The 20th Annual Faculty/Staff Trail Hike was held on Saturday, June 1, 2019, with a record 18 hikers in the Saint Francis University group following the historic 6 to 10 Trail from the Lemon House near the Cresson summit to the Foot of 10 trail head in Duncansville.
The group walked 9 miles in a little more than 3 hours. The trail mostly follows the path of the Portage National Railroad that operated from 1834-1847 to connect branches of the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal on either end as the first railroad to cross the Allegheny Mountains, and features the Eastern five of the ten inclines that had stationary steam-powered engines pulling the train cars up and lowering them down the side of the mountain.
This was the third year the hike was held on the 6 to 10 Trail which covers moderate hiking terrain and features deciduous and hemlock forests, numerous streams, and wildflowers. Hikers traveled up paths lined with tree roots and descended hills with stone steps. All the while, faculty and staff enjoyed conversations with new friends and old.
Dr. Lane Loya, Associate Professor of Biology, led the hike again this year. Dave Wilson began the annual hikes in the year 2000, inspired by the first-year reading of the book A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson; Lane joined the effort in 2002. The first 14 hikes had been on the Laurel Ridge trail, followed by three along the path of the flood near Johnstown.
Joining Lane this year were Jennifer Adams, Matthew Adams, Paul Adams, Jeff Bender, Marian Bender, Fr. Terry Henry, Jane Kaminski, Dr. Jim Logue, Dr. Justin Merry, Melita O'Donnell, Tom O'Donnell, Diane Skoner, Dr. Pete Skoner, Dr. John Trimble, Marie Young, Rob Young, and Dr. Irene Wolf.
The tradition will continue with the 21st anniversary trail hike next year, on Saturday, June 6, 2020 in conjunction with National Trails Day; mark your calendars.