moraine State Park.  The theme will be the Waterfowl Migration.  The 4.5 mile hike will go west from McDaniel’s Launch, along the dam and lake front where there will be opportunities to view various migrating water fowl, on their passage north to Canada.  Spotting scopes, bins, field guides and “experts” will be on hand to identify the variety of species observed.  The hike will continue to the end of that segment at Burnside and West Park Road.  At this point the hikers will turn around and retrace their path.  A shorter version of the hike (3.5 miles) can be had by taking a shortcut back along West Park Road to McDaniel’s Launch.  Any questions about the hike can be emailed to John Stehle at [email protected]

The North Country Trail (NCT) is the longest National Scenic Trail in America, consisting of 4,600 miles of trail from New York to North Dakota.  Stretching across seven states, ten National Forests, and over 150 public lands, the trail is brought to local communities through the dedication and hard work of volunteers.  In 2010, volunteers contributed almost 70,000 hours toward building and maintaining the trail and telling its story.  North Country Trail hikers of all ages enjoy fun recreation and beautiful scenery.  While only a few have attempted to thru-hike the whole trail in one shot, thousands find their way onto a section of the NCT each year.

In western PA, the Butler Chapter is dedicated to providing a premium hiking trail to all local hikers and to the upkeep of the trail for all thru-hikers using the NCT.  The sections maintained by the Butler Chapter pass through Moraine State Park, providing access to 15 miles of trail along Lake Arthur and past the Davis Hollow Cabin (a project of the NCT) and connecting to Jennings Nature Reserve and the Old Stone House.  To the north and east, the trail passes through State Game Lands 95, providing access to 13 miles of trail rich in wildlife from route 308 to Leonard Road.  The last section of trail approaches the town of Parker and the Allegheny River, where there is a 5 mile section along the North Fork of Bear Creek, through Hemlock forest and across two unique arched bridges.  The Butler Chapter holds monthly meetings in the Trustees Room of the Butler YMCA every second Thursday of the month at 6:30 PM.  The public is welcome to attend any time.  To learn more, visit their web site at www.northcountrytrail.org/but.  Try out the trail soon, either on your own mini adventure or with a group like the Butler Chapter of the NCTA!