Logbook FracTracker Postcard Front

Summer Summary of the Trail Logbook Project

As summer transitioned into fall, and as winter knocks on our doorsteps in PA, I would like to take some time to summarize the preliminary feedback coming in through our pilot Trail Logbook Project. The project, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is a collaboration between Keystone Trails Association (KTA) and FracTracker Alliance. With the expansion of unconventional natural gas extraction into our state forests, we wanted to understand the experiences of people who are using those areas for recreation – and to document the change in those experiences as drilling continues. Most of the results of the project so far indicate that drilling is having a small, but notable effect on the traditionally tranquil experiences of hikers, bikers, and the like across the Commonwealth. The most common complaints are those of noise and degradation of scenery (see complete list ofLogbook reports below, or trail alerts on KTA’s website). Some people who entered information into the Logbook have noted that gas-drilling opponents have actually contributed to the degradation of the local scenery with graffiti and protest signs.

Given the number of hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts that frequent the Commonwealth every year, we need more people to report back to us in order to make a comprehensive and accurate statement about the overall impacts that drilling may be having on some of PA’s most beautiful natural resources. Perhaps there are no more issues to report, or perhaps people just don’t know who to tell. Regardless, we hope to expand our efforts to promote the project, which includes working with trail organizations in other states where shale gas activities may conflict with trail use.

On a side note, the lack of awareness about the Logbook and the state of drilling in popular recreation areas are key reasons why we are hosting a series of media tours this fall. The first was held on October 25th in Loyalsock State Forest due to the conerns of environmental concervation groups and residents about the communication barriers in existence between DCNR, the natural gas industry, and the public. If you are interested in participating in one of the next two tours, learn more here.

The full list of Logbook complaints to-date and the main areas impacted by unconventional natural gas extraction activity according to those reports are listed below:

Complaints from Logbook

Visual Degradation of Scenery

  • Anti-gas drilling graffiti
  • Flagging tape indicating seismic testing or road widening littered the area, called into question the “leave no trace” character of the trail
  • Intense construction activity and clearings for pipelines

Noise Pollution

  • Constant noise from compressor station
  • Helicopters
  • Construction and well pad noise


  • Seismic Testing: One hiker found 2 red wires with labels “Danger Explosives” portruding up from the ground
  • Seismic Testing: Equipment left right on the trail


  • Trail relocation (4 miles)
  • Flagging tape caused confusion regarding the direction of trail

Main Areas Impacted

4 replies
  1. Karen Feridun
    Karen Feridun says:


    I’m getting ready for a million Earth Day festivals, screenings, talks, etc. and wondered if there’s a way to get the postcard you show the front of on the logbook page.

    Karen Feridun

    • FracTracker Administrator
      FracTracker Administrator says:

      Hi Karen,

      Absolutely! Email us your contact information and we’ll ship however many postcards you would like. If you are in the Pittsburgh area we could even bring the postcards to you in person. Just let us know.



  2. Sam Malone
    Sam Malone says:

    Thanks for your comment! We are indeed planning to expand this project outside of Pennsylvania soon. The new form should be available to fellow recreationalists before 2013.

  3. V Appalachia
    V Appalachia says:

    Thank you for initiating this project. Wondering if you might consider adding the Great Allegheny Passage Trail to the list of trails experiencing impacts. There is potential for a lot of gas development to occur near the trail in Fayette and Somerset Counties. Not sure if it’s visible to trail users yet, but if you are driving to a trailhead to park, you are bound to see the traffic.

Comments are closed.