story and photos courtesy of Trenton Bechtel, DCNR Recreation Forester and Friends of Michaux
Thanks to the quick work of DCNR and the Friends of Michaux a popular local hiking site, Pole Steeple, has been cleaned of all graffiti. There were approximately 6 rock faces that are now free of graffiti. Trenton Bechtel (Recreation Forester at the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) received the report of graffiti at this important site and worked to put together a group of volunteers to tackle the site. Volunteers were key due to the amount of gear needed to backpack into the site. Those of you reading who have hiked to the popular overlook know this is no small feat! These dedicated individuals cleaned off the graffiti, restoring the natural beauty of the site.
This project could not have occurred without the support of the members of the Friends of Michaux. DCNR provided all the materials and the volunteers did the rest. Michaux is very fortunate to have the amount of willing volunteers to work with DCNR. If you are interested in volunteering or donating to support the Friends of Michaux, be sure to become a friend today.
Pole Steeple is one of the most visited areas in the Michaux. People can now again enjoy the beautiful views the site has to offer without.
According to Cumberland Valley Visitor’s Bureau: “Pole Steeple’s blue-blazed trail starts in Pine Grove Furnace State Park and ends in Michaux State Forest. The steep, but rewarding .75 mile climb up Piney Mountain takes you to a beautiful white and maroon colored quartzite rock outcropping where you can view the entire park. In the valley, nearly five hundred feet below, lies Laurel Lake and its sandy beaches. To the west you can see the central ridge of South Mountain as it reaches heights of just over two-thousand feet.
The Pole Steeple Trail is the main trail used to reach the summit, but there is also a longer trail which heads out around the cliffs to the south side. Unlike the shorter Pole Steeple trail, you won’t have to climb up any rocks to get to the top. Also, there is a link trail between Pole Steeple Trail and the Appalachian Trail.
Pole Steeple’s summit along with the rest of South Mountain was created during the collision of the last Pangaea as North America slammed into the continent of Africa.” Learn more about this summit and plan your visit here.
This work is never complete; we will continue to watch the site and see if new graffiti pops up. Community members can report any suspicious activity to NRFD01@pa.gov.