The Yankee Clippers

The Yankee Clippers trail crew supports the maintenance of over 180 miles of trail in PATC’s Pennsylvania district. With so much territory to cover, there is always a backlog of activity for the crew to work on. The Yankee Clippers usually schedule two trail work sessions per month. The first Saturday of the month is devoted to maintenance of the Appalachian Trail and some of its side trails. Work trips vary substantially in content and might include rehabilitating tread, building or hardening water bars, moving boulders, building turnpikes or containing vegetation.

After the end of the work day, the crew usually retires to a nearby cabin for a crew dinner and a storied recap of activities.

On the third Saturday of the month, the crew heads west to work on the Tuscarora Trail. With some 110 miles of trail in Maryland and Pennsylvania to maintain, there are invariably plenty of efforts for the crew to assist with. Most people characterize the Tuscarora Trail as more rugged than the Appalachian Trail, and many enjoy the special challenges in keeping it in the proper condition for the hiking public. For example, the trail access points on some stretches of the Tuscarora are more limited than on the AT, so that can mean a longer hike for the trail crew.

Trail maintenance is not the only activity the crew undertakes. The Yankee Clippers are, in fact, the cabin crew and shelter construction crew in Pennsylvania. The crew diverts to whatever project has priority at the moment, sometimes splitting their focus. Some projects, though, require the combined talents of the group, and bridge maintenance is a prime example.  There are 23 significant bridges in the district. Five of these are in the Buchanan and the Tuscarora State Forests. The other 18 bridges are on the AT and side trails between Pen Mar and Pine Grove Furnace. The Yankee Clippers have recently been involved in repairing or rebuilding several of these bridges. These efforts benefit from the considerable construction experience brought along from work on cabins and shelters. Bridge projects require a good deal of advance planning as well as many people on site when the time comes to implement them. New, experienced and merely curious workers are always welcome.
To join the Yankee Clippers, contact the PA Trails District Manager Pete Brown either via email at or by phone at 410/343-1140. For information on recent Yankee Clipper activities, visit the North Chapter web page where you can request a copy of the North Chapter newsletter.