Union County, Pa. – Between snow and ice storms, the recent winter weather has created dangerous conditions and hazards across our region, and the roads and trails of State Forests are no exception.
On February 16, Bald Eagle State Forest announced that the recent ice storm "exacerbated dangerous State forest road/trail conditions" in the area, including a low tree on electric wires ¼ mile east of Poe Valley SP on Poe Valley Road.
Maintenance crews were "out cutting and clearing debris from roads and trails as best as they are able," said the State Forest on their Facebook post. The crews remove debris and hazards "as best as they are able," but they are not always able to make the trails or roads easily accessible or completely clear.
As a reminder, individuals driving through or exploring State Forest roads and trails should be aware of the following:
• State forest roads are not maintained in the winter season.
• Most roads are used as snowmobile trails and are groomed for that purpose.
• When snow gets as deep as it is presently, it is very easy to get stuck, even on 4WD vehicles.
• The Bureau of Forestry will not extricate any vehicle which is seriously stuck. Instead, drivers will be referred to a professional towing service. Many towing services will not tow vehicles in these conditions and drivers may have to wait weeks for conditions to improve before they can recover their vehicle.
• Drivers are advised not to travel state forest roads in a vehicle until well after the snow melts. The roads are frozen with hard packed ice and will only get more hazardous as weather warms until the ice completely melts, especially on north-facing slopes or under conifers.
• If you have plans to visit a state forest before the ice melts, call the local district office and ask about road conditions before you travel.
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