Do you have a junk drawer in your kitchen? You know, that one drawer that holds a variety of useful things: things that you don't have enough of to dedicate to an entire drawer. Well that's what this section of the website is all about; a collection of useful information that doesn't lend itself to be classified to existing areas of the website. Information here is not updated on a regular basis, so check back often to learn what's the latest tid-bit of information we've added to our junk drawer.

I am sure you have heard of Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game for Apple iPhone and Android mobile phones. The game requires you, a Pokemon trainer, to collect Pokemon. creatures, which you'll find in the real world, thanks to your phones camera. There are various items that assist in catching Pokemon, and these can be found at PokeStop. PokeStops are associated with landmarks in the real world. Another aspect to Pokemon Go is using the Pokemon you have collected to battle other Pokemons in places called Pokemon Gyms. Needless to say this new game has become a world wide hit with millions playing the game.

Typically urban centers have a high density of PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms, but this isn't always the case. On a short section of the Mid State Trail, located just south of State College, you will find seven PokeStops and a Pokemon Gym in the middle of the woods. If you have kids that enjoy playing Pokemon Go, or perhaps you find yourself addicted to the game as well., here is an opportunity to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the wilderness, while collecting and playing Pokemon Go. So where is this magical Pokemon place in the woods, and how do you get there? Well, let me tell you a story...

Here you will find a collection of PAHikes videos that focus on the woods of Pennsylvania. Take a moment to enjoy videos such as virtual hikes on various hiking trails, a collection of majestic vistas found along Pennsylvania trails, or some of the aerial footage filmed with a GoPro strapped to the bottom of a UAV. This collection will continue to grow with time, so stop back frequently to see the latest addition to the PAHikes Video Collection of Penns Woods.

It was was back in 2005 that the PAHikes website first appeared on the World Wide Web. What started out as a way to share hiking experiences with family and friends soon turned into a valuable resource for many hikers. Fast forward to the year 2015 and we are celebrating our ten year anniversary. A lot of things have occurred over the past ten years. Let's take a look at some of the changes over the years and see what is planned for this decennial anniversary.

This article was written by Peggy Keating-Butler in 1989. At the time, Peggy was taking a non-fiction writing course and came up with the idea of writing an article about the Mid State Trail that might then be placed in Pennsylvania Magazine. Since she loved day hiking, Peggy decided, as part of her research, to also become a volunteer for maintenance of a portion of the Mid State Trail. She met with Tom Thwaites to discuss her interest in writing the article and in becoming a volunteer. Tom arranged for the outing that is described in this article. Peggy continued to go on several such outings and to maintain her section of trail for another two years. Currently Peggy still finds opportunities to hike, regularly walking her dog Bridget on the various hiking trails at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve in Fairfield, PA. They also take several 15-minute strolls daily into the woods behind their house.

Three to four times a year, typically during the month of June, volunteers of the Keystone Trail Association spend 6 days a week building and maintaining trails around Pennsylvania. The Keystone Trails Association (www.kta-hike.org) is an alliance of organizations and individuals who share a common interest in hiking in Pennsylvania and neighboring states. Apart from conducting guided hikes (Prowl the Sproul) and maintaining trails (Trail Crews and Trail Care weekends), the KTA protects hiking trail lands through support and advocacy and educates the public in the responsible use of trails and the natural environment. An excellent way for you to give back to the trails that we all enjoy is to join the Keystone Trail Association. You can also help by volunteering to participate on one of their Trail Care weekends or one of their week long Trail Crews. The week long Trail Crews begin on Tuesday and run to Sunday. You can volunteer for the entire week or just an afternoon. In 2007, KTA conducted trail crews to improve and expand the Chuck Keiper Trail, Pinchot Trail, and the Mid State Trail. I had the honor and pleasure to participate, if only for a couple of days, on the trail crew for the Mid State Trail.

As seems to be the norm over the past few years, we in Central Pennsylvania seem to experience extended periods of drought during the summer months. This can be a concern when hiking during this time, causing problems finding reliable water sources along the trails. Many thanks to Ralph Seeley and the Quehanna Area Trails Club for putting together this overview of water sources along the Quehanna Trail. This discussion will go in a CCW direction, since that is the way most backpackers go—that is, starting from Parker Dam State Park on the south loop.

The following originally appeared as a series of articles in the Mid State Trail Association's newsletter, The Brushwhacker, penned by yours truly. I've taken each of the articles and put them together to represent a more complete tale regarding the founding, developement and expansion of the Mid State Trail. So without any further adieu, I present to you (courtesy of the Mid State Trail Association) a history of Pennsylvania's wildest footpath, the Mid State Trail.

When hiking in Pennsylvania and other states, trails are typically marked with various signs and painted patches on trees and posts, called blazes. In Pennsylvania, there are standards for the size and color of these blazes, indicating the use and character of the trail.

The Pennsylvania DCNR has set guidelines for marking trails on state forest land. These guidelines are typically followed on state gamelands as well as within state parks. Pennsylvania DCNR has guidelines for both motorized and non-motorized trails. Motorized trail blazes are in the shape of diamonds while blazes for non-motorized trails are in the shape of rectangles, measuring 2" x 6".