The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Needs Your Help

The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail (LHHT) is probably the most popular hiking trail in Western PA – if not the entire state. Enjoyed by die-hard backpackers, sight-seeing day hikers, hard-core trail runners, or Boy Scouts troupes, the LHHT offers 70 miles of outdoor opportunities for the adventurer.

Completed in 1976, the LHHT has become as an open doorway to anyone wanting to get away to the woods. Open all year round, it has become as much of a fixture in our Western Pennsylvanian woods, as do our red maples, tall poplars, and black oak trees.

But now the path that has led so many people to places of quiet restoration is in need of our help.

The LHHT has eight shelter areas, each containing five Adirondack-styled shelters. These shelters offer hand-made fireplaces, where countless hikers have warmed themselves around roaring fires over the years.  Many of the stone chimneys, that have stood for over 40 years, are falling into a state of disrepair.

Based on voting at the two REI Pittsburgh stores, a $10,000 grant was made to a fund to restore the chimneys. The restoration project has begun, but another $14,000 is needed to complete the project.

When I became aware of the need for additional monies, the idea of a fund raiser struck me. Working with a local graphic artist and screen printer, I designed a Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail t-shirt. The back of the T shirt maps out the entire trail, with each shelter area noted.  The map is an accurate depiction of the trail, as it was recorded via GPS during my 2016 thru hike.

Launching the LHHT T-shirt giveaway on my Youtube Channel (Contest now closed).

On June 15, 2017, I kicked off a contest to give away one of these T-shirts. As soon as the contest ends, the shirts will go up for sale by clicking the “store” link of my website. Proceeds from the sale will go directly to the PA Parks and Forests Foundation.

You can purchase a T-shirt by clicking this link.

You can also make an online donation by visiting the PA Parks an Forests Foundation webpage.

Whether you purchase a T-shirt, or make a donation directly to the Foundation, let’s give back to the Trail, which as given so much to us over the years.



Dane Cramer is a backpacker, Christian blogger, jail chaplain, amateur filmmaker, and author of two books: Romancing the Trail and The Nephilim: A Monster Among Us




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