I have been posting about local hiking since I started this blog and the @Christina_Skis social media handle. A fellow hiker and outdoor enthusiast, @HBFOutdoors, has created a team of other likeminded explorers in the area, under the hashtag of #ICE2017 – to Inspire, Connect and Experience the great outdoor recreation that western Pennsylvania has to offer.
“I’ve put together a team of PA hikers and true outdoor enthusiasts for adventure and to give back to the outdoor community of Western Pennsylvania. We’ll be exploring various trails, sharing our adventures, volunteering, and inspiring others to connect with the outdoors for some awesome experiences.” – Brian Ford, HBFOutdoors
You can view the entire #ICE2017 team at hikebyfaith.com. Brian plans to wrap up the season with a backpacking trip along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail to raise support for the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Shelters Fund.
The LHHT has provided 40 Adirondack style shelters to hikers along this trail for 40 years and have introduced many to a lifelong passion for backpacking. Although some of these shelters are being updated, it is estimated that 2017 may be the last functional year for four areas at Route 56, Grindle Ridge, Route 31, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. See the before and after restoration images below.
However, there is renewed hope in the form of a grant of $10,000 from REI to restore these remaining shelters, and now, PA Parks & Forests is asking for your support. There is still $14,000 remaining in need to restore them and as of June 22, 2017, they have reached 14% of their goal. You can learn more about the shelters fund and donate, Here.
Shelter images were taken with permission from the LHHT Facebook page.