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Keystone Trails Association Hiking Weekend This October

Sep 03, 2015 09:13AM ● Published by Erica Shames

From October 16-18, 2015 Keystone Trails Association (KTA) members, members of KTA's trail maintaining clubs, and hikers from across Pennsylvania and surrounding states will be able to enjoy hiking, other activities, meals, meetings, and camaraderie at our annual Fall Meeting and Hiking Weekend.

Base camp will be at the Doubling Gap Center in Newville, Cumberland County, PA. and in the surrounding area. The Doubling Gap area, nestled in the Blue Mountain Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains and on the southern edge of the Tuscarora State Forest, contains many hiking trails waiting to be explored. In addition to challenging, longer hikes, short, easy and kid-friendly options will also be offered each day.

Doubling Gap Center, located nine miles north of Newville, PA, was once a turn of the century luxurious resort. The Center took its name from the unusual lapping of the Blue Mountains which forms double gaps, resulting in a perfect horseshoe around the 150 acre facility. The famous Doubling Gap Springs Hotel attracted such well-known guests as John Wanamaker and Ulysses Grant, who sampled the nutritious white sulfur springs.

Today, the historic hotel maintains the charm of former days but with a new purpose, as a year-round retreat center in a secluded mountain setting.

One of the most interesting architectural characteristics of the spacious lodge is its continuous porch measuring 398 feet in length by 14 feet in width, which is the original "piazza" of hotel days.

TO SEE AND DO

There is plenty to see and do on the grounds of this beautiful and historic retreat! Weekend guests are encouraged to make use of the plentiful indoor and outdoor community spaces, multiple fire circles, the cheerful and airy sun-room, a rustic game-room (complete with air-hockey, ping-pong, and other tables!), well-equipped fitness room (perfect for a rainy day), sand volleyball court, frisbee-golf course, indoor fireplace (with ample wood for our free use), and much more. If you're lucky, you might even spot some kittens on the back porch -- newly-weaned and ready to go to a new home!

Your registration fee also includes the unlimited use of paddle boats, so that you can explore the 4.5-acre lake in your spare time. Kids and more adventurous adults may want to complete one or both of the Center's ropes courses, and try out their 30-foot climbing tower and zip line.

HIKING WITH SATC

KTA member clubs/ organizations host each of our Spring and Fall Hiking Weekends, by planning and guiding hikes and other excursions throughout the weekend. In October, the hosting club is the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club (SATC).

The Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club was organized to provide opportunities to enjoy and become educated about nature through hiking and other outdoor recreational activities, to build and maintain trails and shelters for public use, and to aid in the conservation of wild lands and wildlife. SATC volunteers contribute over 1,000 hours a year toward trail care of their 20-mile section of the A.T.

We are very excited to have this fine organization co-host our hiking weekend!

The Weekend Hike Schedule will be available online by October 1. Pre-registration for your hikes (especially those on Friday and Saturday) is strongly encouraged. To pre-register for your hikes, send an email to Sara Haxby, Program Administrator, at shaxby@kta-hike.org with your preferred hike(s) in the following format:

Day (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday); Hike # (listed on hiking schedule); Name of Hike

Example – Friday, Hike #1, Grant Road; Saturday, Hike #8, Kunes Camp; and Sunday, Hike #3, Teaberry Trail.

FEEDBACK FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS

"We could not have asked for a better venue for the hiking weekend. It was just right for the 111 + or – attendees. My concern is that when positive word of mouth spreads & we return with over 200 hikers the facility might feel cramped."

"With the effort put forth by the staff & volunteers, I would have had a great time even if the venue was a leaky barn. Your efforts are appreciated."

More information is at www.kta-hike.org.

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