On the hunt for American chestnuts in the wild!
Many thanks to Mike Aucott for his volunteer efforts with PATACF. Among many other activities, Mike is leading a walk this Sunday, October 6th in the Allegheny National Forest as part of Penn States Walk in Penn’s Wood. He will be highlighting some pure American chestnuts growing on this walk and sharing his knowledge of our favorite tree species. You will find more infomation about that event below.
Mike and his wife Louise are both active members, volunteers, and growers in the PA/NJ Chapter. They maintain their own orchard and participate in a number ways to support our restoration efforts. As an example, Louise Aucott has served on the Board for the past two years and though she is stepping down after the current term Mike will be stepping up. We are fortunated to have so many dedicated volunteers like them.
Allegheny National Forest –
Time: Walk starts at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m.
Walk Address: Tracy Ridge Campground parking lot; GPS coordinates: 41.945, -78.876
Walk Description: Walk will start at Tracy Ridge Campground parking lot and proceed to trailhead of trail #1 which is about 50 yards west of the parking lot. Walk will continue along marked trail for about 0.8 miles, at which point we’ll take a detour uphill and to the east to intersect the “E loop” of campsites. In this area there are several large surviving American chestnut trees whose crowns reach the canopy as well as many smaller chestnut trees.
Walkers could head back to the parking lot along the campground roads from this point. However, the guided walk will continue back downhill to rejoin the marked trail, and proceed along this trail down along Johnnycake Run. About a mile further along the way there is another area with numerous American chestnut trees, at least one of which is about 70 feet tall. At this point the guided walk will turn back and return to the parking lot along the same route. Terrain is moderately sloping. Trail is well-marked but rocky in places; level of difficulty is considered “moderate.” Overall walk is about 1.5 to 2 miles out and same distance back.
Sponsored by the PA/NJ Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to join this walk.
Note: Since the walk will end around lunchtime, feel free to bring a picnic lunch; campsites have picnic tables and most are usually not occupied at this time of year. People-friendly leashed pets are allowed; owner must clean up after their pets. This is not a wheelchair and stroller friendly walk.Since the walk will end around lunchtime, feel free to bring a picnic lunch; campsites have picnic tables and most are usually not occupied at this time of year. People-friendly leashed pets are allowed; the owner must clean up after their pets. This is not a wheelchair and stroller friendly walk.
Walk in Penn’s Woods is a project of the Center for Private Forests at Penn State University. It was envisioned as a day for people across Pennsylvania to visit and learn about the forests that enhance our well-being. Forests are always working for us, providing recreation, wildlife habitat, beauty, improved water quality, clean air, wood products, carbon storage, and more.
To learn more about Walk in Penn’s Wood and other hikes around the state follow this link.