Monday, February 23, 2009


Guest Columnist, my friend Willa from Pennsylvania, has written the following few paragraphs about the area where she lives. She's a very talented woman and I believe you'll appreciate her 'ramblings'.

Note: This area of Pennsylvania is inhabited by many Amish who are referred to as 'Plain' people.

Here in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania, we are surrounded by wonderful places to walk. I live less than 15 miles from the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail, and about that far from 5 different state parks, each with trails winding through the mountains. My favorite place to walk, though, is the Cumberland Valley Rails to Trails, which begins right next to our equally phenomenal dog park.

The easily accessible trail runs through rural farmland abounding with wildlife and domestic stock. During one walk we were astounded to watch a dairy cow giving birth just a few yards from us. On another walk, we were passed by some Plain children riding in a pony cart. Walkers, runners, bicyclists and people on horseback use the trail, and many parts of it are handicap accessible. If you are planning a trip to the Cumberland Valley area, Shippensburg lies midway between Hagerstown, MD and Harrisburg PA, on I-81, and is only a handful of miles from the Civil War battlefields at Gettysburg and Antietam.
This description of the trail is from the official website:
"Once a stretch of railroad tracks, the 11-mile Cumberland Valley Trail, from Shippensburg to Newville, in Cumberland County was donated to CVRTC by Conrail in 1995.

CVRTC has spent the last 11 years developing the former Cumberland Valley Railroad into an improved multi-use trail to serve all ages and abilities. The first 4 1/2 miles of trail was completed in the fall of 2004 and the next 5 miles was complete in the fall of 2006. The trail is now complete from the Shippensburg Township Park outside of Shippensburg to McFarland Street in Newville, approx 9.5 miles. Parking is available to the Shippensburg Township Park, Oakville and Newville with restrooms at the Shippensburg Township Park and Newville

Trail enthusiasts can enjoy walking, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding and other non-motorized recreational uses. The trail, which is wheelchair-accessible, has a crushed limestone surface except for the last 1/2 mile at the Newville trail head which is paved. All of the road crossings between these two points have been graded to meet ADA specification and paved if it is a long grade. Their are two missing bridges that limit access to 1 mile of trail at the Shippensburg end and 1/2 mile at the Newville end. We hope to arrange funding for the bridges and to finish the last 1 1/2 miles, but nothing is in place at this time.

Trail users will appreciate a variety of settings as the trail traverses wooded areas and farmland between the historic towns of Shippensburg and Newville. A shaded picnic area in the village of Oakville provides a pleasant rest stop along the way."

You can find lovely photos here:

Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

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