Headwaters Charitable Trust Property Use Guidelines

Headwaters Charitable Trust (HWCT) lands are open to the public free of charge. Headwaters Charitable Trust promotes the use of its property for outdoor recreation and enjoyment. In general, common sense is the best guide to the use of HWCT lands. Consideration for resident plants, animals, and human visitors should always be practiced. Recreational activities, such as hiking, biking and fishing, etc. are done at the participant’s own risk. Most HWCT property is found in its natural state and is unimproved land. In using HWCT property, and in receiving any permit for specific activities, if applicable, the participant acknowledges that they agree to use HWCT property at their own risk and agree to hold HWCT harmless from any liability or damages arising out of their use of HWCT property

Volunteer Land Stewards monitor approximately 1,000 acres of land held by HWCT. The following guidelines are subject to change. Some modifications will be posted at specific properties. For questions not addressed below, please contact HWCT at (814-236-4333) or in writing at 434 State St, Curwensville, PA 16833.


Dogs are permitted on HWCT lands unless otherwise posted. Where permitted, all dogs must be on a leash and under the control of the owner at all times. Headwaters Charitable Trust understands that dogs are often family members, and deserve the benefits of open land, as do humans. In an effort to not infringe on the activities of other visitors, dogs must be under control at all times.


Dumping any materials, including private household waste, landscaping materials, and municipal waste is strictly prohibited on all HWCT land. Dumping of materials creates a health and human safety liability on Headwaters Charitable Trust and other lands, as well as threatens natural resources.


Fishing is permitted on waters adjacent to or flowing through HWCT lands in accordance with PA Fish and Boat Commission regulations. Headwaters Charitable Trust believes that fishing is a wholesome recreation and should be permitted on our lands.


Geocaching is permitted on HWCT property. Geocaching is an outdoor adventure game for individuals who wish to explore the land while utilizing their Global Positioning System (GPS) units. Caches are placed on the property and their locations are shared on the Internet. Users then use their GPS unit (coordinates) to find the cache. When found, the cache provides the visitor with a “reward” such as a logbook. Food items may not be placed in a cache. Before locating a cache on HWCT property, individuals must first obtain approval in the form of a letter sent to HWCT at 434 State St, Curwensville, PA 16830. Headwaters Charitable Trust will strictly adhere to the guidelines set forth by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. To view these regulations, go to the following website: www.dcnr.state.pa.us/geocaching.aspx. Headwaters Charitable Trust believes that exploring the natural land while utilizing new technology provides a new and unique opportunity to enjoy, understand, appreciate, and learn to be good stewards of the natural wealth of western Pennsylvania.


Hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing are encouraged on all HWCT property. Visitors are asked to remain on the trails when possible and if they exist, and to wear fluorescent orange vests during hunting season. Otherwise, lands are open to nature study, bird watching, wildflower identification, and other passive uses. Headwaters Charitable Trust believes that walking and skiing natural land is the best way to enjoy, understand, appreciate, and learn to be good stewards of the natural wealth of western Pennsylvania.


Horses are limited to designated areas only. Horseback riding is a form of recreation that can bring individuals closer to natural land. However, on unhardened trails and in some natural areas, horseback riding can also have damaging effects. Therefore, horseback riding is limited to designated trails only.


Hunting is not permitted on Headwaters Charitable Trust trails or property due to locations of private homes and recreational trails.


Pesticide/Herbicide use is prohibited on HWCT land without prior approval. This policy is site-specific. HWCT recognizes that appropriate pesticide use may be necessary under certain situations but may also be detrimental and unnecessary at other times. Pesticide and herbicide use will be determined on a site-by-site basis and will only be used by a licensed contractor.


This includes fossils, is prohibited on HWCT property. This includes the picking and collection of plants (flowers, trees, mosses, fungi, lycopodiums, etc.), animals not otherwise covered under the PA Game and Fish laws, invertebrates, and inorganic materials such as rocks and minerals. The introduction of exotic plants and animals is strictly prohibited. Introduction of native plants and animals is by permission only and on a case-by-case basis. For permission, requests must be forwarded by letter to the HWCT. The scientific collection of plants, animals, prehistoric artifacts, and other materials is by written permission only. Specimens must be deposited in a public depository, such as a museum or other academic institution. For permission, requests must be forwarded to the HWCT. Headwaters Charitable Trust believes removal of natural materials can lead to damage in a variety of ways, and that our lands are primarily intended to retain as much of their natural qualities as possible. We recognize that there are times when a scientific collection is a valuable tool to further understand land and its ecological functions. We will grant written permission for collection that furthers our understanding of the land that will be properly cared for, and made available to the overall scientific community. Redundant collections may be required.


Research focused on ecology and species is encouraged on HWCT property. Any party interested in conducting appropriate research must submit a pre-proposal to the HWCT. Headwaters Charitable Trust encourages appropriate research to further our knowledge of species and natural processes.


Vehicles are NOT permitted on HWCT property, except in designated use and parking areas. Vehicles include all-terrain vehicles (ATV), dirt bikes, quads, trikes, amphibious craft, snowmobiles (only in designated areas), cars, and trucks. Headwaters Charitable Trust believes that vehicles are inappropriate on conservation lands due to the physical damage, conflicts with passive recreation, potential for the spread of invasive species, and noise and pollution that result.