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The warm weather calls for a walk or bike ride. Find the right path, and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature at one of the

many state parks in the Cumberland Valley

.

Biking trails

There are designated off-road bike and multi-use trails throughout Pennsylvania's state forests, but biking is prohibited on the Appalachian Trail, Tuscarora Trail and many footpaths. Always check district forestry offices for access and permission.

For free maps in state forests, call the district offices at 485-3148 (Buchanan); 352-2211 (Michaux); and 536-3191 (Tuscarora). Or download maps from Department of Conservation of Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry website at www.dcnr.state.pa.us

Free state park maps and DCNR public use maps are available at all state park and district forestry offices.

Rail trails

Crushed stone trails along former railways provide easy, nearly level riding. These are maintained by municipalities, parks or nonprofit organizations.

• Chambersburg Section, Cumberland Valley Rail Trail: 1.6-mile trail runs north from South Main Street to Commerce Street, one block west of U.S. 11.

• Chambersburg Pump Track: Along the rail trail (above) at King and Hood streets, to be used as a skills development course.

Information: Guy Shaul, recreation superintendent, at gshaul@chambersburgpa.gov or 261-3275.

• Cumberland County Hiker/Biker Trail: Two miles on crushed limestone surface through Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Information: 486-7174.

• Cumberland Valley Rail Trail: 11.1-mile rail trail from Shippensburg north to Newville

Information: www.cvrtc.org or 860-0444.

Backpacking, hiking

Several long-distance trails in the area offer near wilderness experiences:

• Appalachian Trail: This national wilderness footpath, 2,000-plus miles from Maine to Georgia, runs through Michaux State Forest with parking access at (from north to south) Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Cumberland County; Caledonia State Park, Franklin County; Pa. 233 near South Mountain; and Pen Mar Park, Washington County, Md.

The traditional halfway point of the trail for many years was the area around Pine Grove Furnace State Park near Gardners. The Appalachian Trail Museum, located in the park, celebrates trail hikers and the history of the trail.

Website: www.appalachiantrail.org

• Standing Stone Trail: About 68 miles long, this trail follows scenic ridge lines in Huntingdon, Mifflin and Fulton counties. It's a strenuous hike but offers some outstanding vistas. There is access at U.S. 522 in Fulton County; Pa. 994 near Three Springs, Huntingdon County; and along Pa. 655 or U.S. 22 near Mapleton Depot, Huntingdon County.

Website: www.pahikes.com/trails/standing-stone-trail

• Tuscarora Trail: The Tuscarora Trail is the northern portion of an extensive bypass of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. It is about 220 miles long and connects the Appalachian Trail near Carlisle in the north and in the Shenandoah National Forest in the south.

Website: www.yorkhikingclub.com/tuscarora.html

• Day hiking: The DCNR website www.dcnr.state.pa.us lists trail data for the many trails in each state park and state forest.

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