Camp Hill, PA –The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF), the only non-profit whose mission is Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests announced plans for continued restoration of areas of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail through the support of a grant from Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI).
Over the past 5 years, with assistance from REI, the Laurel Highlands Ultra, the Friends of Laurel Hill, the Ridge Runners, PPFF, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as well as overwhelming public support, the restoration of the Adirondack shelter’s fireboxes and chimneys along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail has been completed. The restoration of these Adirondack-style shelters provides unique camping experiences for beginner and experienced hikers. The shelters and fireboxes will now be available for future generations to enjoy the trail experience.
REI’s support will continue with the next phase of restoration to include addressing drainage issues in the tent areas, replacing and relocating fire rings, clearing areas for hammock camping, and improving existing trails from tenting sites to privies, water sources, and firewood shelters. The improvements will make the tent areas more durable and attractive, and reduce erosion and other environmental impacts on the area.
“We are thankful for REI’s continued support of this important project,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “As we celebrate the 125th anniversary of our parks and forests, these investments ensure future generations have the same opportunities to engage in the outdoors that we had.”
“REI is proud to continue supporting PPFF and the work being done along the iconic Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail,” said Steve Wood, Outdoor Programs & Outreach Market Coordinator, REI. “The improvements to the shelter areas have made an incredible impact for visitors, and the restorations to the tenting areas will be enjoyed by tent campers and hammockers for years to come!”
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a 70 mile backpacking and hiking trail, running from Ohiopyle State Park to Laurel Ridge State Park. It is one of Pennsylvania’s most celebrated hiking trails.