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Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club (CVATC) will dedicate its newest parking lot at Trindle Road (Route 641), midway between Carlisle and Mechanicsburg, on Saturday, May 26. The dedication will begin at 10 am, followed by two guided hikes, starting at 11. The new parking lot is just south of the intersection of the Appalachian Trail and Trindle Road, in Middlesex Township, Cumberland County. It features eight parking spaces, including one space with handicap access and a rustic sign kiosk.
The AT has long needed a formal parking lot at Trindle Road, because lots of hikers have used the informal parking lot that used to be next to the trail. The old lot was very unsatisfactory, since it frequently became a mud pit after rains. Also, making a left turn onto 641 towards Mechanicsburg was dangerous due to the short sight distance. The new lot is getting lots of use, often being completely full on the weekend. There are so many folks to thank for this improvement to our trail. Club member Tom Scully designed it and helped supervise the construction. Grant money came from the South Mountain Partnership and Mountain Club of Maryland’s Miles Fund. The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau provided funding for the sign kiosk and other displays. Many, many volunteers helped with the construction under the supervision of Trailmaster Craig Dunn. Sign builder extraordinaire Vern Graham built several signs for the parking lot.
But, the biggest thank you goes to the Club's friends at Middlesex Township. When we spoke to them in early 2011 to let them know of our plans, they surprised us by saying they could provide some in-kind services, such as hauling gravel from the quarry at no cost. What they actually did was much, much more. Using their road building equipment, they removed the topsoil, hauled in the stone, installed the base stone and surface gravel, and compacted the completed lot. Recently, they helped us plant trees and perennials using their heavy equipment.
In addition to the elected Middlesex Township Supervisors Steven Larsen, Don Geistwhite and William H. Goodheart, special thanks goes to the following Township employees: Zoning Officer Mark Carpenter, Parks and Rec. Supervisor Denise Jumper and, especially, Road Supervisor and Police Chief Barry Sherman. CVATC is extremely grateful for their help.
Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-199), whose PA House district includes Middlesex Township, has agreed to lead a hike immediately after the lot dedication at 11 am. Bloom’s hike will be 6.2 miles in length at a moderate pace over mostly flat terrain, heading north from Trindle Road to the Scott Farm Appalachian Trail Work Center. An alternative hike, two miles long at a slow pace, will be available for children and adults interested in a less strenuous walk. Space is limited for both hikes. Interested hikers are encouraged to sign up before the event, either by contacting the Club at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the meetup.com site Day Hikers of Central PA. When registering, please specify which hike you are interested in, and how many are in your party.
Because of limited parking space at the lot itself, attendees will be directed to additional parking at the nearby Hickorytown United Methodist Church and along Byers Boyer Road. Attendees will be shuttled back to the parking lot. The date of the dedication coincides with the first day of Pennsylvania Hiking Week, a celebration of the wonderful hiking opportunities throughout the Commonwealth. Complete information on Pennsylvania Hiking Week is available at this website: www.explorepatrails.com.
Picture - assembling sign kiosk at Trindle Road AT parking lot