A Brief History of the North Chapter

The North Chapter organized in 1985 as the 1st Regional Chapter of PATC.  It all started when a member of Keystone Trails Association suggested  "organizing the Pennsylvania section".    The suggestion was related to corridor management, but it was interpreted as organizing a local section of the PATC for interested Pennsylvania members. There was considerable interest in having PATC activities closer to home for distant members & since the constitution and bylaws were worded loosely enough, it was decided that there was no reason geographic location could not be construed as a "special interest", which allowed for the establishment of regional chapters.

As a result, an interested group of fewer than 20 people, including Paula Strain, Dave Raphael, Ray Fadner, Charlie Irvin, the Plancks and Elizabeth Johnston (known to her friends as "the old gray-haired lady of Pennsylvania") met at the Iron Masters Hostel in Pine Grove Furnace on Nov. 23, 1985.

Why the North Chapter for a name? Even though almost all of our trail work was initially done in Pennsylvania, there have always been a lot of Marylanders and folks from Virginia and Delaware who considered it their chapter. The word North seemed more inclusive. One thing you could count on, if it happened north of the Mason Dixon Line, the North Chapter was involved. In March of 1998, the South Mountaineers, Maryland's PATC trail crew and its overseers, became a part of the North Chapter. Now if it happens north of the Potomac River, you can count on the North Chapter being involved.

The North Chapter took over the maintenance of the Tuscarora Trail for KTA in April 1993. At that time, the trail was virtually grown shut in most places. By October 1994 the Tuscarora was again passable. In 1996, the Tuscarora Trail and the Big Blue Trail officially merged to become the unified Tuscarora Trail, a 252 mile trail which connects to the Appalachian Trail near the Matthews Arm Campground at Skyline Drive in the south and at Dean's Gap near Harrisburg in the north.