Attention all hikers: DCNR is looking for trail stewards for Michaux State Forest!

16 March 2023- The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is seeking volunteer trail stewards for the Michaux State Forest in Cumberland County to help with efforts to build a sustainable trail system that serves different types of users and protects water quality and vulnerable species and habitats.

“DCNR needs helps as it works to improve experiences for trail users in the Michaux, which is already a popular destination,” DCNR State Forester Ellen Shultzabarger said. “We’d like to work with the hikers, mountain bikers, and others who enjoy the forest on trail creation and maintenance, so we’re putting out the call for volunteers.”

The next volunteer opportunity this year will be on Sunday, March 26, beginning at 9:00 A.M. to continue construction on the beginner loop of the Hearth Tender Trail.

Hearth Tender is a stacked loop beginner to moderate hiking/biking trail system and parking/trailhead area adjacent to Pine Grove Furnace State Park.

It will include three different trail loops: a 3/4- and a 1.4-mile beginner mountain biking loop, and a 4.1-mile beginner/moderate loop which will provide alternate access to the popular Pole Steeple vista.

The workday will include digging, clearing, and tamping ground to create a quality sustainable trail tread.

DCNR is coordinating volunteer opportunities through the Friends of Michaux. Interested volunteers can register online.

For more information about volunteering contact Michaux State Forest.

Also underway in the Michaux is a project that focuses on about 6,000 acres around Mountain Creek that is already criss-crossed by trails, is a destination for mountain bikers, and includes sensitive habitat areas for numerous bird, fish, reptile, and plant species.

The current trails in the Mountain Creek watershed have evolved over the past century out of old logging or charcoal hearth roads.

An inventory of the area, including permitted and unpermitted trails and roads, has been completed by the Shippensburg University Center for Land Use and Sustainability.

After seeking comments in a number of ways from the public, plans are being finalized for improvements including:

  • Trailheads and parking
  • A signage plan that improves navigability and management
  • Trail construction and rehabilitation by both managers and volunteers
  • The elimination of unsustainable trails including minimizing impacts to streams and streamside areas

Find more information about Michaux State Forest and its 2023 Management Activities (PDF) on the DCNR website.