The Friends of Worlds End State Park surprised Ruth with a bench outside the park office in February 2020, honoring her as a “true friend of Worlds End.”
The comments that were made on the Facebook post announcing placement of the bench tell the story of Ruth’s lifetime of contributions to the outdoors and the impact she has had on the many people she met and mentored. From years spent at Girl Scout Camp Lycogis to fostering development of the Loyalsock Trail, Ruth has spent a lifetime in Penn’s Woods.
A life long love affair with hiking serves Ruth Rode well, even in retirement. Her exuberance in sharing the history of early Indian paths is evident as she is frequently contacted to present programs at various organizations.
The South Williamsport native said, “When I was a kid, I’d hike up the Kane Street power line with the neighbor kids. That’s all grown up now, replaced by the line extending from Maynard Street.”
Recounting the route, Rode said, “From the top, we’d look at the view. Sometimes we came back the same way, other times we’d go by the French settlement and down by Duboistown.”
After graduation, Rode began teaching third grade at the Lose School in the fall of 1964, remaining there for 25 years.
In 1967, she renewed her involvement with the out-of-doors by joining the Alpine Club. “By maintaining and leading hikes, I became well acquainted with the Loyalsock Trail. In fact, in 2010, it was noted as one of the 10 best trails in the U. S. and Canada. It is 59.21 miles in length, is historic and has scenic beauty.” The Boy Scouts originally built the trail in 1951 and the Alpine Club founded in 1953 was formed to maintain it.
“Equipment needed to keep trails open include lopers, a couple folding saws – in case one becomes stuck another is needed to cut it out. A walking stick in one hand and a pick in the other,” Rode said.
In the Alpine Club, Rode served many years as secretary. In 1983, she became co-chair, the volunteer duties were to distribute guide booklets, answer phone calls and correspond with the public. “One day the co-chair brought his books to my house, so I became the sole person for awhile. In 2015, a new slate of officers came on assuming some of the responsibilities,” she said.
Rode has formed many trail maps and her most noted is the Loyalsock Trail where she has recorded its history and mapped it into 8 sections following the old logging trails with designated LT markers.
Other outdoor areas beckoned, so Rode joined the Eagles’ Mere Conservancy and Mokoma Conservancy doing trail work and hiking. “I love Sullivan County, its a lot of fun. I often went skiing at Ricket’s (sic) Glen,” she said.
With knowledge gained over 49 years, Rode has been on the speakers circuit sharing such subjects as ‘The Loyalsock Trail,’ ‘Camp Lycogis,” “Hunters Lake,’ and showing reels of old time logging.