View Full Version : Green Ridge trip

09-29-2007, 10:46
This was a really great hike, plans of course didnt go as planned - that made this trip that much better.
I met up with Sparky at 12:00 at the Green Ridge visitor center.
We headed down towards Pine Lick Trail but ended up going too far to the left and followed a steep, rocky path down to the river. The river was fairly dry and made for easy walking to the next trail.
We hooked up with Long Pond Trail, not at the correct spot that we should have but we made it. Our plan was to camp out at the Shelter about 1/2 way down Long Pond Trail but we missed it! We spent a good 2 1/2 hours hiking, attempting to find that missing shelter. As we came around a bend, it led us to Oldtown Orleans Road. We decided to head down Oldtown to a little place on the map called Bill's.
Turned out to be a great idea - Saprky's idea - we walked for about 1.75 miles then hitched a ride for about a 1/4 mile from a guy in a Monte Carlo - he dropped us off at this old bar/store/food combo place (Bill's), It took us about 4 miles out of our way but the food was worth it. The food was home made, I had the roast beef - white bread, large slabs of beef, bbq sauce and a order of fries. Sparky had the ham sandwich and fries. Good food, nothing fancy just real food at a good price.

Now that we screwed up our original plan we decided to head to the C&O Canal and hike down to the first campsite for the night. When we got to the campsite, it was a pay site - $10.00 a night - forget that!, so we headed down the path till dark fell and camped along the trail at one of those off to the side areas. Sparky couldnt find his stakes, so we bunked down in my tent for the night. I am glad I brought the Contrail and not the Microzoid, enough room for two in the Contrail.
In the morning, one of the guys from Bill's rode by on his horse to make sure we made it okay. I think he just wanted a excuse to ride the horse!
Day two was a slow day, the C&O is a bit boring to me for hiking, biking it is great but hiking makes for a slow pace.
To pass time we started counting the wildlife we came across, including animals we had seen the day before. The end count was 6 deer, 9 land turtles, 164 water turtles, lost count of frogs - above the hundreds mark, 1 beaver, 1 blue hering and 1 dead snake.

That night ended at Stickpile Hill Campsite. As we arrived it started to thunder real bad, Sparky and I just got our tents up as the first drops started to fall, then it just poured down. As we sat in our tents the rain kept falling, Sparky crashed out for a while. After what I guess to be a little less then 2 hours, the rain let up some. I took this time to entertain myself by attempting to get a signal on the cell phone. I ran from tree to tree, finding little dry spots but ended up getting no usuable signal. After killing a little while doing that, it was time to crash.
I awake to a few damp spots on my bag and a small puddle on the floor, first thing to do when I get home is seam seal this tent!
Friday morning was great, we got a good night sleep, rain stopped (almost) and the sun was comming out. Sparky got out his stove, he has one that uses the fuel cubes. It was a cool setup, a coffe can as a holder/wind blocker, the stove sat in the middle, then his pot sat inside the coffe can - on top of the stove. Heated up his water in no time and only used maybe 1/4 of the cube to do it.

We packed up and headed out, our plans had changed again. We now decided to go through Paw-Paw Tunnel, head up the backside of the mountain and catch the road to Green Ridge's Town Hill ATV track.
On our way to Paw-Paws we came across a hiker and his dog. The dog looked happy, at 9 years of age he was doing great - running into the river to swim, then running up to the path - to wait for his owner.
He had to wait for his owner, the poor guy was wearing one of those old "army" bags. The pack was canvas, thick, larger then the guy wearing it and I would bet the pack weighed every bit of 12 pounds (if not a little more) by itself! As soon as he seen us heading his way, he tossed the pack down. He asked us where the post office was so he could mail back all the extra crap he brought along. By the looks of it, almost that whole pack was going to be sent back. I noticed while he sat on it, the pack did not give at all. I wish he would let Sparky and I go through it - my money was he had a small tv, 12 changes of clothes, some 8 lb/7 person tent and part of the kitchen sink in that thing! We told him he had a few miles to go and that even then we didnt think the town had a post office. He thanked us, threw on his pack, the dog got up and they started walking - heading some 150 miles south to Washington!

We arrived at Paw-Paw Tunnel - first time for Sparky. This really is a cool spot, all the work that went into this place and the amount of time it took really is amazing! They had a crew of 4 working on the tunnel, 1 crew from each end and then the company had drilled two large shafts down from the top of the mountain into the tunnel area and had 2 more crews working from the inside out! Lots of workers lost lives and the original owner lost all his money attempting to build it.

After leaving the Tunnel, we hiked up the mountain to meet Tunnel Hill Road, this lasted for maybe a mile or 2, then turned into Malcom Road - loking at the map it seems to be about 2 miles long but we cleared it in no time and ended on Kirk Road. We stopped here to eat lunch, hang out the tents to dry a little. Weird thing about the roads around these areas, they are all dirt. It always feels like you are taking the wrong way. They dont have signs, until you get to the very end of each road. So you look at the map, have to assume your going the right way but only find out that you are going the right way after traveling 2 miles to a "real" intersection!

From Kirk Road we followed East Valley Road (ATV Trail) up to Mertens Ave, took a left on Mertens and then a right on Deep Run/Big Run Trail. Deep Run is a great trail! Flat for the most part, great forest views, lots of water crossings. They built a nice shelter at the 5 mile mark (there abouts), fairly new also. Did not see much wild life on the trail, a couple of stoned teen agers taking a short hike - guessing to get more stoned! Other then that this trail is a great one for family/younger kids. If I would have had brought my camera, this trail would have been photo paradise!

Next came Sparkys favorite trail outta this whole trip, Pine Lick Trail! Lots of climbing, compared to the rest of our hike. Some spots went through the worse possible places, no foot/hand holds, areas that you would just slide down - hope not to tumble down! They did install a bridge (not sure how new - its been a long time since I have been here), so now you dont have to waddle through the swamp land! REALLY glad to see the bridge.

The last leg of the trail is typical, a steep rocky climb, a few ups and downs, round the bend and then you come out to the parking lot! It was a great time, we spent only 2 nights out instead of 3 but this was one of the best camping trips I have had in a long while!

A big thanks to Sparky, if not for his, "don't matter - lets try this" attitude we would have missed Bill's and a few other cool places along the way.

10-01-2007, 07:57
After hiking that trail several times I've never seen the shelter that's supposedly 1/2 way down the Long Pond Trail either. There is a sort of discussion for these trails at: http://www.midatlantichikes.com/id104.html . Beautiful terrain, and very different from the Maryland A.T. for sure!