Since the weekend of March 13, 2020, the United States has experienced a new way of life. With the COVID-19 pandemic, families are urged to restrict their daily activities and practice social distancing to flatten the curve. People across the country are seeking ways to engage in physical activity as to improve mental and physical health. Outdoor spaces are experiencing record level visitors as a result. We are happy to say that the Cambria County Trails are still open for enjoyment, but we ask that you please proceed with caution.
IMPORTANT SAFETY MEASURES
- Maintain a 6-foot distance between others as recommended by the CDC when you arrive at the trail head parking lot and during your time on the trail. This might seem weird, but these are weird times. It will benefit all if we implement this idea.
- Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene such as washing your hands, carrying hand sanitizer, avoiding touching your face, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, etc.
- As per Governor Wolf, masks or face coverings are recommended while recreating outdoors in the state of Pennsylvania at this time.
- Please stay home if you do not feel well!
- Plan on visiting the trail with people you are already in physical contact with. This includes your housemates or other family members within your home.
- Dog walking can be more challenging at this time. Dogs must be on a 6-foot leash at all times and must also practice the measure of maintaining a 6-foot distance from other dogs and persons on the trail. You may need to hold your dog by your side as others pass on the trail.
- When passing others on the trail, warn them of your presence. Allow proper distance and step off of the trail if necessary. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
TIPS BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT
- Know that all restrooms along the trails have been closed for the safety of our maintenance crew and trail users. This includes the restrooms along the Ghost Town Trail in Indiana County. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes, but do know that this is for your safety. Please come to the trails prepared, this may include using the restroom before you visit, bringing along toiletries to use off the trail, and disposing of human waste properly.
- Bring along food and water that you may need during your time outdoors.
- Practice the Leave No Trace principles – pack it in, pack it out! Bring along a small bag, just in case!
- Select multiple trailheads to access should one be crowded. We have seen a massive increase in trail usage at this time, and some of the more popular trail heads get crowded. Between the three rail trails in Cambria County, there are over a dozen access points. Please refer to each individual trail’s page as listed at the top of our website under “Our Trails”.
- Check out maps online before you go. While we do have maps at trail heads, you can eliminate your exposure to germs by researching before you head out.
MAINTENANCE OF TRAILS DURING COVID-19
We strive to keep the trails of Cambria County in the best possible shape for the community. However, as mother-nature always surprises us, things like washouts, fallen trees, and other issues may arise. Please note that we have limited maintenance staffing at this time, but will address any and all issues as quickly as we can.
Hiking Rules For LHHV Forest TrailSome of the most invigorating and peaceful times of your life can be spent hiking the trails on LHHV Forest Trails. From the rugged overlook Trail in the Southeast section, to the wooded ravines in the Northwest section and waterfalls along trails , to the swampy and fascinating Conservation Area in back of reservoir, we offer you a boundless variety of hiking experiences. All the wonders all within a 3 mile trail that surrounds the reservoir.
- NO OPEN FIRES!
- This is a primitive trail not suitable for handicapped persons.
- Do not disturb nest or dens.
- If you bring it in please take it home.
- Disposal of human bodily waste shall be accomplished only at sanitary facilities.
- Motorized vehicles are not permitted.
- Pack animals, including horses, mules, burros, goats, and llamas are allowed.
- All edible berries, fruits, and nuts found along the LHHV Trail may be gathered by hand for personal consumption.
- All incidents resulting in damage to property in must be reported by persons involved to the CSA as soon as possible.
- We encourage the buddy system; avoid hiking alone. Hike in a Group consisting of at least two fellow hikers. In case of an accident, one person will then be able to stay with the injured while the other goes for help.
- Littering or defacing of any public property is not allowed. Creating graffiti on rocks or other natural or manmade objects is not allowed.
- Trespassing on private property along the Trail is not allowed. Camping or building fires on private property is not allowed.
- Removing, damaging, or disturbing of vegetation, rocks, or other natural objects or artifacts is not allowed.
- If you cause a fire, you are legally responsible for all costs of fire suppression and property damage, including any timber value.
- If you plan to take your dog along for your hikes then make sure to keep your dog on a leash at all times, unless training dog under state game laws.
- Stay on the trails and do not go wandering off. By using the trails, you ensure that you will not further disturb nature and it will minimize the chances of getting lost.
- Do not disturb the environment by shouting or playing loud music. People go back to nature for the peace it can offer.
- If you notice any damage to the trail or trail signs, make sure to note down the exact location and notify LHHV office. Damaged or destroyed trails or trail signs can cause serious difficulties for other hikers.
- Make sure you know the local regulations regarding fishing/hunting before you do so. You need a state license to fish or hunt.
- Make sure to be well-equipped for your intended hike and Terrain/Weather conditions. Take enough food and drinks for your intended hike. You may also bring more if you want. Stay on designated hiking trails.
- Use insect repellent to help ward off mosquitos and other insects.
- Be sure to protect yourself from wood ticks, carriers of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and deer ticks, carriers of Lyme disease. Deer ticks thrive in woods and fields with tall, dense grass. Apply insect repellent, suited for warding off deer ticks, as directed. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, button your collar and stuff your trouser cuffs into the tops of your socks. Wear light-colored clothing to better see if any ticks have attached to your clothes. Examine your clothing and skin frequently for ticks and also check your pets. Ticks prefer warm, moist areas, so pay particular attention to inspecting your groin, armpits and scalp. Carefully remove any attached tick immediately with tweezers. You may also want to preserve it in a small bottle of alcohol should symptoms appear later. Symptoms can be flu-like and some victims suffer a red, bull’s-eye-like rash with a clear center around the site of a tick bite. Not all deer ticks carry Lyme disease, but if you suspect you’ve been bitten, contact your doctor. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, and patients can recover fully if treated early.