News for Immediate Release

September 7, 2011

DCNR to Present Trail Challenge Award to Accomplished Hiker
Former Washington County Woman Hiked All 18 Major State Forest Trails

Harrisburg – A former Washington County resident who hiked all 18 major state forest trails is being recognized for the achievement by a statewide hiking organization and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Lois A. Ludwig, formerly of McMurray and now a resident of Cross Lanes, W.V., will receive the 2011 State Forest Trails Award at the Keystone Trails Association’s annual fall meeting at Camp Lutherlyn, Prospect, Butler County on Oct. 1.

Ludwig, 69, a retired secretary who began hiking Pennsylvania’s wealth of major trails in 1977, will receive a certificate, patch and ceremonial wooden walking stick.

“Lois Ludwig blazed a trail others want to follow, and her accomplishment merits a strong salute from fellow hikers and DCNR,” said DCNR Secretary Richard J. Allan. “Some forest trails may be too challenging for some hikers, but sections of others can serve as portals to healthy days afield and new adventures outdoors.”

DCNR and the Keystone Trails Association first unveiled the honor, earned by hiking all 780 miles of the 18 state forest hiking trails, nine years ago. There is no required sequence, direction, speed or length of time to complete the achievement.

“There is a dual reason why we teamed up with the trails association to present this coveted award,” said Allan. “By honoring these major hiking achievements, we also draw attention to the vast wealth of hiking opportunities offered in this state.”

The 18 trails generally are longer and more rugged than other hiking opportunities offered in state forests and parks. Most of the trails were formerly part of the local trail networks, logging roads, tram railways and carriage paths. Many sections are designated for hiking use only and each trail has its own map or guidebook.

No stranger to tough trails, Ludwig lists among her hiking accomplishments the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia; 65 of the highest mountains in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire; and the Central Andes in Peru.

“I have hiked in Montana and recently in Utah, but Pennsylvania still is one of my favorite places to hike,” Ludwig said. “I’ve been living in West Virginia 16 years now, but I keep coming back to Pennsylvania to hike the new trails. I enjoy them now as much as ever, and hope to continue hiking there for many more years.”

Most of the Pennsylvania trails completed by Ludwig are maintained by volunteer hiking groups, such as the KTA and affiliated clubs, with support from DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry. The 18 trails making up the state forest hiking trail system are:

For more information on recreation in state forestlands, visit (select “Find a Forest,” then “Recreation”). For more information about the award, contact Forest Program Manager Matt Beaver, Bureau of Forestry, at 717-783-7941.

Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101