View Full Version : KTA's Fall Meeting

Mother Natures Son
07-29-2013, 19:10
Just got the info on KTA's Fall meeting. $100.00 just to tent.....are they out of their F...... minds? I don't get it. KTA use to have nice, inexpensive Spring/Fall meetings. I know they got to make money but are they turning into American Money Club?

07-31-2013, 17:57
Since you decided to make your complaint public on Whiteblaze, I thought I should also include KTA's response to your complaint, which you received yesterday.

Doubling Gap Center charges $92 per person to KTA for the weekend, for meals, facility use, and lodging. Our $100 per-person rate is only $8 more than the amount we are charged by the Center – not an exceedingly high markup, from a business perspective.

Many of our hikers camp frequently at state parks, at a rate of $25 or so per night ($50 for a weekend). The per-night cost can be as high as $35 or $40 at some private campgrounds, or out-of-state state-parks. Hearty meals –prepared by the camper - cost about $5 per person per meal, or $30 total for 6 meals. That brings the total cost for a weekend out camping to about $80. However, you would not have free use of kayaks and canoes, climbing tower, ropes course, as much firewood as you want to utilize for free, plus meals, indoor recreational spaces, and, of course, guided hikes each day if you were to camp on my own. We feel that $100 is a reasonable cost for all of this, especially given the considerable amount of staff time and resources that goes into planning and executing these events.

We are a non-profit organization, that uses our events as one of our funding streams – along with memberships, donations, grants, sponsorships, and merchandise sales – to achieve our mission. I hope you understand that we cannot continue to hold our hiking weekends if we lose money – or even simply break-even -- on the events. We have made every effort to keep our pricing reasonable – affordable to our members, as well as sustainable for our organization.

In fact, KTA is making a VERY modest return on the Fall Meeting.


Early Bird
KTA Board Member

07-31-2013, 18:37
Don't mean to denigrate the KTA, without local clubs there would be no trail, but MNS if you feel it's too expensive, the ALDHA Gathering is the same weekend at Shippensburg University. The Gathering fee is $20 which includes camping, and if you sign up online five meals in the cafeteria is only $33 more.


07-31-2013, 18:41
Please, what's KTA?


07-31-2013, 19:05
Please, what's KTA?


Keystone Trail Association. Although I'm not sure if they actually have a section of AT in Pennsylvania, I believe they protect and maintain many other trails in PA.

08-04-2013, 10:40
FYI, the KTA helps organize maintenance trips for many miles of trials in PA. The AT is a small part of the the PA hiking network. They web page shows this year's maintenance trips as well as being a reference to the multiple trails that it helps maintain. PA is blessed with a number of excellent hiking trails inlcuding: Susquehannock Trail System (85 mi loop), Quehanna Trail (75 mile loop with multiple shorter options), Donut Hole Trail (90 mi end to end), Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, 70 mi end to end, Black Forest Trail (42 mile loop), Standing Stone Trail (80 mi end to end), a long section of the North Country National Scenic Trail, the Loyalsock Trail, and many more. I don't believe the KTA maintains any of the AT. It is more of an umbrella organization designed to lobby the state legislature on behalf of trails.

08-05-2013, 10:51
Reading between the lines I think the KTA was founded in large part (in 1956) as a way to supersede the numerous small A.T.-maintaining clubs in PA, which then foundered on the hyper-localism characteristic of PA. KTA has continued to publish the A.T. guide to PA (i.e. the thick book that day hikers sometimes use), and also the A.T. maps for PA north of Duncannon. As other trails began emerging in the 1960's, KTA's focus shifted to those newer trails.

KTA volunteers actively coordinate mutual assistance for the "other" trails of PA that receive too little use and lack the support structure of the A.T. KTA used to sponsor directly the Tuscarora Trail and the Link Trail, yielding in turn the Tuscarora first to PATC and the Link to the Link Trail Hiking Club, now Standing Stone Trail Club. There continues to be a heavy overlap in volunteer leadership between KTA Trail Care/Crew and PA's longest footpath, Mid State Trail.

In recent years the KTA administrative office evolved from a half-time secretary that sells maps from a home office, to a three (or so)-person staff in a building shared with other small-scale non-profits in Harrisburg, due in large part to increasing need for mediation between the bureaucracy and the volunteers - not quite "lobbying," especially as legally defined. Ten years ago hikers worried about trails being redirected to ATV use, but the rise of fracking in the less-developed 3/4 of PA makes one miss worrying about ATV's screaming through Renovo.

Compared to other outdoor enthusiasts hikers are notoriously cheap. The cost of lodging has risen (as perhaps has the average age of the KTA meeting attendees). KTA sure can't take a loss on accommodations. For a while there wasn't even a camping option at the KTA meetings, cause for widespread grumbling among fixed or low income former attendees. I personally still miss going to Yesterday's Hotel in Renovo, but that locale is frankly not everyone's ideal vacation spot, so a middle ground has to come somewhere.

I'm not sure how the date collision arose with the ALDHA Gathering, especially as the two events wound up locating about ten miles apart. It appears at first glance like a missed opportunity for joint programming, as the hiking-club people and hiker trash elements seem sometimes to be growing apart rather than together.