You may be aware that bears are coming back into their natural habitats, including the A.T. corridor, after being removed by humans over the last hundred years or more. The current hot spot seems to be around Lehigh Gap, where there have been several bear sighting on or near the A.T. over the past several weeks. But, they’ve been reported in other parts of the state as well.
These flyers were produced by the PA Game Commission in conjunction with bearwise.org. The one flier is a general Bear Wise flier giving tips for home, outdoors and on vacation.
The second flier covers the dangers of letting dogs confront or agitate bears. Too many hikers are letting their dogs run loose on trails, thereby putting their dogs, bears and themselves at risk.
Special thanks to Emily Carollo of our partner the PGC for providing these excellent materials.
The AMC expanded our Mountain Watch plant monitoring project in the Northeast to include the entire Appalachian Mountain region. This community science project is tracking how plant annual fruiting and flowering time (phenology) is responding to climate change. Shifts in plants flower and fruiting cycles can be used as climate change bioindicators. By seeing how the lifecycle of plants are changing throughout the entire AT region, we can determine the resilience of the Appalachian Mountains region and its capacity to be a climate refugia.
This research and data collection is performed by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts like you! To get involved download the free iNaturalist app, make an account, and under projects search and join the “Flowers and Fauna along the Appalachian Trail Corridor” project. Once a part of the project, go for a hike on or by the Appalachian Trail and snap photos of the plants and animals you see. Make sure your location settings are on, so the location of your observation is recorded. Once uploaded AMC researchers will review your submitted photo and confirm or assign phenophases (flowering or fruiting stage) to the images of our target species. Photos are needed every year from spring (flowering) through summer and fall (fruiting) to continue building our dataset on the relationship between plant phenology and climate change. Join us today!
The AMC-DV’s annual Outdoor Leadership Training course took place this year on the weekend of March 25-26 in the Environmental Education Center at Nockamixon State Park. The “Class of 2023” included a total of 25 participants with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Some had considerable previous experience with leading hiking, biking, and backpacking trips for other groups or AMC Chapters, while other participants were quite new to AMC and to outdoor leadership. All expressed an interest in learning more about how to safely enjoy experiences in the outdoors and share those adventures with others.
Their comments at the conclusion of the course indicated that they felt the course had, indeed, been a worthwhile one:
“The entire training was very well done. Presenters were very knowledgeable, professional, and effective. I was impressed!”
“Everything was new and eye opening. Learned a lot, need to learn more.”
“The roleplays were amazing for learning and getting to know other participants better.”
“Knowledgeable speakers, great interactions with attendees”
“I thought the two days were just perfect, not too much… not too little.”
“I appreciated hearing from a wide variety of experienced people.”
“Loved all the interactive and / or outside time. Entire program was valuable & useful.”
Congratulations to the OLT Class of 2023 graduates: Holly Adams, George Cagle, Eric Carter, Robert Coia, Paul Gehris, Kathy Gill, Paula Goulden Naitove, Pat Grannan, Wendell Gulick, Kate Hausman, Steve Jarreau, Cheryl Jones, David Kenosian,
Welles Lobb, Jim Mann, Ryan McLaughlin, Christian Morrow, Timothy Olah, David Rabold, Sarah Sato, Brian Sisko, Jerzy Sliwinski, Hannah Tyburski, Doug Wilson, and Piljo Yae.
And many thanks to the facilitators for this year’s course: Anne Lise Almira, Stan DeRiel, Barbara Fritzinger, Jeff Fritzinger, Karla Geissler, Cait Handlin, Dave Hoke, Pete Jarrett, Denis McCartan, Margaret McDonald, Joe Nanfara, Adrian Noble,
Eric Pavlak, Ron Phelps, Larry Priori, John Rowen, Annette Sheldon, Lennie Steinmetz, Midori Wakabayashi, and Susan Weida.
Our volunteer leaders are the heart of the DV Chapter, and we are fortunate indeed to have such a great group of experienced and incoming leaders in our ranks!
Do you want to step up and lead outdoor activities or boost your leadership confidence and skills? If so, this training is for you!
The Delaware Valley Chapter will host a 2-day AMC Outdoor Leadership Training on the weekend of March 25 & 26, 2023. To make this event easily accessible for DV Chapter members, it will take place at Nockamixon State Park near Quakertown PA.
Everyone is welcome to attend: new leaders, new members, experienced leaders, members who just want to learn what AMC Leadership is all about. Training utilizes an experiential model that puts participants into mock scenarios. Not only is this method a more effective approach to learning, it’s also fun!
Topics covered are the elements of outdoor leadership common to all AMC outdoor activities:
Leading Safe and Enjoyable Activities
Decision Making Model
Accident Scene Management
Conservation and Minimum Impact Issues
AMC Leadership Requirements and Guidelines
How to Become a DV Chapter Activity Leader
In addition, optional Basic First Aid for outdoor leaders will be covered Friday evening, March 24, 2023. Note that this isn’t a Wilderness First Aid course: That is a separate 2-day course.
Facilitators will be experienced AMC Volunteer Leaders.
If you want to stay overnight in a cabin at Nockamixon State Park, we’ll point you in that direction.
Chapter trail work also includes building new trails at Nockamixon and Ringing Rocks parks
AMC’s Delaware Valley Chapter has taken over maintenance responsibilities for a seven mile section of the Appalachian Trail from Fox Gap (PA route 191) to the western end of the I-80 bridge across the Delaware River. This section was formerly maintained by the Wilmington Trail Club, that could no longer get sufficient volunteers to do the work.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), that oversees maintenance of the trail, may try to get another club to take on this section, but for the foreseeable future this us our chapter’s responsibility.
Trails Chair Greg Bernet noted that some of this section goes through the village of Delaware Water Gap, PA, and some is on a dirt road, so that actual trail maintenance is less than six miles.
He also noted that the Kirkridge Shelter and privy are located on this section and will be our responsibility to maintain. The shelter is in good condition, but the privy needs repair or replacement
The DV Chapter’s Appalachian Trail Crew, headed by Dan Schwartz, has long done regular maintenance on our adopted 15-mile section of the famed hiking trail from Wind Gap south to Little Gap on the Northampton-Monroe county line. We also maintain and watch the Leroy Smith Shelter and privy on that section.
DV chapter is also involved in building a new trail at Nockamixon State Park, and in the spring will begin work on a new trail section at Ringing Rocks County Park, both in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. We also do regular trail work at French Creek State Park.
Trail Volunteers: many kinds, many skill levels. What is right for you?
Trail work involves manual labor from easy to strenuous, from pruning bushes and painting blazes to moving rocks and building steps. Tools and training are provided.
AT corridor monitors hike the edge of the AT’s designated land and report any intrusions such as illegal structures or tree cutting. They blaze the boundary and locate surveyor monuments.
Shelter watchers hike a few miles and periodically visit the shelters and privies to check on them.
Several watchers take turns on a schedule.
Don‘t just hike the trails! Help! Volunteer for a day or for more
Saturday, November 5 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM Central Bucks Senior Activity Center,
700 N. Shady Retreat Road, Doylestown, PA
Central Bucks Senior Activity Center,
700 N. Shady Retreat Road, Doylestown, PA
Featured presentation: Delaware Canal history, Susan Taylor Susan Taylor, now retired, served for 30 years as Executive Director at the Friends of the Delaware Canal
5 PM happy hour, BYOB
6 PM dinner, all inclusive buffet
7 PM election of new officers for 2023
plus service and 25-50 year membership recognition
7:30 regional updates by Mark Zakutansky
7:45 Presentation on Delaware Canal history and views, Susan Taylor; Cost is still just $25
payable by credit card or check at amcdv.org/dinnerpay.html
2022 is AMC Delaware Valley Chapter’s 60th year anniversary.
Celebration during the Fall Fest on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at AMC Mohican Outdoor Center.
We are encouraging Leaders to lead the “60-year” term trips.
New Hiking Chair
Welcome to Joe Nanfara, our new hiking chair. Joe was approved by the DV Executive Committee to fill the position made vacant by the previous chair’s resignation. Joe will serve the remainder of the current term which wends November 5, and has been nominated to serve as hiking chair for 2023.
Mark Your Calendar
Annual Dinner Meeting on Saturday, November 5, 2022
AMC’s August Camp 2022 is taking place this year in the beautiful North Cascades of Washington state. A number of DV Chapter members were in attendance at Week 1 (July 16-23) or Week 2 (July 23-30), as you can see from the accompanying photos. We hope that the Week 3 & 4 campers have as great a time as these groups did!
Appalachian Mountain Club, Delaware Valley Chapter, hosted the Elk State Forest backpack, which was a through hike of the Bucktail path. This backpack was quite the adventure; from the plowing through the nettle fields, dodging the lunging rattle snakes, eating blue berries, coyotes making weird sounds.
This hike consisted of opportunities to learn more from friends as they talk about what they know in nature. A lot of great conversations added to the experience.
Watch the documentary videos by Ernie Bailey below.
Classes are held Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21, 2022.
Earn your Wilderness First Aid certification (WFA) or re-certify at reduced AMC prices. Join us at French Creek State Park for two days of classroom and hands-on practice.
People get sick and people get hurt in places where definitive medical care may not be available on a timely basis. With a basic understanding of first aid YOU may make a positive difference. Space is limited so sign up soon. Completion of the two day course entitles you to a two year certification in Wilderness First Aid through The Emergency Care and Safety Institute underwritten by the American Academy of Osteopathic Physicians and the American College of Emergency Physicians. Optional CPR training, too.
Join Bill & Lennie Steinmetz as they tell us about a recent cycling adventure in Europe.
Holland and Belgium are intrinsically linked with cycling and waterways, so what better way to explore these beautiful areas than with a mixture of both? The classic artist’s landscape, synonymous with long canals, windmills, and a rich industrial heritage can be explored on this route, finishing up in the picturesque World Heritage city of Bruges.
Our relaxed cycling holiday starts in Amsterdam, traveling along the canals and waterways, guaranteeing a striking and diverse introduction to the heart of the country. The cycling will take us along calm, tranquil riversides, through perfectly preserved historic villages, and along winding dike roads. On the way, we pass by beautiful windmill-strewn countryside along the Merwede canal and get to explore some of the oldest cities in Holland.
Information on upcoming outdoor events will also be available.
The event recording is available in the link below:
Copperheads! Hard to believe, but that’s what the sign said during a recent hike at Ringing Rocks Park. Wow, and Ringing Rocks has always been such as nice safe place. The ideal location for a fun family outing.
It seems the signs resulted from a July, 2021 incident where a teenager was bitten by a copperhead at the park. It was so bad that she needed to be sent to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to be treated with anti-venom treatments every six hours. Her hand had swollen to four times its original size.
Maybe not so unusual when you consider that copperheads along with timber rattlesnakes, both venomous, are common across Pennsylvania. There was an incident in 2015 when two people were bitten at Ohiophyle State Park. A copperhead struck when a rafter stepped on one in a rocky area and another when a person was walking near the restrooms.
An adult copperhead can reach 2-3 feet with a body color of copper or hazel-brown. They like wooded hillsides, stone walls and piles of rock, not to mention rotting logs and large, flat stones located near water. They are fond of rodents, especially mice.
Copperheads are said to be quiet creatures and usually do their best to avoid trouble. Though if threatened and they feel the need to protect themselves, they will strike out vigorously. Venom is injected through two hollow fangs connected to glands located on each side of the head. The injection of venom is painful but with prompt medical attention seldom poses any serious threat to human life.
According to the Penn State Poison Center, if you are bitten by a poisonous snake, the most important thing is to stay calm and call 911 or go to a hospital immediately.
In the vast majority of snake encounters, people have ample opportunity to stop, backup or otherwise avoid the snake. If you give snakes a bit of respectable space, you should be fine. Don’t poke them with sticks or throw things at them. Be careful, be cautious and let’s enjoy our parks and the outdoors.
Leadership training 2022, Saturday and Sunday March 25-26 at Nockamixon State Park If you want to become a leader and lead trips, this course is a must. Whether it’s hiking, backpacking, cycling, paddling, skiing, conservation projects or trail work, this is the program you need to get started.
That is, if you measure from the center of the earth. This extinct stratovolcano is 20,549 feet above sea level, but because it lies on the equator in Ecuador, it sits in the maximum part of the Earth’s equatorial bulge. Its peak is the farthest from Earth’s center, and the closest point on our planet to the Sun. Measured from sea level, it is only the 37th highest in the Andes. Aconcagua in Chile at 22,283 feet is the highest.
The biggest mountain in the world by far is Denali, in Alaska. It is a “mere” 20,310 feet high, but it rises from a 2,000 foot base with an immense bulk that dwarfs all other mountains in the world. Denali means “the great one” in the indigenous Koyukon language. However…
If you include the undersea part of mountains, the Big Island of Hawai’i, topped by Mauna Kea at 13,803 feet above sea level, is even taller and bigger, rising more than 32,000 feet from the depths. In geologic terms it is a youngster, only about a million years old.
The following are lists for the 2021, most active participants and most active leaders of Appalachian Mountain Club Delaware Valley Chapter.
Most active participants in 2021
Jane Richter Gregory Bernet Jay Gross Jerry Taylor Nancy Marciniak Susan Weida Adrian Noble John Rogers Richard Einstein Dave Hoke Robert Hileman Annette Sheldon Stan deRiel Christine Filippone Elizabeth Depenna Jerald Srodes Larry Priori Kathy Ciliberti Cameron Smith John Rowen Dave Schofield Lois Rothenberger Mary Morley James Bloom Michelle Thompson Paul Schulke Holly Adams Robert Willenbucher David Rabold Joanne McDonald Sue Auyeung Mike Manes Karen Rossino Peter Jarrett Lynn Fraser Jeffrey Schrager Diane Ullmer R. Phelps Walter Auyeung Richard Hudson John Buzdygon Geraldine Chmiel Michael Ahern Lisa Kleiman Martin Mersky Lennie Steinmetz Rich Pace Jesse Gusler Susan Bickford-Martin Scott Holloway Amy Newman Dorothy Knaus Kathy Gill Blase Hartman Susan Mosley Midori Wakabayashi Carol Broadbent Kayleen Soffer George Rockett Allison Hudson Lisa Schustak Paul Schott
Hiking – 1 mile = 1 mile Backpacking – 1 mile = 1 mile Snowshoeing – 1 mile = 1 mile Biking – 1 day bike ride = 10 miles Paddling – 1 day paddling = 10 miles X-C skiing – 1 day trip = 10 miles Alpine skiing – 1 day trip = 10 miles Trail work – 1/2 day = 15 miles Conservation – 1/2 day =15 miles Shelter Watch – 1 visit = 10 miles Volunteering – 1 outing = 10 miles
Most active leaders in 2021
four or more leads
Michael Ahern Katie Barok Gregory Bernet Theresa Berntsen Susan Bickford-Martin Steven Campanelli Paul Davis Stan deRiel Richard Einstein Judy Farrell Jay Gross Blase Hartman Peter Jarrett Raun Kercher Lisa Kleiman Denis McCartan David Mong
Adrian Noble Rich Pace Janet Penner Larry Priori George Rockett John Rogers Karen Rossino Lois Rothenberger John Rowen Daniel Schwartz Annette Sheldon Jacob Sitkin Kayleen Soffer Lennie Steinmetz Jerry Taylor Diane Ullmer Jill Watkins Julia Watson Susan Weida
Do you want to step up and lead outdoor activities or boost your leadership confidence and skills? If so, this training is for you!
The Delaware Valley Chapter will host AMC Outdoor Leadership Training on the weekend of May 07 & 08 2022. To make this event easily accessible for DV Chapter members, this session will take place at Nockamixon State Park near Quakertown PA.
Everyone is welcome to attend – new leaders, new members, experienced leaders, members who just want to learn what leadership is all about.
Training utilizes an experiential model where you get outdoors and participate in mock scenarios. Not only is this method a more effective approach to learning – it’s also fun!
A group of ten participants went on an AMC led hike along the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail to explore the tunnels that help drain the railroad tracks in this area. These tunnels were engineered with precision with their attention to detail in their brickwork and strong bases. The first half of the hike took the participants through the first six tunnels (this includes one tunnel you drive through to reach the parking area.) At the top of each tunnel, there is a numeric code which was used by a thief to recover their stashed gems. (More on that here: https://unchartedlancaster.com/tunnels-of-enola-adventure/tunnels-of-enola-lost-diary/) The route passes by an old train wreckage site where rail car debris is visible.
After the first part of the hike was completed, part of the group, entered the optional secondary part of the hike, which consisted of an exploratory search for more historic remains. This led them further into the Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve where they discovered a seventh tunnel. What an exciting exploration in this historic area!
An opportunity to bring together the staff who administer LWCF stateside grants in multiple states with nonprofit partners who’ve worked mostly on federal LWCF investments, and discuss the opportunities presented by the Great American Outdoors Act’s full permanent funding of LWCF. With more money coming in, we want the project pipeline to be as strong and diverse as possible! The stateside administrators will be able to compare and contrast their state’s approaches and foster greater community outreach and collaboration.
Explore magnificent North Cascades National Park, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. Camp on the banks of the swift Skagit River in the shadow of 10,781 foot high glaciated Mt. Baker.
Hike, raft, bike and more, visiting many stunning waterfalls and scenic vistas on dozens of activities led by trained AMC volunteers. Just arrive and enjoy the activities and camaraderie. Everything’s provided: tents, hearty, delicious meals prepared by our staff, local transportation and a free shuttle from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
July 16 through August 13. Plan to attend for one week or two. Details and registration are on our website. Camp filled by early February last year, so don’t miss out! Sign up early for the week(s) you want!
Week 1: July 16 — July 23
Week 2: July 23 — July 30
Week 3: July 30 — Aug. 6
Week 4: Aug. 6 — Aug. 13
Cost per person per week: AMC Member $1275; Non-member $1525
The general application window for August Camp 2022 is January 3-12, 2022. Acceptance will be made based on a random lottery system, but applications will continue to be accepted until Camp is full and a substantial waitlist is generated. Visit our website www.augustcamp.org for additional information.
Questions? Ask Lois Rothenberger at ACregistrar@comcast.net
The election of next year’s Executive Committee will take place, and all DV chapter members may vote. The meeting is free, and in addition to the election, we will present our annual awards and provide information on our latest programs and activities.
From the scarlet tanager to the mating luna moths to the two black bears (which safely ran away like usual). This land is thriving with life! Sadly the logging industry has pushed forward in this area to make up for the lumber demands. It’s not a pretty sight. Lets hope the industry is maintaining the responsible efforts to save space for the homes of our friends of the woods.
The Swamp Things hike was amazing this year! What a great group we had. Thank you all for being a part of the experience.
Phase 3 starts on June 12, 2021! More activities, more people.
Leaders, let’s connect with each other and have some fun. Discussions and planning for our in-person leader social and much more. Expect prizes and raffles during the Zoom event. Save the Date – June 8 (Tue) 7:30 PM
Vaccinate, if you can!
Next EC Meeting on Zoom: June 1 (Tue) 7:00 PM Discussion Topic: Reopening All the members are welcome.