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ki0eh
03-05-2008, 09:48
Here's a thread, as suggested elsewhere, to discuss the Great Eastern Trail http://www.greateasterntrail.net - how to hike it, how to finish or to improve it, and how to use the GET to supplement or to enhance your A.T. experience.

emerald
03-05-2008, 15:24
I have nothing to add at this time, but look forward to reading what's contributed and will check out your link.

Lilred
03-05-2008, 18:28
Looks pretty interesting. Another long distance trail in my backyard can only be a good thing.

Hammock Hanger
03-05-2008, 20:50
This is a great trail. The AL portion was easy to follow. Not sure if they have the route down in TN south of the Cumberland Trail just yet... From Great North Mountain in VA up to Cowan's Gap in PA is well marked. Lots of nice shelters.

AL Trail Hiking Society and PATC are wonderful groups and supportive.

I am taking a break to help my knee heal but hope to get back out there and hike the north half in 2009. Then finish up TN & KY in 2010.

If you like trails that are pretty and not crowded the GET and the various trails that make her up are something to look into.

The Solemates
03-09-2008, 02:06
looks like the the website is progressing since i visited last. cant wait to hike some of teh cumberland trail once we complete the pinhoti!

ki0eh
03-09-2008, 11:40
The idea of the recent changes to the website is to bridge the gap from the GET idea to actually getting maps/guides from the member clubs - and (eventually) the interim gaps between.

Comments on how better to do that are welcome - they'll be noticed on WhiteBlaze too.

emerald
03-09-2008, 11:54
Has the route across Pennsylvania been settled upon and what percentage is now complete?

ki0eh
03-09-2008, 12:39
Has the route across Pennsylvania been settled upon and what percentage is now complete?

There are 2 official routes, both existing, in MD and in southern PA that converge in the Detweiler Run valley in the northern tip of Huntingdon County. From there is a single route to a point SE of Wellsboro, a gap across US 6, then it picks up again to 2 mi short of the NY border.

http://www.greateasterntrail.net/PA.htm

So, although the official figures are being tabulated, there are about 400 mi completed and 12 to go in PA - completion percentage roughly 400/412 = 97%.

And at least 6 of the 12 missing miles will be done following a scheduled KTA Trail Crew in 2008 (it's basically done now except for blazing and signs). http://www.greateasterntrail.net/june.html

emerald
03-09-2008, 13:16
Some people seem to believe the GET through Pennsylvania is at a significantly higher elevation than the AT. You may be the best informed person about the Pennsylvania GET who regularly posts here. Perhaps you could help to clarify this point.

I know the Kittatinny Ridge is pretty much uniformly +1500 feet on the ridge top and obviously less where the AT passes through water and wind gaps. I also know the elevation of Mt. Davis, 3213 feet, Pennsylvania's highest point. While the mean elevation or elevation at which a hiker would most often hike may be higher on either or both GET routes than the AT route, it's also farther from the Atlantic Ocean and nearer the continent's interior and given the environmental lapse rate is 3.5F, I can't see a hiker could expect much relief from the summer heat.

Do you know the mean elevation of Pennsylvania's GET route(s) or have the same information for the AT route for purposes of comparison? I'd be surprised to learn the difference is >1000 feet and it might not even be 500 feet.

ki0eh
03-09-2008, 20:11
Hmm. Honestly I don't know what the mean elevation would be of the GET, nor of the AT in PA. (However, I am hoping that someone will buy me the ArcGIS extension that will be able to let me calculate stuff like that! :D )

I do know that the west loop of the GET passes over the highest mountain in PA's section of the Valley and Ridge physiographic province, Martin Hill (the highest summit is 2,775'; the lower summit the Mid State Trail goes over is 2,730'), in Southampton Twp., Bedford County. (That's not Bedford County's high point because Blue Knob on the Allegheny Front is in that county, and is over 3,000'.)

The west loop also passes very near the highest point in Huntingdon County on MST. The east loop passes very near the highest point in Franklin County on Tuscarora Trail. Both over 2,000'.

There's also a lot of hovering near both sides of the 2,000' mark along the GET route in Bedford, Huntingdon, Clinton, Lycoming, and Tioga counties. Even the valley bottoms in Tioga County are over 1,000' except for Blackwell at the mouth of the "PA Grand Canyon."

So, without further detailed study, I'd buy the 500' or slightly less, average elevation difference figure, between GET and AT in PA.

I can tell you from quite a lot of my personal experience spending much time on both ends, that there's about a five degree difference on the same day between the Harrisburg area and Tioga County; and it's usually a couple of degrees cooler even in southern Bedford County than in Harrisburg. That's certainly more than can be explained by the lapse rate; I suspect a higher proportion of cloud and fog in the interior mountains, retarding the daily growth in temperature, explains the rest.

In other states, such as Virginia and Tennessee, I think generally the GET route would have to be lower than the A.T., since the GET is not on the Blue Ridge where the highest elevations are.

emerald
03-09-2008, 23:06
Hmm. Honestly I don't know what the mean elevation would be of the GET, nor of the AT in PA. (However, I am hoping that someone will buy me the ArcGIS extension that will be able to let me calculate stuff like that! :D )

So, without further detailed study, I'd buy the 500' or slightly less, average elevation difference figure, between GET and AT in PA.

Hope Santa brings you the software. Then this question can be settled once and for all! I think we're pretty much in agreement anyway, but I won't tell Santa.;)


I can tell you from quite a lot of my personal experience spending much time on both ends, that there's about a five degree difference on the same day between the Harrisburg area and Tioga County; and it's usually a couple of degrees cooler even in southern Bedford County than in Harrisburg. That's certainly more than can be explained by the lapse rate; I suspect a higher proportion of cloud and fog in the interior mountains, retarding the daily growth in temperature, explains the rest.

I believe it's also cooler with few exceptions on Blue Mountain than in Reading especially on its northern slope.

I could think of many good reasons to hike the Pennsylvania GET versus the AT. Avoiding the summer heat just isn't one of them. To get significant relief from summer's heat requires a higher latitude and elevation than Pennsylvania offers. I can find greater relief by descending the steps to my basement.

ki0eh
03-10-2008, 10:11
Well, home for me is a thickly wooded north slope of Allen Mountain, in the winter I can look out across the Lebanon Valley at the local crest of Blue Mountain (which is lower here than 1,500') so that's my point of comparison. :)

I don't think I did previously assert that the GET in PA would be cooler than the A.T., but now that the specific question's been asked, so far I do believe there would be a two to five degree difference - based on our family spending nearly every summer weekend very close to one end or the other of the GET in PA - and the remaining weekends generally pretty close to the A.T. ;)

Maybe someone better at navigating the data than me, or with more time to figure it out, can check climate data for State College vs. Harrisburg; there's roughly the same distance and elevation change from weather station to trail in both cases. I'm sure the data will support a difference; how meaningful that difference might be, falls into the realm of HYOH.

Alligator
03-10-2008, 10:35
Hope Santa brings you the software. Then this question can be settled once and for all! I think we're pretty much in agreement anyway, but I won't tell Santa.;)....I'm thinking that if the GET trail was mapped as a raster line, then a simple set of summary stats could be output. That is, take the mean of all the raster cells that compose the GET.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
03-10-2008, 11:07
Ki0eh, thank you so much for providing the info about the GET in PA. More and more, the Dinos are considering doing the GET instead of the AT for the solitude and unspoiled beauty it provides - especially in PA where the camping options on the AT are so limited.

Since you are somewhat familiar with both the GET and the AT in that area, could you compare and contrast the social aspects (How many others can I expect to meet?, Can I camp alone?), support available (food resupply, hostels, hotels, etc.) and that oh-so-subjective quality - how hard are these trails when compared?

Hammock Hanger
03-10-2008, 11:27
Ki0eh, thank you so much for providing the info about the GET in PA. More and more, the Dinos are considering doing the GET instead of the AT for the solitude and unspoiled beauty it provides - especially in PA where the camping options on the AT are so limited.

Since you are somewhat familiar with both the GET and the AT in that area, could you compare and contrast the social aspects (How many others can I expect to meet?, Can I camp alone?), support available (food resupply, hostels, hotels, etc.) and that oh-so-subjective quality - how hard are these trails when compared?

The part of the GET that we hiked last year was on the Tuscarora section and I can tell you it was beautiful and solitude abound!!! When I pick this back up, unfortunately next year as I want the knee to heal, it will be North of Cowan's Gap and getting up on the Standing Stones/Link Trail. From what I am told it too will offer much solitude.

As much as I love the AT and the AT Family, I really enjoyed my alone time last year. I hope you get out there.

Sue/HH

emerald
03-10-2008, 13:20
I don't think I did previously assert that the GET in PA would be cooler than the A.T.

I'm not aware you did either. It's Minnesota Smith who likes to make that point whenever he can.


Maybe someone better at navigating the data than me, or with more time to figure it out, can check climate data for State College vs. Harrisburg; there's roughly the same distance and elevation change from weather station to trail in both cases. I'm sure the data will support a difference.

I expect it would too. There's also a difference between Reading and Port Clinton or Summit Station, but I wouldn't drive there to experience it.

To me, anything over 80F is hot and there's no difference between 93F and 95 or 96F. It's just numbers on a thermometer if you happen to be carrying one. I'd refrain from hiking between 1100 and 1500 or 1600 hours in the summer anyway.


More and more, the Dinos are considering doing the GET instead of the AT for the solitude and unspoiled beauty it provides - especially in PA where the camping options on the AT are so limited.

More incorrect information from the font of misinformation. Camping options on Pennsylvania's AT are not limited. With few exceptions, hikers can camp wherever they desire.

Maybe we could return to a discussion of the GET without a reprise of your earlier performance?

Frolicking Dinosaurs
03-10-2008, 13:52
The part of the GET that we hiked last year was on the Tuscarora section and I can tell you it was beautiful and solitude abound!!! When I pick this back up, unfortunately next year as I want the knee to heal, it will be North of Cowan's Gap and getting up on the Standing Stones/Link Trail. From what I am told it too will offer much solitude.

As much as I love the AT and the AT Family, I really enjoyed my alone time last year. I hope you get out there.

Sue/HHThanks Sue. That's great to hear. I'm really looking forward to it.

ki0eh
03-10-2008, 20:12
Ki0eh, thank you so much for providing the info about the GET in PA. More and more, the Dinos are considering doing the GET instead of the AT for the solitude and unspoiled beauty it provides - especially in PA where the camping options on the AT are so limited.

Since you are somewhat familiar with both the GET and the AT in that area, could you compare and contrast the social aspects (How many others can I expect to meet?, Can I camp alone?), support available (food resupply, hostels, hotels, etc.) and that oh-so-subjective quality - how hard are these trails when compared?

OK, here goes on a whole bunch of subjectivity, based on day-hiking and/or weekending most of the 2.5 trails you mention, and on other information, but NOT representing any view of any organization I may be affiliated with.

Let's say one would be crossing the Potomac into Hancock, Md., where the two routes split. Hancock probably has adequate resupply opportunity, motel, a couple choices of modest restaurants, and a nice little bike shop but no outfitter.

The west route heads up the flat with very occasional camping opportunity C&O Canal NHP, also here American Discovery Trail, to Little Orleans, Md. home of "Bill's Place" a bar and convenience store beloved among river rats and towpath riders. Nearby is a PATC cabin. Then the footpath narrows and takes off up into Md.'s Green Ridge State Forest over some interesting hills but not getting too far from Fifteenmile Creek - a good thing because on many of the hills you can observe the Maryland native prickly pear cactus in this driest portion of the Free State. Path has some ups, downs, and narrow points but fairly interesting scenery through here. This fellow rated it as "strenuous" but I wonder if he was just having a bad day: http://www.midatlantichikes.com/id104.html Forest HQ and parking at I-68 but no services. After crossing into PA there is a short roadwalk leading into State Forest, camping legal but water only every 5 mi. Not too far away is Flintstone, Md. with beer in one place and a Mennonite-run store with quarts (?!?) of Dr. Bronner's in another. Climb up, the last on a rocky power line, to the highest point in PA's Tiltrock Country (mentioned above), Martin Hill. Fall quickly on a fire trail into Sweet Root Natural Area, rise to the last water and legal camping for 16 miles, rise again to a knife-edge jumble - No camping due to PA Game Lands (the GET does NOT have the camping availability regulation oft cited by SoG, shelterbuilder, and me), No water except 2/3 of the way north and then it's 1,000' down and 1 mile off trail. Finally descend a stretch that would be reminiscent of the east side of Lehigh Gap if there were three kinds of briar there, to Everett, Pa. on US 30. Everett is about the size of and about as prosperous as Duncannon; however, the grocery is directly on trail and PO with 2 hardware stores 1 block off. Motel on trail, a couple of so-so restaurants in town. There are 2 old hotels: either in the right hands could be the next Doyle. Wal-Mart and hospital are about 4 miles west. Outfitter of sorts (hiking definitely ranks after bike and paddle here) is in Breezewood 10 miles east. I-70/76, the PA Turnpike, rolls through town with no exit. Here are a couple of pictorial trip reports through this area: http://backpack.phanfare.com/2007 Then a few miles roadwalk returns you through a cow pasture to the rocky, dry ridge of Tussey Mountain - no camping either. Loysburg with its PO leads to a short roadwalk to turn left just before a fine local restaurant to more Game Lands - still no camping but soon there is a streamside walk before returning to the dry ridge mostly now on Game Land management roads. Finally turn off for three miles to Williamsburg, smaller with fewer services than Everett. Follow Lower Trail rail-trail alongside Frankstown Branch Juniata River to near Alexandria and US 22, 60 mi. from MD line. Woods roads and road a few miles to Little Juniata River, once you climb high above this Natural Area you are on dry ridge, camping legal in State Forest, springs 1/4 to 1/2 mi off trail. In 20 more miles look off ridge to State College, Pa., home of the 11th member of the Big Ten, good outfitter and probably everything else one would want in a town except a hostel. Wonder if we should mark a pink blazed side trail to it. ;) Pass around Bear Meadows, an odd high-elevation bog except the elevation isn't high enough to explain it, and shortly rejoin the east route. See http://www.pahikes.com/trails/midstateSC_overview.asp

The east route heads out of Hancock on PATC's Tuscarora Trail. Camping is an immediate challenge on the towpath, roads, county park, roads, and PA Game Lands where treadway then adds to the challenge. See http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=4974 , http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=6211 , and http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=5400 for some passages through here. Pretty high up at the US 30 crossing but PATC moved the path 1/4 mile downhill from the summit bar. :) North of US 30 east route enters State Forest with legal but dry camping, then Cowans Gap State Park, then follows a stream to near another PATC cabin. Head uphill now on Standing Stone Trail http://www.hike-sst.org/highlights.htm , under the PA Turnpike I-76 a few miles from Fort Littleton exit with one restaurant and two convenience stores, head on a few miles' temporary roadwalk that has lasted 19 years but the end is in sight, and up onto Game Lands (remember no camping at all) where the aptly named Priceless Point is up a short side trail. After a few miles of not-as-rocky-as-it-could-be-for-PA there is a six mile roadwalk into the town of Three Springs with a fine pizzeria at the main intersection. Big climb comes next into Game Lands (no camping, water scarce) and a lot of management road following to a few great views, one small State Forest tract to camp in then more Game Lands before a long drop into Mapleton (PO, small store) on the Juniata River. The next 12 miles is possibly the most dramatic hiking day in all of PA with its dramatic interplay of history, scenery, the Thousand Steps that take you only HALFway up Jacks Mountain, and even one bit of legal camping with a nearby spring on top. Be kind to private landowners on the way down. Return to more no camping Game Lands but on relatively well graded trail, enter State Forest by headwaters streams for well earned rest. Rocky Ridge Natural Area quickly offers many spring wildflowers then head up Stone Mountain for a view-filled rocky passage to Greenwood Furnace State Park. One more big hill then a dramatic stand of never-cut rhododendron and hemlock at Alan Seeger Natural Area then re-join the west route, not far from State College.

The re-united main trail heads up yet another old-growth area, strangely on an old logging railroad bed (???) that even more strangely was ballasted with central PA's most notorious stretch of ankle-biter rocks. Treadway eases up a but to duck under PA 322 (no services) and into one of the most remote sections of PA - now fairly well watered and not QUITE as rocky passing Poe Valley State Park (full service) and Poe Paddy State Park (in name only); eventually to R.B. Winter State Park (full service), cross I-80 truly in the middle of nowhere; Ravensburg State Park (half service) then drop down to West Branch Susquehanna River and a few miles roadwalk. Just north of the river is Woolrich, Pa. with the only shelter on this stretch - it's right next to the original Woolrich Factory Outlet and patrolled by private security. Web page featuring this area: http://www.pahikes.com/trails/midstateWO_overview.asp Then you get to climb the Allegheny Front (each time about the magnitude of Mt. Minsi out of DWG) three times over, mostly in State Forest on even-less-rocky trail, passing Little Pine State Park - then it's 25 miles to the next paved road, encountered in the tiny hamlet of Blackwell, right in the mouth of PA's "Grand Canyon." Fine food and lodging at the Blackwell Hotel - a bit pricey, better food, but nowhere near as stuck up as the Boiling Springs Tavern. GET passes 25 more miles close to water with occasional campsites in State Forest, with scattered bits of historical interest including a ghost town, see http://www.pahikes.com/trails/midstate11.asp and http://get.chattablogs.com/archives/065569.html#more After leaving the last State Forest and dispersed camping area, you are in northern Tioga County - very similar terrain and land use to NY's Finger Lakes Trail which is now pretty close by. Small store and PO in Morris. Excellent outfitter and other services in nearby Wellsboro but 8-10 mi off trail. Further north a side trail to grocery store in Mansfield. There is a 10 mile presently unmarked gap from Tioga State Forest to Hills Creek State Park, then camping only in car campgrounds at prevailing fees climbing up and down hills through Game Lands, private land, and 2 Corps of Engineers reservoirs, until you reach the END for now, 2 mi. short of entering New York State. Tiny PO and NOTHING else in Nelson nearby, however you do pass through where Nelson used to be.

Whew, with all that said, now I'll try to draw some conclusions:

-The west route IMO is harder than the A.T. due both to terrain and camping restrictions. Both ease up toward the north end of the west route. Basic resupply could be easier than the A.T. but the town folks will not be used to hikers and hiker-specific hostels, etc. are non-existent. There is a stretch either side of I-70 of about 45 miles with no legal trailside camping at all, and about 30 miles with no trailside lodging. Perhaps a NOBO heading into Everett after a very long and rough day can, with a humble attitude and a few dollars, hire someone to slack for a couple of days, according to this: http://www.hike-mst.org/shuttle.html

-The east route gets easier more quickly upon entering PA but still has its rocks, and climbs well over 1,000' each in spots. Resupply could be possible but a little thin. There is more road walking on the east route but not quite as huge a gap in legal trailside camping and lodging. People in towns still haven't seen hikers before. No hostels.

-The combined route in the northern half of PA, is considerably more well watered, and after a few miles gets decidedly less rocky than either the A.T. or either southern-half route. The northern-most 40 miles (including 10 yet unmarked) includes 4 car campgrounds trailside that offer the only legal camping. Resupply options are very thin and mostly limited to state park offices, or a couple of tiny post offices 3 miles off trail, none of the above have seen many hikers. No hostels.

-The fairly large town of State College (population 38,420 just within the borough limits, plus many new subdivisions and commercial areas surrounding) is close to where the GET branches. (No coincidence: Mid State Trail begain in 1969 as a project of the Penn State Outing Club.) I'm sure a lot of future thru-hikers will end up there on their journeys.

-Apart from dayhikers in: the immediate neighborhood of State College; the Thousand Steps themselves; and perhaps right around the PA Grand Canyon and some of the state parks; you will most likely have the trail entirely to yourself. The MST guide says: "If you hike alone, you will meet more bears than people." Long sectioners report seeing maybe one or two other backpackers, after crossing the entire state; and two or three bears. :D

-You might find "angels" and "magic" along the GET in PA, but both will be the old fashioned kind and nothing to plan for. However the club people would probably go well out of their way for the first one or few hikers; then small towns being what they are, "angels" will probably emerge eventually if there's enough "business."

-Is the GET in PA more scenic than the A.T. in PA: Many people do think so. Of course the GET is both longer, at slightly higher elevations, and generally more rural, so it has advantages there.

-Is the GET in PA cooler than the PA A.T. route: Possibly a little, see above.

-Getting to the GET in PA would be more difficult than getting to the PA A.T. There is even less public transportation; and if you need a shuttle, it will probably be harder to find one. I honestly don't know if hitching is easier.

-Is the GET in PA harder than the PA A.T.: This has got to be left to HYOH for the areas north of US 22. South of US 22, it's definitely harder due to lack of legal camping opportunities.

-Are there problems with vandalism, "squealing like a pig," etc.? Such problems can never be ruled out but there's not known to be major issues. The MST guide mentions one road crossing as a frequent site for "beer and pot parties" but that was probably the case 30 years ago, not now.

-Would I, the WB reader, prefer to hike the GET or the A.T. across PA: Hike both and let us know!! :banana

Frolicking Dinosaurs
03-10-2008, 22:02
Wow, Ki0eh. Thank you so much for taking the time to write that wonderful info about the PA GET. :sun

emerald
03-10-2008, 23:03
Yes, indeed, thank you. I think we might have us a GET thread.

What strikes me as the most significant opportunity afforded by the GET is the opportunity for a big circuit hike.

When the Schuylkill River Trail is complete, Matty will be able to hike from Philly to Port Clinton where he'll be able to hike the AT SOBO to the GET NOBO to the AT SOBO to Port Clinton. He can celebrate completing his circuit hike at Port Clinton Hotel before heading back home without spending a penny on gas money.:jump

I wonder what Minnesota Smith would think of that?;)

ki0eh
03-11-2008, 07:25
What strikes me as the most significant opportunity afforded by the GET is the opportunity for a big circuit hike.

When the Schuylkill River Trail is complete, Matty will be able to hike from Philly to Port Clinton where he'll be able to hike the AT SOBO to the GET NOBO to the AT SOBO to Port Clinton. He can celebrate completing his circuit hike at Port Clinton Hotel before heading back home without spending a penny on gas money.:jump


Or maybe cross over the river after taking a part that's done, to the Horse-Shoe Trail; over 60 years of REAL yellow blazes from Valley Forge scratching the bottom of The Green Diamond on its way to, um, well let's say, the Doyle. :D (Camping restrictions and roadwalks? Maybe a few...)

Hammock Hanger
03-11-2008, 08:13
OK, here goes on a whole bunch of subjectivity, based on day-hiking and/or weekending most of the 2.5 trails you mention, and on other information, but NOT representing any view of any organization I may be affiliated with.

Let's say one would be crossing the Potomac into Hancock, Md., where the two routes split. Hancock probably has adequate resupply opportunity, motel, a couple choices of modest restaurants, and a nice little bike shop but no outfitter.

....The east route heads out of Hancock on PATC's Tuscarora Trail. Camping is an immediate challenge on the towpath, roads, county park, roads, and PA Game Lands where treadway then adds to the challenge. See http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=4974 , http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=6211 , and http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=5400 for some passages through here. Pretty high up at the US 30 crossing but PATC moved the path 1/4 mile downhill from the summit bar. :) North of US 30 east route enters State Forest with legal but dry camping, then Cowans Gap State Park, then follows a stream to near another PATC cabin. Head uphill now on Standing Stone Trail http://www.hike-sst.org/highlights.htm ,
... -Would I, the WB reader, prefer to hike the GET or the A.T. across PA: Hike both and let us know!! :banana

Hancock, MD was a great resupply point. Motel, library, small grocery, good restaurants, laundry. As well as a hiker/biker hostel.

There is a road walk out of Hancock once you depart from the towpath. (The towpath is a lovely walk and for some one who does not want to stay in a motel there is a pretty campsite.) Halfway on the road walk is a nice city park with water and restrooms. There are a couple of small water sources during the course of the day. At some point we crossed over into PA. We camped as soon as we returned to the woods and made our way up to the top of the ridge the next day, but it is doable in one day's walk out of town if you don't dally.

The first half of the ridge was "very PA" rocky, but interesting with nice views. The is no water up there so bring up enough to get to the next shelter. We took a quick hitch into McConnellsburg. Stay at a motel - restaurant combo. Cheap rooms and good food. The owner gave us a ride back to the trail in the morning.

From that road (Rt 16) is was less then half a day's walk to Cowan SP. It was a nice hike on well maintain trail. There is a nice shelter just prior to reaching the park. The park was nice with a great concession stand and swimming.

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=196228

I can't wait to return to this area. There are some game lands that may pose as a campsite issue one night from what I could see but that was about it. Mapleton has a motel and there is a PO & laundry about a mile from the motel. -- The State Park (can't recall the name at this moment)was willing to hold a food drop for me as we got further north.

ki0eh
03-11-2008, 08:22
I can't wait to return to this area.

Thanks, HH! We can't wait to meet you; once you're healed, we can't wait to meet you on the trail!!

emerald
03-11-2008, 14:24
Or maybe cross over the river after taking a part that's done, to the Horse-Shoe Trail; over 60 years of REAL yellow blazes from Valley Forge scratching the bottom of The Green Diamond on its way to, um, well let's say, the Doyle. :D (Camping restrictions and roadwalks? Maybe a few...)

Little loops are good too and fit more hiker's schedules. I think a circuit beginning and ending at Harpers Ferry taking in parts of West Virginia would also appeal to me.:) I'm sure I could get a shuttle to Morgantown.;)

Frolicking Dinosaurs
03-11-2008, 15:37
I can't wait to return to this area. There are some game lands that may pose as a campsite issue one night from what I could see but that was about it. Mapleton has a motel and there is a PO & laundry about a mile from the motel. -- The State Park (can't recall the name at this moment)was willing to hold a food drop for me as we got further north.::: Dino ears perk up :::
So when are we going? When can you and Ki0eh make it?

ki0eh
03-11-2008, 15:39
Little loops are good too and fit more hiker's schedules. I think a circuit beginning and ending at Harpers Ferry taking in parts of West Virginia would also appeal to me.:) I'm sure I could get a shuttle to Morgantown.;)

PA or WV?

emerald
03-11-2008, 15:55
Either, whether or not I wear a Mountaineer cap. Were I looking for a ride here (http://www.creamery.psu.edu/), I'd wear a Nittany Lion cap instead.

ki0eh
03-11-2008, 16:00
Were I looking for a ride here (http://www.creamery.psu.edu/), I'd wear a Nittany Lion cap instead.

THERE's closer to the GET than either Morgantown. And you doubted it would be cooler?? :D

emerald
03-11-2008, 16:15
Anyone who knows anything about Pennsylvania knows State College is cooler than Harrisburg. It's all that hot air and smoke down by the Susquehanna.

They really need to do something about the smoke and if they except AT shelters, I'm hiking the MST instead.:D

ki0eh
03-11-2008, 17:58
The City of Harrisburg curbside recycling program includes glass and metals. No plastics or paper as they have Btu value. Then it goes up in smoke in the City incinerator for steam to heat... the Capitol Complex.

Now you know - it truly is garbage fueled hot air! :D

ki0eh
03-11-2008, 19:29
::: Dino ears perk up :::
So when are we going? When can you and Ki0eh make it?

How about this weekend?!? http://www.thebackpacker.com/trips/trip/1473.php

Frolicking Dinosaurs
03-11-2008, 19:38
How about this weekend?!? http://www.thebackpacker.com/trips/trip/1473.phpWould love to, but my son's fiancee is graduating from nursing school on Saturday.

ki0eh
08-23-2008, 10:00
Just added this statement to the GET website:

"Presently the GET is fully hikeable from the Allegheny Trail at I-64 exit 1, just east of the VA/WV border, northward through portions of VA, WV, all of MD, all of PA, to Maple Street in the Village of Addison, NY."

Care to talk again about where to hike, as a break from the weekly maps vs. GPS threads? :)

cowboy nichols
08-23-2008, 10:08
Thanks KiOeh for the info. Question, are there any ares that don't allow dogs? I always hike with mine and he is kept onleash.

ki0eh
08-23-2008, 16:00
Thanks KiOeh for the info. Question, are there any ares that don't allow dogs? I always hike with mine and he is kept onleash.

There are definitely leash restrictions on private lands, state parks, FS recreation areas, and in towns. Other than that, a quick glance at the Allegheny, Tuscarora, Mid State, Standing Stone trail guides does not immediately reveal any blanket dog prohibition areas (although it's possible I might have missed something).

I'll let someone else answer for the southern sections (Pine Mountain, Cumberland, Pinhoti).

Hammock Hanger
08-23-2008, 20:23
Just added this statement to the GET website:

"Presently the GET is fully hikeable from the Allegheny Trail at I-64 exit 1, just east of the VA/WV border, northward through portions of VA, WV, all of MD, all of PA, to Maple Street in the Village of Addison, NY."

Care to talk again about where to hike, as a break from the weekly maps vs. GPS threads? :)

So if I pick the hike back up from Cowans Gap, is it blazed all the way through to this Village in NY?? Can you give me a quick guesstimate of the milage from CGSP to VofA. Nothing you have to work out just a guess.

ki0eh
08-23-2008, 21:48
So if I pick the hike back up from Cowans Gap, is it blazed all the way through to this Village in NY?? Can you give me a quick guesstimate of the milage from CGSP to VofA. Nothing you have to work out just a guess.

~3 miles TT (blue) from CGSP up to the current junction + 70 miles of SST (orange) + 6 miles of Greenwood Spur Mid State Trail (currently blue) + 191 miles Mid State Trail (orange, except as noted below) + ~10 miles in NY (orange) = 290 miles.

As of right now there aren't blazes on 8.5 miles out of the 191 miles of MST near the north end, however the route around follows public roads (7 mi dirt, 1.5 mi paved). See the purple dashed line on http://www.hike-mst.org/Maps/TSF-HCSP.pdf - we've had a few people go through already and have managed to survive. Although there is a loose dog on a farm at the corner of Johnson Hill and Ashley Roads.

Hammock Hanger
08-23-2008, 22:25
~3 miles TT (blue) from CGSP up to the current junction + 70 miles of SST (orange) + 6 miles of Greenwood Spur Mid State Trail (currently blue) + 191 miles Mid State Trail (orange, except as noted below) + ~10 miles in NY (orange) = 290 miles.

As of right now there aren't blazes on 8.5 miles out of the 191 miles of MST near the north end, however the route around follows public roads (7 mi dirt, 1.5 mi paved). See the purple dashed line on http://www.hike-mst.org/Maps/TSF-HCSP.pdf - we've had a few people go through already and have managed to survive. Although there is a loose dog on a farm at the corner of Johnson Hill and Ashley Roads.

Thanks ki0eh!!

You are good and fast!!

I can't wait to get back out there.

Sue/HH

ki0eh
08-24-2008, 10:23
Not that good, that actually adds to 280 not 290 with the morning caffeine starting to kick in.:D

ki0eh
01-14-2009, 22:51
The GET website is now http://www.greateasterntrail.net - the .org site passed through too many hands and was lost to pirates.

ki0eh
08-27-2009, 09:09
I just noticed that MAPS are now posted to the description of the Tuscarora-Allegheny link component of the GET. See http://potomacappalachian.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=226&Itemid=43 (http://potomacappalachian.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=226&Itemid=43)

traildust
09-16-2009, 13:15
The Pine Mountain Trail is a link to this trail. A major link. Any idea here on the status of this section of the GET? How many miles are done, need to be done and how many were done in 2009?

Hoop Time
09-16-2009, 21:31
Just a point or two to add to ki0eh's fine narrative. In the area of MST north of 322, Poe Valley State Park is currently closed completely for major construction project (new sewer system, major repairs to the dam there). When it reopens, it offers camping and a nice beach on the lake. I don't think there are any shelters, but it does have a few small cabins to rent.

Poe Paddy is a rustic campground only. It is located right on Penns Creek and has good water (available from spigots located around the campgrounds), privies and it does have two small Adirondack shelters (sites 126 and 128). The shelters would probably fit 4 or 5 hikers. Both have tent pads beside them, as do many of the other campsites. All sites in the park are reservable and the two with shelters are very popular with fishermen and car campers during the spring and summer, especially on weekends. If you know when you will reach Poe Paddy, you might want to reserve one ahead (http://www.pa.reserveworld.com/)

ki0eh
09-16-2009, 21:37
The Pine Mountain Trail is a link to this trail. A major link. Any idea here on the status of this section of the GET? How many miles are done, need to be done and how many were done in 2009?

From http://www.greateasterntrail.net/KY.htm there is a link to the Pine Mountain Trail Conference, and from there an e-mail link to Shad Baker who is a great guy and likely knows all things PMT.

Hoop Time
09-16-2009, 21:48
Not to get off topic, but any idea what the gold blazes in the Poe Paddy area are for?

kygal89
11-11-2009, 10:32
I have hiked the Birch Knob section of the Pine Mountain Trail. There are some interesting rock formations and nice views. There are no shelters though. This trail is well marked. One big problem you will run into is it is muddy. The reason is people illegally bring ATV's and the like up the trail and it has ruined the trail already. Here's a video on youtube of some stupid rednecks getting stuck in a Yamaha Rhino. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SmPJEJrrRw It irritates me. I live like a mile away from this trail and I hate to see it ruined already. So don't be surprised if you meet an offroad vehicle on this trail.

ki0eh
06-03-2010, 14:09
Read about it here: http://newyorkoutdoors.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/fltc-announces-new-crystal-hills-trail/

ki0eh
11-05-2010, 20:17
I think a WBer will have an announcement soon regarding this trail.

Taba
11-08-2010, 19:30
Hello everybody,
At the ALDHA Gathering in Athens it was an idea that I didn't want to announce just then. Since the meeting, I have come to the conclusion that this is the next adventure that I will be going on. I will be thru-hiking not only the Great Eastern Trail, but all of the individual trails it connects. I will be writing Thru-Hiker's Manuals for all trails involved. I have already published Manual's for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina and the Sheltowee Trace in Kentucky. There will be around 9 more Manuals to be released in early 2012. I will start on Flagg Mountain in March and hike until October to finish in New York. My challenges right now is figuring how many extra miles off the GET I will be hiking on connector trails and how each trail connects to the other. I am guessing that the total mileage is going to be 2,600 to 2,700 miles.
I usually don't hike with directions, maps, guidebooks, compass or GPS. I like to follow the blazes to see how well it is blazed to inform the trail organizations and to clearly document the confusing sections. How well are these trails blazed? I get lost a lot but that is how I learn everything about the trail. I may look into a GPS sponsor for this adventure to see if it has any benefits for me out there. I am a traditional person and still use a pedometer to track my mileage. I have found it to be fairly accurate according to trail organization mileages and mile posts on road walks. Each one of my steps are 29 inches. In order for this journey to be successful and to have the Manuals accurate, I need help from all the trail organizations that maintain the trails. I am going to have questions about where the trail is and may need to be able to contact locals to find some resupply points or in case of emergencies. I don't have emergencies but just in case.

This is going to be fun. It's also going to be a lot of hard work. I will be seeking media coverage and more sponsorship for the journey. My gear sponsors right now are Teva, Leki, Lafuma, Moonbow, and Trail Hound/Wandering Buddha. The ultimate goal would be to find a television network that will follow the entire journey. Ted Richardson from the Raleigh News & Observer in North Carolina produced 3 fantastic videos of my first hike of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in 2008. They are viewable through my webistewww.Thru-hiker.us (http://http//www.thru-hiker.us/videos) on the "Videos" page.

Taba
12-03-2010, 22:08
My plans for hiking the GET are on hold indefinetly.

Taba
12-17-2010, 20:52
I believe that I have made the decision to not hike the GET in 2011. It is still on the list of trails and manuals to do but this trail is not ready for me yet.

ki0eh
12-17-2010, 21:44
It's all been hiked in sections north of I-64 - that's the length of about 2-1/2 VT Long Trails, the PA MST by itself is longer than the Long Trail. Why the apparent lack of interest? (Not speaking to any one person, but generally...)

traildust
12-18-2010, 13:39
So many trails, so little time.

Taba
12-20-2010, 20:24
Just wanted to add that my life is full of 15 minute life-altering decisions. I have no idea what I am doing or where i am going to be 15 minutes from now. But when I set a goal and announce to others that "this is what I am going to do" then at all costs that is what I am going to do. I may still choose the GET and feel like I should but I have heard many ccomments about the conditions, current locations and how fast the trail is changing. If I did go for the GET would my Manual be accurate enough for the next year? That's a long hike to do every year.

I also feel like I should keep on with the Sheltowee Trace. I mentioned doing a yo-yo on the Trace next year to enhance the manual for the northbound edition and write a southbound on the way back. This trail is a tremendous experience. I fought my way through the first time but managed to finish the hike and the Manual before the Sheltowee Trace Assocation's first annual meeting. The STA is excited about the trail and wants it to, not only, be a thru-hikeable trail but one for every outdoor activity. The STA and I have been in constant correspondance since before I began the hike. Everytime I got to a point where it needed their attention, I would let them know by phone from the woods. A week later they were out there to check on it. I commend the STA for their dedication to this trail.

Which ever one I choose will be the right decision.

Taba

Tennessee Viking
12-20-2010, 23:08
Just wanted to add that my life is full of 15 minute life-altering decisions. I have no idea what I am doing or where i am going to be 15 minutes from now. But when I set a goal and announce to others that "this is what I am going to do" then at all costs that is what I am going to do. I may still choose the GET and feel like I should but I have heard many ccomments about the conditions, current locations and how fast the trail is changing. If I did go for the GET would my Manual be accurate enough for the next year? That's a long hike to do every year.

I also feel like I should keep on with the Sheltowee Trace. I mentioned doing a yo-yo on the Trace next year to enhance the manual for the northbound edition and write a southbound on the way back. This trail is a tremendous experience. I fought my way through the first time but managed to finish the hike and the Manual before the Sheltowee Trace Assocation's first annual meeting. The STA is excited about the trail and wants it to, not only, be a thru-hikeable trail but one for every outdoor activity. The STA and I have been in constant correspondance since before I began the hike. Everytime I got to a point where it needed their attention, I would let them know by phone from the woods. A week later they were out there to check on it. I commend the STA for their dedication to this trail.

Which ever one I choose will be the right decision.

TabaI know the Cumberland Trail section still has a bit of road walk especially around the Black Mountain/Crab Orchard area. Then on the final leg up to Cumberland Gap.

From what I heard Pine Mountain trail is pretty rugid. Not maintained on a regular basis.

Let me know when you get back to NC to rewalk the new relocations on the MST. I got some helpful info on churches and re-supply. Still nothing new about camping.

ki0eh
12-21-2010, 06:51
I may still choose the GET and feel like I should but I have heard many ccomments about the conditions, current locations and how fast the trail is changing. If I did go for the GET would my Manual be accurate enough for the next year? That's a long hike to do every year.


Sometimes when I encounter both thru-hiker types and retired-guy trail builder types it seems like two different languages are spoken. Yes "hikers" often care for and build trails in the East but the term "hiker" seems to be in the eye of the beholder.

The GET route north of I-64 is stable enough now that resupply options won't change, camping and water won't change much or very quickly. With all the individual groups involved the information available is honestly kind of a mish-mash. This is the area where I would honestly feel a Manual as you do would be helpful.

As for trail conditions, it seems to me that feedback is helpful, although some of the extremes of section hiker and retired-guy-trail-maintainer types seem not fully to grasp that. I personally suspect that the overall condition of the GET north of I-64 is at least as good, and roadwalk percentage lower, compared to the ST or NC-MST, but there is the mish-mash of information to deal with which is why the Manual if anything would be more helpful for the GET vs. the other two.

I am wondering if a large proportion of section- and thru-hiker types tend to get a lot of information through social means more than by poring over maps and guidebooks, not quite like Earl Shaffer in 1948 who plunged into the woods often with just a road map. Back then he certainly encountered other hikers, as one would now on the GET, but he also met many people who had no real notion of the A.T.'s existence. I would think that the mental challenge of a GET thru-hike would be more analogous to Earl's first rather than to the bubble of near-trail services that today's A.T. thru-hiker largely exists within.

Certainly in whatever venture you care to pursue, we wish you good fortune. Seems like your confident but grounded outlook has already gotten you far.

Cookerhiker
12-21-2010, 09:23
....I am wondering if a large proportion of section- and thru-hiker types tend to get a lot of information through social means more than by poring over maps and guidebooks, not quite like Earl Shaffer in 1948 who plunged into the woods often with just a road map. Back then he certainly encountered other hikers, as one would now on the GET, but he also met many people who had no real notion of the A.T.'s existence. I would think that the mental challenge of a GET thru-hike would be more analogous to Earl's first rather than to the bubble of near-trail services that today's A.T. thru-hiker largely exists within...

If I'm not mistaken, part of the GET is the Allegheny Trail in West Virginia. In planning my ALT thruhike for last Spring, I concluded that the ALT was more similar to where the AT was 50+ years ago in that (1) virtually no thruhiker services e.g. shuttles, hostels, nearby outfitters, AT-type "trail towns" existed; (2) much of the surrounding community was only dimly aware if at all about the Trail's existence; and (3) there was no guidebook to services analagous to the Companion. I suppose this is just a hypothesis since unfortunately, my hike didn't last long because of an injury to my hiking partner. But I became pretty familiar with the Trail corridor because of the enormous time spent planning the hike

This is not a complaint, just an observation. While I welcome Taba's guidebooks, I actually enjoyed the challenge of determining and researching options for resupply, town or motel breaks, and transportation. I was able to find 3 establishments who readily and willingly agreed to accept supply mail drops even though as far as I knew, no one had ever previously made this request.

And that leads me to the point that while some aspects of hiking the ALT resemble the early AT days, the internet is an option that didn't exist in Earl Shaffer's day. Not only the social network aspects (there's a good ALT thread here on WB), but simply using the search engines to learn more about the trail and corridor - that's how I located a B&B near Marlinton and a cabin near Durbin.

I just finished re-reading Walking with Spring and came away more impressed than ever by the challenges Earl faced. But one of them was not resupply - in his day, there were many more small country stores closer to the Trail as well as lot of small hill farms who often offered him a bed (which he usually refused, preferring to sleep in the woods even in rain). So Earl could thruhike without maps, guides, and social networks in his day but times are different now as are the expectations of Trail users.

Re. the GET, Earl would certainly favor it as an initial step - he longed for the AT becoming a giant loop so that the hike would never end.

Taba
12-21-2010, 13:47
I have heard the same about the northern section of the GET. It seems that from I-64 north it is hikeable and would definetly benefit with a good guidebook. My hang up right now is that I consider myself a purist thru-hiker and feel like my efforts would not be to the fullest of my ability if I just sectioned the GET. If I were to choose this trail for my next adventure I would want to start at the beginning and hike to the end not start in the middle. I have been on other extremely challenging and confusing trails and made it through. Clearing up all the confusion and frustration about where the trail is, where the water and camping is and where the resupply spots are. This is my only reason for hiking anymore. I have been light-weight traveling for over 20 years and it now feels like my job to strap on a back-pack and hit the woods but I really enjoy my job, still.

I guess what I am looking for is more hikers to convince me that the trails I pick are going to benefit the greatest from what I offer to them. If there is a popular demand for a Manuual for these trails then I will go hike them. I just don't want my efforts to be in vain. It takes a lot out of me to go out there and be confused everyday for 5-6 months. So I have to choose wisely.

Taba

The Solemates
12-21-2010, 14:49
I guess what I am looking for is more hikers to convince me that the trails I pick are going to benefit the greatest from what I offer to them. If there is a popular demand for a Manuual for these trails then I will go hike them. I just don't want my efforts to be in vain. It takes a lot out of me to go out there and be confused everyday for 5-6 months. So I have to choose wisely.

Taba

I've already done parts of the northern section of the GET, including over half of the PA MST (of which a good manual already exists), but I would certainly benefit from and probably purchase a manual highlighting the GET in TN.

WingedMonkey
02-25-2011, 19:26
He's a link to online PDF brochere from Virginia on use of existing trails in that state and plans for development of GET in Virginia.

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational_planning/documents/tr_ge.pdf

Hikerhead
02-25-2011, 20:59
He's a link to online PDF brochere from Virginia on use of existing trails in that state and plans for development of GET in Virginia.

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational_planning/documents/tr_ge.pdf

I'm not sure that this is up to date. The last I heard back in Oct the GET was going from The Breaks State Park through WVA into Pipestem State Park, up or south along the New River to Pearisburg to the AT and then north to the ALT. I could be wrong.

WingedMonkey
02-25-2011, 23:31
What part are you saying is out of date?

Hikerhead
02-26-2011, 01:42
The part of your map that's missing WVA.

vamelungeon
02-26-2011, 01:44
I've hiked the Pine Mountain Trail from Birch Knob to Pound Gap, and it was NOT well blazed or well maintained. My ankles were hamburger from walking through briars. The 4 wheelers have damaged the trail so much that you must often walk through deep mudholes, and you may have ATV's coming right through your camp at night. The blazing was done with dark red paint, which doesn't really show that well in a forest, and was haphazardly applied.

ki0eh
02-26-2011, 09:44
I'm not sure that this is up to date. The last I heard back in Oct the GET was going from The Breaks State Park through WVA into Pipestem State Park, up or south along the New River to Pearisburg to the AT and then north to the ALT. I could be wrong.

This is the correct current routing through southern WVa and nearby. The Burkes Garden route was an earlier concept (using much more of the A.T.) that won't be implemented.

Also that brochure had the earlier .org address for the website, that got lost to domain pirates so correct URL is http://www.greateasterntrail.net

By the way, y'alls/y'uns are welcome to come hike with the GET Board on 5/15/11, details from the SATC web site:

May 15, Sunday, 9:30 AM
Hike with the Great Eastern Trail Board
P: Brisk T: Strenuous L: 7, 0 hwy miles (Lycoming County)
Strenuous loop hike on the Mid State/Great Eastern and other trails around the west side of Little Pine State Park. Meet the Great Eastern Trail Board which is meeting in nearby Woolrich. Slight variation of http://midatlantichikes.com/midstate-lp.htm
MEET at main parking lot by stone bathrooms, Little Pine State Park, Waterville PA.
Leader: Peter Fleszar, 717 576-3112 cell, gis@hike-mst.org

WingedMonkey
02-26-2011, 13:15
I wasn't so much looking at the map as I was Virginia's effort to be involved and it's stats on what trails did for Damascus. (according to them).
Yes, the web site http://www.greateasterntrail.net (http://www.greateasterntrail.net/) does state of the still in planning trail :
"It enters from Kentucky at Matewan, West Virginia, crossing the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River. From there it goes about 110 miles eastward to the New River, crossing it near Hinton. On the way, it passes through R.D. Bailey Lake Wildlife Management Area, Twin Falls Resort State Park, Camp Creek State Forest, Pipestem State Park and Resort, National Park Service Bluestone Scenic River, and Bluestone State Park. Then it turns south along the New River about 30 miles along the Mary Draper Ingles Trail, and passes into Virginia.
Seems like a lot of road walk, but then again so is the section in Virginia/West Virginia that I plan to hike, including the big missing trail (40 miles ?) after the beginning of the Allegheny Trail.
I mostly wanted to get this forum kicked in again to help me with my own planning.
Seems to be very few supply points from White Sulphur Springs to the Maryland line.
Maybe it's time WhiteBlaze gave this trail it's own Forum?

WingedMonkey
02-26-2011, 13:37
Timothy Hupp has put together his work in progress of the guide for Great Eastern Trail from Hancock, Maryland south to Interstate 64 west of Covington, at the Allegheny Trail exit.

http://www.brownmtnphotog.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=122

It will be online until it is completed and PATC publishes it, then like most things it will be sold only.

ki0eh
02-26-2011, 22:21
Basically the GET is fully hikeable from I-64 north to the NCT, in the sense there is an identified route with maps and guides for this area. However, there is a profusion of guides and maps among the clubs, and a prolixity of blaze colors including none.

Resupply is not easy and has not yet been identified by those with both local knowledge and knowledge of what a long-distance hiker needs. Even parts of PA appear not to have reasonable resupply sources, something that will get worse if rural post offices start closing en masse.

People interested in hiking the GET seem strangely to be more interested in southern areas where the trail is much more discontinuous as yet.

WingedMonkey
02-26-2011, 23:03
People interested in hiking the GET seem strangely to be more interested in southern areas where the trail is much more discontinuous as yet.

I'm just studying the South more because I know by the time I get to PA you have done most of my homework for me.:)

Other than Jeff's work I'm just not finding much actual trail knowledge on that section in the South from I-64 to the junction with the Tuscarora. I'm looking to start about Pearisburg.

I usually try and seek out the trail journals that you or others have noted on other posts and the good ones on the Tuscarora and Mid State help a lot. And yes lack of post office and re-supply seems to be a problem there also. But... I'm not looking for an AT journey again. Lack of shelters or hostels doesn't bother me, lack of allowed camping does.

WingedMonkey
02-26-2011, 23:06
Other than Jeff's work I'm just not finding much actual trail knowledge on that section.
Jeff's should read Tim's

ki0eh
02-28-2011, 17:25
There were maps posted for the Tuscarora-Allegheny Link (link posted above) but that link is now dead. I'm not sure where they went or what's happening with those.

ki0eh
02-28-2011, 17:25
I just noticed that MAPS are now posted to the description of the Tuscarora-Allegheny link component of the GET. See http://potomacappalachian.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=226&Itemid=43 (http://potomacappalachian.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=226&Itemid=43)

This is the now-dead link

stranger
03-07-2011, 03:00
Can someone explain the purpose of the Great Eastern Trail?

I mean, don't get me wrong, I would love to have a alternative to the AT, so wondering if that is the main purpose? Or something else?

Wouldn't it make a whole lot more sense to finish something like the North Country Trail, Allegheny Trail or Superior Hiking Trail for that matter than build a new trail?

I know alot of trails already probably exist (along the route), and this exercise will be more about linking existing trails than building a new one, but I'm just confused to the 'vision' of the whole thing?

Also, is there a completion date estimate? I think it would be an interesting hike.

Thanks

ki0eh
03-09-2011, 23:24
Can someone explain the purpose of the Great Eastern Trail?

I mean, don't get me wrong, I would love to have a alternative to the AT, so wondering if that is the main purpose? Or something else?

Wouldn't it make a whole lot more sense to finish something like the North Country Trail, Allegheny Trail or Superior Hiking Trail for that matter than build a new trail?

I know alot of trails already probably exist (along the route), and this exercise will be more about linking existing trails than building a new one, but I'm just confused to the 'vision' of the whole thing?

Also, is there a completion date estimate? I think it would be an interesting hike.

Thanks

I think I can take some of this on, I think I'm the only GET Board member who regularly posts here anymore.

Benton MacKaye back in 1921, great visionary as he was, saw a network of foot trails through the Appalachians as a desirable goal. In the 1960's, a number of foot trails came into being, some (the Tuscarora/Big Blue) envisioned as a future route for the then-unprotected A.T., some (such as Finger Lakes Trail, begun in 1962, and PA's Mid State Trail, begun in 1969), initations of the A.T. concept arising in local areas. The PA Mid State-Tuscarora Link Trail (now Standing Stone Trail) might have been the first inter-trail explicit linkage in the later 1970's. As each trail grew incrementally Lloyd MacAskill's 2000 Appalachian Trailway News article articulated the linkage concept, extended further by yours truly in a response letter to that article published later in ATN.

The appeal, I think, to trail organizers was to seek greater validation of each group's own "little" trail due to connectivity to a larger whole. I think it's turned out that the appeal has been greater to trail volunteers than to long-distance hikers who seem largely more interested in the social aspects of hiking and not necessarily motivated by the network concept initially espoused by MacKaye and renewed by MacAskill.

The "why do we need another trail?" question honestly continually comes up. Perhaps the most basic answer is in the nature of the volunteers who work on it. I think some are motivated by pride in their local areas, feeling what they have is a more authentic, rustic, or scenic area than the next closest A.T. section. Some are perhaps seeking a freer rein in their volunteer activities than they see in, most commonly, the A.T. Some, perhaps, have worked on the AT and/or the NCT and see the GET as the next challenge in their nearby locales.

Working on the GET is not necessarily exclusive for volunteers, for instance I maintain both an A.T. section and a GET section. It's certainly not mutually exclusive with completing the Allegheny Trail as the disjunct section of the ALT is also the first disjuncture in the GET coming southbound. The feeling among those who work on the GET seems to be that greater connectivity makes us all stronger - volunteers and dayhikers are to some extent motivated by the thought they are part of something larger. The dearth of LD hikers has been somewhat puzzling to many of these folks.

Due to the Superior Hiking Trail being in a different time zone it's not likely that it competes with the GET for volunteer resources, it also seems to be progressing fairly well even though it's still not officially also NCT due to that needing an act of Congress.

Without NST status the GET is freer to make adjustments to local conditions and local resources, at the cost of not accessing the full power and resources of the Federal Government. Frankly, given both the conservative localities through which the GET passes and the preoccupation of the Federal Government with other priorities, in my opinion the GET can be far stronger and grow better as an alliance of like-minded non-profits than as yet another unrealized "government" trail.

Due to this autonomous direction of resources, "completion" is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. The A.T. in the eyes of ATC is not necessarily completed because there remain sections of suboptimal route and unprotected corridor. The GET concept is still somewhat flexible in its endpoints, and chunks do not yet meet the mapped-or-blazed-if-not-both criterion of hikability. If completion means an off-road corridor through the length of Alabama, or shelters every 10 miles, that's probably decades away.

It is likely as "complete" as the A.T. that Earl Shaffer thru-hiked in 1948, but Earl's successor on the GET still hasn't been found. To be fair resupply will be more of a problem than Earl had, due to the withdrawal of retail activity from comparable rural areas in the intervening decades. Certainly land management rules have hardened too.

stranger
03-10-2011, 08:43
I think I can take some of this on, I think I'm the only GET Board member who regularly posts here anymore.

Benton MacKaye back in 1921, great visionary as he was, saw a network of foot trails through the Appalachians as a desirable goal. In the 1960's, a number of foot trails came into being, some (the Tuscarora/Big Blue) envisioned as a future route for the then-unprotected A.T., some (such as Finger Lakes Trail, begun in 1962, and PA's Mid State Trail, begun in 1969), initations of the A.T. concept arising in local areas. The PA Mid State-Tuscarora Link Trail (now Standing Stone Trail) might have been the first inter-trail explicit linkage in the later 1970's. As each trail grew incrementally Lloyd MacAskill's 2000 Appalachian Trailway News article articulated the linkage concept, extended further by yours truly in a response letter to that article published later in ATN.

The appeal, I think, to trail organizers was to seek greater validation of each group's own "little" trail due to connectivity to a larger whole. I think it's turned out that the appeal has been greater to trail volunteers than to long-distance hikers who seem largely more interested in the social aspects of hiking and not necessarily motivated by the network concept initially espoused by MacKaye and renewed by MacAskill.

The "why do we need another trail?" question honestly continually comes up. Perhaps the most basic answer is in the nature of the volunteers who work on it. I think some are motivated by pride in their local areas, feeling what they have is a more authentic, rustic, or scenic area than the next closest A.T. section. Some are perhaps seeking a freer rein in their volunteer activities than they see in, most commonly, the A.T. Some, perhaps, have worked on the AT and/or the NCT and see the GET as the next challenge in their nearby locales.

Working on the GET is not necessarily exclusive for volunteers, for instance I maintain both an A.T. section and a GET section. It's certainly not mutually exclusive with completing the Allegheny Trail as the disjunct section of the ALT is also the first disjuncture in the GET coming southbound. The feeling among those who work on the GET seems to be that greater connectivity makes us all stronger - volunteers and dayhikers are to some extent motivated by the thought they are part of something larger. The dearth of LD hikers has been somewhat puzzling to many of these folks.

Due to the Superior Hiking Trail being in a different time zone it's not likely that it competes with the GET for volunteer resources, it also seems to be progressing fairly well even though it's still not officially also NCT due to that needing an act of Congress.

Without NST status the GET is freer to make adjustments to local conditions and local resources, at the cost of not accessing the full power and resources of the Federal Government. Frankly, given both the conservative localities through which the GET passes and the preoccupation of the Federal Government with other priorities, in my opinion the GET can be far stronger and grow better as an alliance of like-minded non-profits than as yet another unrealized "government" trail.

Due to this autonomous direction of resources, "completion" is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. The A.T. in the eyes of ATC is not necessarily completed because there remain sections of suboptimal route and unprotected corridor. The GET concept is still somewhat flexible in its endpoints, and chunks do not yet meet the mapped-or-blazed-if-not-both criterion of hikability. If completion means an off-road corridor through the length of Alabama, or shelters every 10 miles, that's probably decades away.

It is likely as "complete" as the A.T. that Earl Shaffer thru-hiked in 1948, but Earl's successor on the GET still hasn't been found. To be fair resupply will be more of a problem than Earl had, due to the withdrawal of retail activity from comparable rural areas in the intervening decades. Certainly land management rules have hardened too.

Cheers for that, appreciated!

fullcount
09-06-2011, 01:15
There is an interest in a complete thru hike of the GET, myself included. I have read with interest this thread on the GET looking for information to do exactly this feat in a single season. My hope is to start at the Gulf of Mexico and walk the portions of the Florida Trail up to the AL border and continue north to Niagara Falls via the Conservation Spur of the Finger Lakes Trail, utilizing the GET as the main trail.

As I plan on doing this in 2016, there is some planning and evaluation to do. It is not often that a person can take 6 months out of their life to accomplish a long distance hike. What started my interest was the AT from a seed of inspiration as a kid. As I will be 56 in 2016, I feel my one shot has to have some reasonable assurance of success. When you compare the resources of the AT vs. the GET, there is a long way to go to prepare. My interest in the GET stems from the fact that I do not necessarily want to partake in the social aspect of the AT community. However, I will only have one shot to complete such an adventure, so I must plan appropriately.

If I find that the trail in 2016 is doable, I will hike it in one season. I will use the starting location of the White sands of Florida and use the roaring falls of the Niagara as my motivation for completion as my mental inspiration, much like the AT hikers use the mystic of Kathadin to drive them onto completion. Instead of carrying a stone from Springer to Kathadin...., I will carry a small container of white sand to the shelter at the intersection of the Crystal Hills Branch and the main FLT and another to Niagara. What is missing currently in the GET is the WOW factor of a start and stop point. Maybe the GET wishes to extend the length to these two destinations mentioned here.

Bottom line is that there is interest in another long distance route. There just has to be the resources that will enable a long distance hiker to resupply, get water and find a place to lay their head at night. With these three simple things, the GET will evolve and the smaller trails will prosper as part of this new long distance hiking route. Even if there are road walks that have to be done, the first thing is a guide has to be published to make it feasible to do the entire hike. It seems that Timothy Hupp has done a good start on this effort. I look to the GET to take the next steps and finish the publication for future LDH to use.

ki0eh
09-06-2011, 09:41
Hi and welcome to WB! It's very much appreciated to see a thoughtful analysis, especially on a first post. Hope to be able to meet you along the trail someday!


What is missing currently in the GET is the WOW factor of a start and stop point. Maybe the GET wishes to extend the length to these two destinations mentioned here.

* * *

Even if there are road walks that have to be done, the first thing is a guide has to be published to make it feasible to do the entire hike. It seems that Timothy Hupp has done a good start on this effort. I look to the GET to take the next steps and finish the publication for future LDH to use.

These are two interesting and valid points, both with some background.

1. The end points of the concept are not necessarily fixed, but have been constrained as the concept has developed by the attitude of two different NST management groups, both of which have disclaimed another official-ish overlay on their routes. Being a free country, HYOH, and all that hikers are free to define an LD hike as they wish, and even to talk about it (a la Nimblewill Nomad and the ECT), but GETA as an organization necessarily deals with organizational realities. I think your own determination of your own endpoints to a hike is a key for how the GET would be used, that is as a means to self-determined hikes. Having seen both, I can certainly attest that Moss Hill lean-to ain't Baxter Peak. :D

2. As a shoestring group GETA is dependent on volunteers and hence on available time and interest. I had the pleasure of meeting Tim a few months back, he works full time with limited time and funds for volunteer work and it's amazing he does what he does. His efforts on the guide have been especially necessary for the Headwaters/central VA route in the GWJNF because that will not in the foreseeable future have consistent blazing and it may take some time (bureaucracy again) to have the supplemental GET markers. I'm not sure anymore where Taba's at with his guide idea. but of course he has other constraints and commitments, and honestly a GET thru-hiker's guide might be a profit-seeking venture for him but not easily seen how profit-making it would be. Yes a thru-hiker's handbook is a need and someone has to do it. The floor is open for self-nominations for that someone.

restless
09-06-2011, 20:46
Just wanted to throw out a couple of things as it relates to the GET. If I'm not mistaken, there are two trails still in progress that are not complete that provide vital links to the GET. The first is Tennessee's Cumberland Trail from Signal Point near Chattanooga to Cumberland Gap on the KY/VA/TN tri corner boundary. The second is the Pine Mtn Trail in eastern KY. Neither one of these trails are complete and as there are landowner issues to deal with, to thru hike would require a good deal of road walking. There is a portion of the Allegheny Trail missing as well. Having worked on the CT, and being familiar with GET, I would love to see someone take on the task of hiking the route and providing basic info. But in doing so, please respect the landowners by not trespassing. That would create a batch of sour grapes in seeing this project to completion.

fullcount
09-08-2011, 00:27
August 2010, I made the decision to accomplish a long distance hike with the route being the AT. I made the decision and picked a start date of 4/16/2016. Extensive research on the trail, joining the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club and countless reviews of trips on the AT have left me with a desire to accomplish more than just a thru hike of the grand daddy of long distance trails.

I began to explore other alternatives as I saw things that I may not want to contend with on the AT on my one and only shot for a long distance hike. The first was the community of hikers and the social aspect of the AT. While most crave this atmosphere, I do not. Being introverted by nature and seeking solitude, I wanted a more self searching route. Also there is the time constraint of Baxter Park closing date in Oct for the terminus at Kathadin and the need to watch the schedule closely. With the recent events of Irene and the closures that are occurring in VT, NH and ME...something of this nature would jeopardize a completion. These items and a couple of others have made my decision to do my long distance hike on the GET.

So yes, I begin the task of compiling maps, contacts, resupply points on a trail that it in its infancy. I will thru the GET in 2016. Much like Ken and Marcia Powers and Hammock Hanger, I think I will enjoy the opportunity to complete a hike with some meaning that will involve a bit of road walking and interaction with local towns and communities. I do see a new wave of trails that incorporate a mixture of backwoods backpacking and exposure to rural routes and town. The American Discovery Trail calls it a Millennium Trail or Discovery Trail System. Maybe this is what the GET will evolve into this class of trail. One not governed by a NST edict, but one governed by the member clubs who hike for the joy of it. So I will plan those sections of road walk trying to incorporate church and local parks as opportunities to tent and resupply with water.

I am set in starting at the Gulf Coast and finishing at Niagara Falls. In reality, as baby boomers come of age and seek the long distance hike, I believe the GET will afford a better opportunity to develop trail legs, conditioning and stamina for the long distance by starting on a flat grade in FL and southern AL. As the transition moves into a remote mountainous environment, I believe the odds of success will increase. I will see in 2016.

So now I ask for help of those who know the local trails the best for advice and guidance as the GET route evolves. I can be reached at tarksales@gmail.com or via the Trailjournals entry in 2016 for fullcount. Although I do not plan to do a guide book per sea, I will edit the route for a future endeavor. I will also carry a GPS and be glad to map the waypoints for future use.

I look forward to hearing from all and any guidance will be appreciated. From the white sands to the roaring falls -2016!

ki0eh
09-08-2011, 07:19
We have come far in the last five years and good progress should continue in the next five. That sounds like a great hike and wonderful objective.

I'm deeply involved in the three northern groups, and as a GETA board member and geospatial data custodian have some idea of what occurs south of there. Perhaps four years on I still will be, I am fairly certain by then that the two short unblazed gaps in NY and far northern PA will be resolved.

Both gaps have been negotiated using published maps already. If it fits one's own hike, southbound on the GET is certainly also a valid direction. There is a much higher proportion of established and described trail north of I-64 than further south, for those who might like to start their hike with two months of trail vs. a month of roadwalking.

NY Crystal Hills Trail segments built new have been laid out to 10% max. sustained grade, so though the hills are not flat that's a relatively easy few days to start with for those who choose to. In the next five years there should even be a lean-to or two here.

On PA Mid State Trail the north end, while not sticking to 10% is still laid out with some regard to modern trail thinking and still not very rocky for another week SOBO, steeper climbs kick in before the real rocks in the footway do. The "PA rocks" on either route through central and southern PA put to shame the impostors on the PA A.T., although not so much those in the Whites or the Big K.

GET does not get above 3,000' until well into VA. The highest point barely breaks 4,000' along the Headwaters route and most of the rocks in the footway have disappeared by then.

fullcount
09-08-2011, 07:38
Thanks KiOeh for the moral support. I am still looking at a NOBO hike. I will pick up some white sand in Ft. Walton Beach and be the first to start a sand box at Moss Hill lean to. Mentally, the road walks will not bother me at the beginning as I would want to use this time for conditioning. By the time I get to PA, I should be hardened for the rocks of Rocksylvania. Main thoughts are to ensure I don't spend too much time deciding which direction to go at an intersection. As I get closer, I will contact the different trail clubs that I will need help with. I am thinking per restless' post, that I need to find an accurate route through the Cumberland Trail and Pine Trail. I think there is an adequate route for the gap on the Allegheny Trail.

Since you are familiar with the PA sections, is there any hope in the next few years that the state game lands will relax their policy on no camping? If it is an impact issue or a fire question, I am sure that a compromise can be achieved by hiking with no camp stoves or using a hammock for a LNT result. Any suggestions on places to stay during these periods will be helpful.

Also, I plan on doing some advertising to get out the word on the GET. I will start with the local TATC club and as time gets closer, maybe some media coverage. As I work on gear selection and shakedown hikes, I would like to get a pack cover that has the GET logo stitched onto it for a conversation starter. My cover is blaze orange and my sister has an embroidery machine. If I can get permission to use the logo, I would like to stitch it to the cover. As I hike, I will place it so the logo is visible and that will get the word out.

By all means, I am not dead set on being the first to thru hike the GET, it is just that this is the date I picked as I prepare physically, family wise and financially for this endeavor. Much like Hammock Hanger, I read her posts with interest and would benefit from others who might go in front of me. Kind of develop a history for my use. But if indeed I am the first to make the trip, I will record my hike for future long distance hikers to use for their planning needs.

Look forward to meeting you kiEoh. See you on the trail.

ki0eh
09-09-2011, 23:23
There might be some progress in the next few years at certain PA SGL locations. The east route through PA has a more viable passage through no-camping zones, it's just about doable legally now for most folks, and I have heard there is activity to set up a campsite in the longest gap between the MD border and US 30 (that's PATC territory on the Tuscarora where I start becoming less familiar with current activity). There might be some improvement on the west route in terms of campsites, but the way things are going so far probably not enough progress will be able to be made on your time scale to get a reasonable interval of camping locations on the west route.

The logo to date has not been registered. You could contact GETA President Tom Johnson johnts25@gmail.com (he is not known to be on any boards) to get his viewpoint on using it if you like. He may be able to refer to you to someone who can send a high resolution AI version which might help on the embroidery machine.

I think you've got a great hike plan and look forward to meeting you too someday!

samgriffin4
05-17-2012, 12:17
Good luck!

Cookerhiker
12-18-2012, 16:27
The Pine Mountain Trail (http://www.pinemountaintrail.com/) in far-Eastern Kentucky is part of the Great Eastern Trail. Here is the local newspaper's recent coverage of progress on it: http://medicalleader.org/pmc_news.html?id=4377 It's nice to see that the surrounding community embraces the Trail.

ki0eh
01-16-2013, 20:32
NOBO's out in a serious attempt at the whole thing: http://www.gethiking.net

Cookerhiker
01-16-2013, 22:01
NOBO's out in a serious attempt at the whole thing: http://www.gethiking.net

I met Jo at the ALDHA Gathering where she did a presentation on the GET. A few weeks ago, she contacted me for advice on the Allegheny Trail to which I sent her my detailed spreadsheet. I think they're as well prepared as they could be.

stefanib123
01-22-2013, 01:30
The Pine Mountain Trail (http://www.pinemountaintrail.com/) in far-Eastern Kentucky is part of the Great Eastern Trail. Here is the local newspaper's recent coverage of progress on it: http://medicalleader.org/pmc_news.html?id=4377 It's nice to see that the surrounding community embraces the Trail.

This is my neck of the woods. I'm starting volunteering soon. I hope to get up there this weekend. Here's the facebook page with photos of the new shelter and other interesting things:

http://m.facebook.com/groups/125909328568#!/profile.php?id=187805587914939&__user=0

I would also be happy to help anyone with info, rides, local supply places, etc.

Cookerhiker
01-22-2013, 23:09
This is my neck of the woods. I'm starting volunteering soon. I hope to get up there this weekend. Here's the facebook page with photos of the new shelter and other interesting things:

http://m.facebook.com/groups/125909328568#!/profile.php?id=187805587914939&__user=0

I would also be happy to help anyone with info, rides, local supply places, etc.

Thanks for posting - I'll keep that in mind. I'm thinking of hiking it this Spring if the forecast calls for a string of decent weather days.

The Phoenix
01-29-2013, 04:07
Anyone thru-hiking this puppy? It seems like a trail of connect the dots... is there a guidebook yet? Or too far out from being a finished product?

JAK
01-29-2013, 07:03
We need more trails. Then we can start interconnecting them into a matrix. Extend them as greenways into towns and suburbs, and urbs. Walk to work and do all my grocery shopping in my hiking clothes. Yeah.

ki0eh
01-29-2013, 22:19
Anyone thru-hiking this puppy? It seems like a trail of connect the dots... is there a guidebook yet? Or too far out from being a finished product?

Serious attempt out now as I type: http://www.gethiking.net

The guidebooks and maps are from the member groups.

ki0eh
03-05-2013, 08:56
NOBO's out in a serious attempt at the whole thing: http://www.gethiking.net

As of now they are through Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and well into Kentucky. Looking good!

jelkins
03-08-2013, 09:22
About a year and a half ago, me and 3 friends hiked the Pine Mtn. portion of the trail begining in Elkhorn City. Things may have changed by now, but this 40 miles section was mostly an ATV trail except for a few ridge sections. Its a very pretty area, but poorly policed. The trail maps I've had for our hike listed several shelters that had yet to be constructed; this may have changed by now.

Cookerhiker
03-08-2013, 10:42
About a year and a half ago, me and 3 friends hiked the Pine Mtn. portion of the trail begining in Elkhorn City. Things may have changed by now, but this 40 miles section was mostly an ATV trail except for a few ridge sections. Its a very pretty area, but poorly policed. The trail maps I've had for our hike listed several shelters that had yet to be constructed; this may have changed by now.

This trail has been on my list since I moved to KY 3 years ago. Thanks for the posting.

ki0eh
07-16-2013, 09:45
For those attending the Appalachian Trail Conservancy biennial meeting in Cullowhee, NC next week, check out the Monday evening workshop on the GET led by Tom Johnson, GETA President.