Dave Twining is inviting the public to take a hike this Sunday, but not in a mean-spirited way.
“I want this to be a pleasant stroll in nature,” the West Pennsboro Township man said. “We want to encourage anyone interested in forestry and wildlife to come out and enjoy the afternoon.”
Twining is hosting guided walks at 1 and 3 p.m. through Canterwood, his privately owned tree farm and wildlife habitat at 683 Barnstable Road. There is no cost to participate.
A local landowner, Twining is on the board of the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, which has organized walks throughout the state for Oct. 1. Called Walk in Penn’s Woods, the hope is that this initiative could become an annual event on the first Sunday of October.
“Pennsylvania literally means Penn’s Woods,” according to a press release issued by the association. “Our forests provide a spectacular and significant timber reserve but also a water resource, pollution filter, carbon store, wildlife habitat and biodiversity reserve.
“This priceless source of recreational and aesthetic enjoyment is challenged by invasive plants and diseases, climate change, mismanagement, development pressures and legacy issues,” the release says.
The Canterwood walks will take hikers over a 1.5-mile-long route of mostly mowed trail through stands of evergreen and areas where Twining has planted trees in former cornfields. Participants will also venture into an established hardwood forest that has some trees marked for harvest.
Each walk will take about 60 to 80 minutes and will feature expert commentary by a professional forester. There will also be a 10-minute video presentation showcasing some of the wildlife seen on the property.
The Canterwood property includes a conservation easement of land that can never be subdivided or developed and will remain a refuge for wildlife. There have been sightings of deer, turkey, raccoons and foxes on the land along with nesting owls and blue birds.
Hikers should wear comfortable shoes for a walk that has some rocky patches and slight hills. Baby strollers are welcome as are dogs on leashes.
A full listing of walks across Pennsylvania can be found at sites.psu.edu/walkinpennswoods/. As of Thursday, 61 walks were listed on the website involving 45 of the state’s 67 counties.
Aside from Canterwood, the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace State Park is hosting a three-mile hike of the parkland starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. Those interested should meet the guides at the Furnace Stack Pavilion. Sturdy hiking boots and a water supply are recommended. Hikers should dress for the weather.