PGC not to reopen closed hiking trail - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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PGC not to reopen closed hiking trail

MICHAEL RUBINKAM ASSOCIATED PRESS The Pennsylvania Game Commission said Wednesday that it would cost $1.7 million to make a beloved, well known hiking trail safe for the public — which is why the agency plans to close it altogether. The Glen Onoko Falls Trail has proven to be too dangerous, and the game commission has no money to fund safety improvements, said the agency’s spokesman, Travis Lau, who confirmed the trail will close indefinitely on May 1. News of the pending closure has outraged hikers and nature lovers. An online petition to keep it open has drawn more than 12,000 signatures in just a few days. At least 10 people have died along the steep, rocky and slippery trail since the 1970s, and there have been scores of serious injuries, straining the all-volunteer rescue squads that serve the mountainous area 85 miles north of Philadelphia. Rescues and recoveries can require as many as two dozen first responders. “It would stand to reason there are only going to be more injuries there,” Lau said. “From the game commission’s standpoint, this is the responsible thing to do.” He added the commission’s mission is to manage wildlife and serve hunters — not maintain hiking trails. Glen Onoko, a series of three waterfalls, has drawn tourists since the 1800s. The falls trail is one of the most scenic and well-known hiking paths in Pennsylvania. People who violate the May 1 trail ban could be fined $100 to $200. Hikers who flocked to the trail this week acknowledged that some visitors come unprepared for the rigors of the trail, or take unnecessary risks by getting too close to the falls, but said the game commission had no right to keep the public away from one of Pennsylvania’s natural wonders. “It’s only dangerous depending on the crazy stuff you do,” said Gary Meinhardt, 41, of Levittown.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:52 PM
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I would imagine people would still try to hike the trail, closed or not. Blocking access would mean the game commission would probably have to patrol the area more than it does now. Look at the recent deaths of people taking selfies at scenic places. People do not realize the dangers of some of these palces. I remember years ago hiking to Indian Gardens at the Grand Canyon carrying 2 gallons of water ,wearing heavy boots and packing plenty of supplies. There were people wearing flip flops, no hat, shorts and tank tops ,no water walking Fifi on a 5 miles one way trip! Idiots. Best part was watching them walk thru a lake of mule pee at the switchbacks where if one mule peed ,they all peed. I recall a ranger saying the rescue guys hauled people out almost every day.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 11:32 PM
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Third blunder for the PGC this year.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:03 AM
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I can see not keeping the trail maintained or blocking the beginning of it but how are you going to keep people off the gamelands? As you can walk all almost every where on any game lands for any reason!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:02 AM
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If you want to hike the falls you can just park atop Rt 93 at the gamelands parking lot and walk there, about 2 1/2 miles. The lower trail, the one everyone uses, is about 600 yds, as the crow flies, from my home. I've hiked it and the trail is deteriorating with loose rock and dirt. I believe the trail was built in the late 1800's when the hotel was still in business. I don't see how they're gonna keep people out with just a few signs.

History's Headlines: Glen Onoko's Hotel Wahnetah- Once a popular resort is barely a memory today - WFMZ

It is sad to see what it looks like after a busy weekend, trash piled up on the ground, dog crap, etc. The DNCR does not provide trash barrels so they just leave their trash wherever. I could go on about the morons who bike and hike the area but now I just avoid it on weekends.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:25 AM
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[QUOTE=Sojourner48;3533691 The DNCR does not provide trash barrels so they just leave their trash wherever. I could go on about the morons who bike and hike the area but now I just avoid it on weekends.[/QUOTE]

The DCNR can't have trash barrels out. First, people start putting their home trash in them, TV's, paint cans, what ever they want to get rid of. Second coons and bears get in them and scatter the trash every where. Its supposed to be carry in, carry out. If some people are to lazy and thick headed to get that there is not a whole lot the DCNR can do. Most people have no problem with it. Believe it or not I think the younger people understand this better than the older generations.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 11:58 AM
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Long history of SGL trails being abused, usually by those that don't contribute a penny to their upkeep. SGL 170 near where I live, has long been pounded by ATVs, dirt bikes and horse back riders on top of the mountain. Not to mention areas that were once ripped up by guys in off road vehicles playing in the mud off of access roads.

Whether it's trails like this one in the news, that apparently needs expensive repairs/maintenance because it is unsafe, or trails pounded by mountain bikers and equestrians that ride where they aren't supposed to, who winds up paying for the abuse: our hunting license dollars.

PGC went through this years ago at Mt. Gretna and other areas, where people did what they wanted to do on the SGL. The "public" will respond on social media and news media, screaming about closing off land access. Most of them have no clue about the difference between SGLs, DCNR and public park lands.

SGL trails should not be open to anyone that demands access, if the trail needs expensive repairs, or is being abused by those that cannot abide by the rules.
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