The Whiskey Springs ATV Trail, located in Sproul State Forest, will operate this summer under modified conditions to allow for safe and efficient acid mine remediation work in the Huling Branch, Five Mile Hollow, and Two Mile Run Road vicinity.
For a view of the affected area, please see the Whiskey Springs ATV Trail System and Huling Branch East Reclamation Map (PDF).
Closure Will Not Affect Weekends
Remediation work will require the ATV trail to be closed, but closures will be limited to Mondays through Thursdays.
Riders will still be able to access the trail on Fridays through Sundays during the summer riding season, which occurs from May 27, 2022, through September 25, 2022.
A Short-Term Sacrifice for a Long-Term Benefit
Untreated acid mine drainage
Prior coal extraction in the region left behind some serious environmental problems. Most concerning is acid mine drainage that affects the lower watershed of Kettle Creek -- a treasured trout stream from the headwaters to the acid mine drainage-impacted waters to the south. Workers will:
- Re-grade old spoils piles
- Redistribute overburden (soil and fill pushed aside to reach the coal)
- Add lime to neutralize acidity
- Replant the area with native seed, trees, and shrubs.
DCNR acknowledges and appreciates the sacrifice of ATV riders to ultimately help the environment.
A Long History of Coal Extraction and Remediation
Reclamation planting in Pinchot State Forest
Pennsylvania’s abundant coal resources have been exploited for more than a century and undoubtedly helped spur the Industrial Revolution.
Despite societal advancements during that era, historical mining operations often neglected the proper closure protocol called reclamation.
Reclamation seeks to return mined areas to their former contours and ecology.
Reclamation work is standard procedure today, but much work remains throughout the commonwealth to restore many coal mining sites from impacts incurred long ago.
DCNR is fortunate to have a sister agency that specifically deals with this issue -- the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Learn more about the Department of Environmental Protection’s Abandoned Mine Reclamation program and successes.