Finally! Another hike on the AT!
It is amazing how addictive it is to hike along the Appalachian Trail. Now that spring is here, I couldn’t wait to check out the trail. Would I see green leaves?
Tod and I have completed the Maryland and West Virginia sections of the trail, so we need to venture further and further out if we want to hike new areas. On April 18, we hiked an 11 mile section that begins at Caladonia State Park, Pennsylvania. We parked our car near US 30 and the park’s entrance. After walking a bit on US 30 we were soon on the trail.
The first part of the hike is uphill. The trail has a sign on it that says “most difficult”. This was a little unnerving but for those who have been on the Maryland portion, it really isn’t that different than other steep areas. The trees were not yet with leaves but things were definitely greening up a bit.
We passed two major shelters on our journey. The first was Quarry Gap. It had amazing tent platforms. They were large, clean and flat, enabling tents to be well off the ground. (I would definitely come back!) One wonderful thing about the ascent was the beautiful path of rhododendrons along the way. At one point, there was a beautiful arch!
Finally, at about the 4-mile mark, things leveled off. We walked along a ridge and had some beautiful views, thanks to the lack of leaves. However, it was a warm day and we really could have used some shade. I really appreciated the diversity in trees and vegetation. It was so nice to finally get to some pines and feel the softness of the needles under our feet, the cool canopy of branches above us.
After stopping for lunch, we continued along the trail, crossing roads, power lines, and bypassing a very nice cabin. I was tired and ready to be done. (Tod might tell you I complained but I was really just expressing how impressed I was with the length of the trail.) I was very happy to see Birch Run Shelter, about a mile from our final destination. We stopped to take a break (and admire the beautiful shelter!) before completing our trip, where we left one of our cars at a small parking lot on Shippensburg Road.