Oct 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm #1240208
@jmbahnerLocale: Philly suburbs
Saturday 9 pm, my girlfriend, my do and I departed for the Loyalsock State Forest in North Central Pennsylvania to hike the Old Loggers Path a 27.1 Mile Loop in Masten, Pa. We arrived at 12:30 to the trail head and spent the night sleeping in our Element.
Sunday 8 am, woke up started putting things together brushed the teeth etc. departed to the trail at 9:30 am. passed 2 campsites along the way in the first hour and a half, then came to our first stream/picture point at 11:30 am, had a drink took some pictures and we were back on the move. We were now in our first solid climb and our legs were pretty well warmed up, after about another hour of hiking we were at a nice pipeline at about 10 to 1 pm were we had some GORP and saw another group of hikers. More pictures and we were back on our way. 1:15 we stopped at a little vista and took a family photo and looked around for 5 minutes. At 2:30 we arrived at our next view again snapped a shot or two and munched on a Cliff Bar, back to our walking, and only 10 minutes later we hit yet another vista taking more pictures relaxing and looking around from about 2:40 until 3. The fall colors were very nice this weekend and will more than likely peak in the next two weeks. We then began going down hill and bumped into another set of hikers who told us a nice camping spot just a bit down the trail right next to the creek. after another 2 hours of hiking we arrived at our campsite passing only one more hiker at 5 pm, 17 +/- miles from our start. After a dinner of some noodles(i forgot the beef jerky) we drank some water and laid down and played cards in the tent.
Monday, we were up at 7, and in no rush slowly had some oatmeal and a pop-tart to get ready for the day,broke down camp and we were back to hiking by about 9 am. after about an hour we arrived at a beautiful 180 vista spent about 10 or 15 minutes taking pictures and goofing off. Then continued our walk enjoying the scenery and all of the colors. Snacked on some GORP again midway up a hill that we needed a boost to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed the changes of the forest and our dog certainly enjoyed every smell he found. We then arrived back at the car at 12:30, roughly 27 hours after we departed. Headed down the road and at the first gas station filled up and bought some Middlesworth potato chips(a must have in NEPA) and some frozen run white birch beer, oh and who could forget the beef jerky i forgot in the car. A wonderful hike and perfect temperatures, but somewhat thick cloud cover.
Here is the link to the photos, I will certainly go back to that area of Pennsylvania again as soon as possible.Oct 13, 2009 at 5:56 pm #1536035
I'm really glad you enjoyed the Old Loggers Path – it's one of my favorites and is where two of my friends did their first trips. It's a fun loop and the views, weather permitting, are great. I last did it in April 2008 and here's the view from Sharp Top:
How'd you do on the stream crossing? It was pretty cold in early April…
Please PM me if you'd like some other recommendations on hikes in PA – I live near Lancaster and have done several good ones.Oct 13, 2009 at 6:37 pm #1536052
You might want to check out South Central PA Backpackers on meetup.com if you're ever looking for other backpackers in the area to do trips with. Usually small groups, some fun trips. Recents include Black Forest Trail last weekend and such. I know they've also planned an Old Loggers Path hike.
FWIW, it's not my group, but I am a member and I do "organize" trips, usually the longer ones. ;-) (including the aforementioned Black Forest Trail, which I did last Saturday and Sunday). But it's not an "organizing" business, I don't get paid or anything, I just like backpacking PA and I like sharing that with like minded souls.
DougOct 14, 2009 at 11:01 am #1536268
@jmbahnerLocale: Philly suburbs
The stream crossing was actually pretty easy both our feet stayed dry thankfully since it was only about 50ish. my girlfriend hoped rocks right across, and i found a downed log to gingerly walk across…our dog however just splashed though. Our next trail will be the West Rim Trail and we cant wait for that.Oct 14, 2009 at 6:27 pm #1536405
Glad the stream crossing wasn't bad – When I last crossed Pleasant Stream in April the water was too high for rock hopping and the tree that I'm sure you used to cross was wet and slippery. I threw on my Crocs and walked across three times: Once with my pack, then back across, then I carried my buddy's pack across so he could scooch across the tree on his butt. He was afraid of getting his feet wet because the cold really affects him. Oh well.
Enjoy the West Rim Trail – I've done it four times now and absolutely love it.Oct 14, 2009 at 6:37 pm #1536408
Thanks for the tip. I have a group of five friends who like to go and we usually try to do a trip or two in the Spring and another one in the fall. I have three year-old twins at home so my trips are planned fairly far in advance to ensure my wife has some help while I'm gone, but I'll certainly keep the SC PA Backpackers group in mind.
The Black Forest Trail in two days? All 42 miles? I'm not up to that kind of mileage yet. I've doubled my daily mileage as I've halved my pack weight but I still max out at about 14 miles per day. The Black Forest Trail remains on my "To-Do" list…
I think daily distance is probably the toughest thing to work out when you're going with others. Since I do all the planning for our trips I'm the one communicating the expectations so that we don't have any surprises. Have you found that works well for your trips with others? I guess it's like anything else: Overcommunicate and there won't be any hard feelings or surprises. I also try to set daily goals but remain flexible in case someone isn't up to what we have planned.Oct 14, 2009 at 8:43 pm #1536459
I agree with lots of communication. I'm very direct about expectations so anyone joining one of my trips knows what they're getting into! And flexibility is key, to backpacking and about everything else!
Definitely do Black Forest Trail. It's beautiful, you'll love it. Very challenging (for PA) but well worth it! There are plenty of parking spots, so you could do chunks if you didn't have time to do it all at once.
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