It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dave Hamilton, a cherished and founding member of the Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter, and a member of the Original Over The Hill Gang.
The OOTHG formed the forerunner of the Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter (WYTC). They met weekly and gave selflessly of their time to create and improve the quality of our trail. They provided manual labor, expertise, fund raising, and often their own equipment resulting in the basis of the current trail we see today. They wanted to transform the abandoned rail beds into a readily accessible trail for biking and walking. That they did, and more.
The Original Over The Hill Gang began a journey developing the Westmoreland County portion of the Yough River Trail. The WYTC section of the GAP, consisting of 10.5 miles of crushed limestone is visited by many local, regional, and international visitors each year and is the result of the hard work and perseverance of The Original Over The Hill Gang.
Dave had extensive mining experience and was skilled at re-directing water and improving the composition and formation of the trail.
Thank you, Dave. It was an honor to know and work with you. From all of the members of the WYTC, ‘We will miss you.’
For more information about visitation: www.kepplegraft.com
Dave's wish: In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter of the Regional Trail Corporation (RTC) 111 Collinsburg Road, West Newton, PA 15089. Or you may click the "Donate" button on the top panel.
What a beautiful day it was for our runners and walkers! Thanks again Fox's Pizza West Newton for your contribution! Also, thanks to our volunteers!
From Smithton, time: 17:32; Also first place-open men. Congratulations!
The oldest walkers were Cal Montgomery and Steve Slafka, both age 71
The youngest walker was Amina Spotted Elk, age 5
Nancy Naylor Twardus
The next time you travel on the GAP, especially through the Westmoreland county section, GAP Mileposts 105-116, think about how well maintained the Trail is and how much you are enjoying your ride or walk. It takes a team of dedicated volunteers who contribute their talents, skills and knowledge of maintenance tools and equipment, teamwork, and desire to complete tasks efficiently and effectively.
Bob Hand, ten-year member states “Our goal is to have a well-maintained trail that will be attractive to users seeking a good recreational experience and will help the local economy through the dollars those users spend in local businesses. Thanks to every one of the Over the Hill Gang maintenance crew for their time, efforts and dedication to our work. We are consistently recognized as the best maintained section of the trail.”
“In November 2018 the heavy rain began and caused many areas of minor damage to the Trail and two major landslides either onto the trail or into drainage ditches,” mentions Bob Hand in his 2018 article on the WYTC OTHG accomplishments.
The OTHG responded with full and continued force to correct the problems and strategize for continued efforts in 2019.
The WYTC acknowledges the tenacity, perseverance, and dedication of these volunteers. Why do they volunteer? What makes this fun for them? What are their contributions? What should you know if you want to volunteer with this group?
(comments by the OTHG, edited by Donna Morrison)
Picture by Bonnie Lockschmidt
2019 Amenities Along The GAP-WYTC
Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter GPS Coordinates for Trailheads and Gate Entries by P&LE Mile Posts and by GAP Mileposts.
Also, please note that included is an alphabetical Memorial Bench List by Mileposts- Westmoreland County section of the GAP.
Thanks to Jim Lockschmidt for this update!
The Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter (WYTC) is a group of volunteers dedicated to maintaining and improving the 10.5 mile Westmoreland County, PA section of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP).
Whether you enjoy biking, hiking, walking, running or cross-country skiing, you will delight in the beauty of this section of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150 mile-System of biking and hiking trails connecting Cumberland, MD and Pittsburgh, PA.
The Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter (WYTC) of the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is busy all year-long. It is used by individuals, families, of all ages who enjoy recreation, camaraderie, improving health, and making improvements to the Trail to benefit all users.
Each year the WYTC organizes activities and events to benefit the community, its members, and visitors.
As of January, our web site visitors have been from the U.S., Brazil, China, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Kenya, Peru, Japan, Poland, the Philippines and Romania.
Email us your pictures and story along the GAP-Westmoreland County section.
We love hearing from Trail users! We are happy to post pictures and a brief description of your excursion. Please feel free to give us your first name (optional) and beginning and ending destinations. We will post the information on our web site
Contact: Donna Morrison, Web Administrator