Our mission: To inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests.

Forgive me as I try mightily to get back in the swing of things. The only thing worse than coming back from three weeks of vacation is to come back to no internet. As a telecommuter, I am completely dependent on a strong and stable connection and at the best of times ours is loosey goosey. But even "loosey goosey" is better than none at all!

I think Amanda and Casey did a laudable job of filling in while I was gone. Good job, kids - and thank you!

It is good to be back, although I have to admit that the gold of the Montana larches this year have us beat - at least here in the Laurel Highlands where color is sparse at best. It's actually strange how much is still green here. Maybe there's hope for a colorful November?

But in the meantime speaking of color, Northern Tier Photographic Wizard Curt Weinhold (who quite frequently teaches night sky photography at Cherry Springs State Park) captured the image in our masthead (and several more) at the Friends of Lyman Run's 2018 Spooktacular last weekend. Check out the Friends Facebook page for this and the other images from what appears to have been a beautiful night.

Pam Metzger
Membership Coordinator

News of note

One hardly wants to think of it but there's no ignoring the fact that November is right around the corner. With it comes the inevitable drum-beat of "shop, shop, shop" and once again we are happy to join with our friends at REI in encouraging you to Opt Outside as much as you possibly can! Growing out of REI's commitment to remaining closed on Black Friday so you can instead go outside and play, Opt Outside this year begins to take on new significance with the launch of an initiative called Nature for Health, making the scientific case for the connection between good health and outdoor activity. Long-time readers will know this is a notion close to our hearts at PPFF and we are thrilled to read that REI has donated $1 million to the University of Washington's Earth Lab to study it even closer. I've signed up to receive Earth Lab's emails; perhaps you will to with a click to the website

And now having been completely charmed by the Pacific Northwest, I'd love to come out and help you conduct the research, folks!

I notice that while I was away DCNR also announced the opening of nominations for the 2019 River of the Year. If the place you love to paddle has not been recognized, bring it to the attention of the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and get it in the running for voting later in November.

Likewise, solicitations are made for nominations for Trail of the Year

And last - but CERTAINLY not least - PPFF's annual awards nominations form has been posted to our website for recognition of volunteers at our 20th anniversary celebration next May 9th at the Susquehanna Club in New Cumberland. We are still actively looking for volunteers to help plan the banquet next year. We'd love to do something a little different for this special year. Your creative ideas are needed. Contact Beth if you have some thoughts to kick around

At work and play in the parks and forests

Once again, the weather seems to want to play havoc with weekend activities, but for now at least, check these out. And be sure to watch out for the kidlets in kostume. Many communities will be doing their Halloween trick or treating this weekend.


Sinnemahoning State Park will be the site of the 7th annual Haunted Trail and All Hallows Eve Celebration on Saturday night.


Saturday morning at Kings Gap join the Friends of Kings Gap for their annual Ghoulish Gallop 5k and one-mile fun run/walk.


Saturday brings the Second Annual Brewfest to Washington Crossing Historic Park. Warm cider, too!


On both Saturday and Sunday evening, there's a Lantern Tour of Point State Park to give you a new way to experience downtown Pittsburgh.

No matter what region of the commonwealth you want to visit, our website Events and the DCNR Calendar of Events are great sources for things to see and do. Bookmark them!

Picture of the week

Speaking of scary fun, the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace hosted their 10th annual Fall Furnace Fest last weekend, one of the best features of which is the Pumpkin Float. Thanks to photographer Cathie Jenkins for capturing this image of the always popular part of the festival. Head over to the Friends Facebook page for more in case you missed it!

In closing

Maybe Thursday I needed my wi-fi but when the time is right: 

Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation (PPFF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization - contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. The official registration and financial information of PPFF may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling, toll-free within Pennsylvania, to 800.732.0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare and 1% for the Planet and is a Gold GuideStar Participant.

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