Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Henry Bronson, Tioga County Hiker, Angler, Hunter

Henry Bronson, 71, of Millerton, [Tioga County], has always had a love of the outdoors and spent most of his life hiking and backpacking. He jokingly said, “If you look in the dictionary for outdoor activities, you’ll likely find my name.”

Henry does it all, including hunting, fishing, mountain biking, kayaking; however, it is his hiking pursuits that have recently earned him both the Pennsylvania Hiking Award and the Western Pennsylvania Hiking Award at the Keystone Trails Association’s (KTA) annual fall meeting.

Katherine Barker, KTA secretary of the board of directors, honored Bronson, saying, “Henry started his quest in August of 2016 on the Black Forest Trail. Along the way, he hiked on the Golden Eagle, Lost Turkey, Loyalsock, Pinchot, West Rim, Standing Stone, Mid State, Chuck Keiper, John Saylor, and Susquehannock Trails, as well as the Old Logger Path. For the Western Pennsylvania Hiking Award, he hiked the Bucktail, Chuck Keiper, Hickory Creek, John Saylor, and Susquehannock trails.”

Henry really never thought about receiving an award for hiking until he joined a local hiking club, Asaph Trail Club, and met fellow member Daryl Warren, who also was working towards hiking awards. He said, “It just kind of happened on its own.”

The fresh air, scenery, challenge of hiking, and camaraderie with other hikers is what keeps Henry hiking. He said it’s a low-impact exercise for him and he experiences a sense of euphoria being out in the wild and deep in nature.

When asked about a favorite trail, Henry says, “I generally enjoy the trail I’m hiking at the time, but the trail I go back to is the Black Forest Trail.” He said the challenge of it, the elevation, change of scenery, and the pine trees and hemlocks keep him coming back.

Henry is just three trails shy of the State Forest Trails Award, which recognizes hikers who complete the entire 798 miles of the State Forest Hiking Trail system.

Henry said having a goal is an impetus to “get off your duff.”

To get started on your own quest for a hiking award, Henry says, “Pick one trail and break it down into manageable pieces. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and the next thing you know, you have a trail done...If I can do it [referring to his age], anyone can.”

He said it also helps to connect with other hikers that have the knowledge and enthusiasm to help you, such as a local hiking club. Henry also volunteers to help maintain several local trails, so they can be enjoyed by others.

For more information on the hiking awards, visit the Keystone Trails Association website.

Know of a good natured Pennsylvanian who is passionate about outdoor recreation and/or conservation that we should feature?  Send suggestions to DCNR by email to:  to nominate someone.

Explore PA Trails

To explore hiking, biking and water trails near you, visit the Explore PA Trails website.

DCNR Grants

To learn more about other available grant opportunities to support riparian buffer, trail and recreation projects, visit DCNR’s Community Conservation Grant Program webpage. A new grant round is opening January 22.

For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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(Reprinted from the Nov. 14 DCNR Resource newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)

[Posted: Nov. 15, 2018]


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