View Full Version : 3 Day loop trail in PA/MD/VA??

08-30-2011, 16:35
Hello folks,

Irene did a wonderful job of flooding trailheads, washing out bridges, making new landslides and the like in the Adirondacks, forcing the DEC to shut down trails :mad: , so a couple of my buddies and I are scrambling for a new plan.

We're looking for a loop so we don't have to worry about shuttles back to the car, but I really don't care if its a loop or not. All 3 of us are pretty strong hikers, looking for 10-15 miles per day. Anywhere along the trail in VA/MD/PA.. we did a weekend trip in SNP for the first time this past June and would definitely go back.

Thanks in advance for the ideas.

08-30-2011, 20:48
One idea would be to combine these three hikes:

Big Mountain/Pine King (http://www.midatlantichikes.com/bigmt.htm)
Cowans Gap (http://midatlantichikes.com/cowansgap.htm)
TT/SST loop (http://www.midatlantichikes.com/tt-sstloop.htm)

Perhaps also adding some other trails in the Allens Valley area. Check either the Buchanan State Forest map (giant PDF file) (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/ucmprd1/groups/public/documents/document/d_000885.pdf) or, if you have it, PATC map K. There's a new shelter on the Tuscarora Trail near the Bird Run Trail junction (the boundary trail north of the Ellisic Trail); a TT/Bird Run/Carrick Valley Rd/Allens Trail made a good day loop and would also work on a backpack. Also look at SST map 4 and the revised guide (http://www.hike-sst.org/sst-maps.htm); the area along The Narrows is also nice, and the Loop Trail over Scrub Ridge is rather interesting (though I'd recommend not taking it over Cove Mountain; use the SST for that).

Also consider the John P Saylor Trail, tho that's likely more a 2-day hike. There are plenty of others, but I'm a day hiker in general and only go so far north into PA. There'd also be ways to do loops in either Tuscarora or Michaux State Forest, but you'd want good maps for those.


08-30-2011, 21:01
Oh yeah, I suppose I should mention. There is presently no swimming at Cowans Gap (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/cowansgap.aspx) due to E. coli contamination issues. Otherwise the hike would be fine.

08-30-2011, 21:10
Other PA loops would be Chuck Keiper Trail, Quehanna Trail shortened by cross-connector (likely to see elk), Allegheny Front Trail - these are all in the area west of State College. Black Forest Trail has many steep ups and downs, that's not too far west of US 15. All these are less rocky than the PA Appalachian Trail (or Tuscarora, or Standing Stone, or southern half of Mid State)

Doc Mike
08-31-2011, 07:49
For 3 days check out Dolly Sods in Wv. Great hking and veiws in 3 days you can see most of that area. I think I have a couple pictures in my gallery.

08-31-2011, 11:00
Dolly Sods sounds awesome, my boss here was born in Elkins and now that I asked him about it he won't stop telling me i need to go there (perhaps i'll get some extra vacation out of him). Dont want to rush it though so I'm saving that for later.

The Black Forest Trail looks like a good challenge and its only a 3hr drive so that looks like the winner.

I see you can park on Slate Run Road, anyone familiar with the area that can give specific directions after I get to Slate Run? Thanks again

08-31-2011, 19:13
Cross the creek and follow the orange blazes. Or if you want more specifics stop at http://www.wildasaphoutfitters.com on your way down and buy a map.