Continuing the list of trailheads you may not be familiar with or have considered for your next outing, we have something a little further out from State College. This particular portion of the Rothrock trail network is popular with the mountain bike crowd but makes for a good hike as well.
Coopers Gap Road
Given the current stay at home restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor family recreation is as important as ever for physical and mental health. Due to the increased number of users heading to our parks and forests, some of the more well known trailheads such as Galbraith Gap, Shingletown Gap, and Musser Gap are being over crowded which limits the ability to practice good social/physical distancing. To that end, we would like to highlight a few alternatives that you may not be familiar with or considered for your next outing. The first of four alternatives is below.
Bear Gap Road
Following our press release and announcement below regarding the grant we received, you may have seen some additional coverage in the local media. If you happened to miss anything, we have a small roundup of articles and TV coverage for you.
Thank you to everyone that commented, liked, or shared our Facebook post as well to help spread the word. The community response was amazing and we hope to get more people involved soon.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Friends of Rothrock State Forest, a chapter of The Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation, has been awarded a $365,700 grant to develop, create, and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities. The grant was part of more than $11 million awarded by The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for 37 trail development projects across Pennsylvania. Funding for the grant was provided by the Recreational Trails Program, an assistance program of the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.
Money received from the grant will fund phase one of the Rothrock State Forest Trail Assessment, which takes multiple approaches to assess the current conditions and address the sustainability of the trail system throughout Rothrock State Forest. The first phase of implementation specifically addresses connecting the greenway leading from Whitehall Road across Route 45 and into Musser Gap. Phase one comprises three sections of new, multi-use trail throughout Musser Gap, up to and over the ridge formed by Tussey Mountain, ultimately leading to Pine Swamp Road.
Dan Trew, Chairman of the Friends of Rothrock State Forest had this to say about the grant award. “The Friends of Rothrock is excited to begin working towards a more connected forest utilizing state-of-the-art, sustainable trail building techniques. This grant was made possible by all the hard work of volunteers with the Friends group; with actual miles going on the ground the need for more volunteers is paramount. Anyone interested in helping give back to the forest is invited to join us in shaping the future of passive recreation in Rothrock State Forest.”
“Investments in our parks and forests through private philanthropy and volunteer time is an important role that visitors can play to ensure the health and viability of our state lands,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “We applaud the Friends of Rothrock for their hard work and we extend our appreciation to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for recognizing the important value this project brings to residents and visitors alike.”
About 30 people attended the Friends of Rothrock State Forest’s first outreach and educational event “Deer, Forest Health & Hunting in Rothrock State Forest” on November 21st at the Boalsburg Fire Hall. Attendees saw presentations from Dr. Duane Diefenbach of Penn State and Helen Schlemmer from the PA Game Commission who shared fascinating videos of Game Commission staff capturing and applying radio collars to white-tailed deer. The associated GPS telemetry movement data collected forms the basis of The Deer-Forest Study taking place in Rothrock State Forest. The data is being collected to investigate how deer browsing and soil conditions interact to affect the understory vegetation in our forests and ultimately, long-term forest health. Mark Ternent of the PA Game Commission and Josh Thompson from DCNR Bureau of Forestry explained the Deer Management Assistance Program, also known as DMAP, in Rothrock State Forest and the important role hunters and hunting play in the overall management of deer in Penns Woods. Thanks to all of our presenters as well as Backcountry Hunters and Anglers for offering venison appetizers at the social that followed the presentations.
Watch for announcement for 2020 outreach events here in our blog and on our Facebook page.