Ilse and I enjoy what the German's call “wandern,” not necessarily heavy-boot hiking, but more than just shuffling along in flip-flops. Good shoes, yes, but no alpenstock required. We find the perfect trail at Raystown Lake at the Seven Points Recreational Area. Designed and built by the International Mountain Biking Association, the Allegrippis trail system is a first-class multi-use trail system that is fast becoming world renowned. There were several young Germans here just to ride the trails, and on our last outing, we met a couple who had driven over from Washington DC, a three and a half hour drive, just for a day's outing on the Allegrippis trails.
On our second evening hike on the trail, we meet Caleb, a shirtless back-packer coming out of the southern loop. Caleb, slender, lean and not an ounce of fat on his body, is not just hiking, he is checking the status of the trails. He is one of many volunteers who constantly monitor the condition of the 36 mile long series of trails. Volunteers from the Friends of Raystown Lake, and the Raystown Lake Mountain Bike Association do a marvelous job of keeping the well-maintained trails clear of fallen trees or any debris or trash what-so-ever.
We met Caleb a week earlier at the vendor's showcase at the Visitor Center, where he represented Rothrock Outfitters in Huntingdon. He proudly had his state-of-the-art, 29 inch mountain bike on display at the showcase, and spent quite a bit of time explaining the trails and their history to us. When we meet him again, hiking alone in the cool, evening quiet, we realize it is people like him that make the trails possible for us and everyone else to enjoy.
While we are at Seven Points, Ilse and I also take another local hiking trail known as the Old Logging Trail, a trail not recommended for bicycles, and find it to be far less pleasing to hike than the Allegrippis trail.
We'll be back at Seven Points in another month or so, and look forward to hiking more of the beautiful 24 trails of the Allegrippis system.
For more information on the Allegrippis Trails:
NEXT: On to Ives Run at Tioga-Hammond, another great COE campgraound, at:http://sleepstwo.blogspot.com/2012/07/ives-run-campground-tioga-hammond.html