View Full Version : PA sections 9, 10, 11

01-08-2013, 21:53
Hi All,

I am trying to plan an overnighter maybe in Feb/March from the Susqeuhanna R., going south, for about 40 miles. As far as I can see there is a big flat piece between two mountains- the Cumberland Valley. It might have been called the Cumberland Road Walk at one point because the flat part cuts, or did cut, across many roads. And I can see on the map that it crosses many hi-ways. Where rt 11 crosses the AT there are many cheap, poorly rated hotels, and this happens to be the mid-way point in the 40 miles. I was thinking of flopping in one for the night rather than winter camp.

Anyone have experience with these sections? Anything I should consider besides bed bugs? I have read about open exposure in the fileds of the valley.


01-08-2013, 21:57
This is my least favorite section of the AT. The climb out of Duncannon is pretty cool. Any reason you are looking at this section. I would probably choose either north or south of there.

01-09-2013, 10:32
Gotta do it, gotta complete the state before I move on to MD. Figure I would gut the ugly thing out in the winter rather than waste precious good weather.

01-09-2013, 10:41
If you want to stay in one of the motels, go for it. As hikers, don't we often stay in "many cheap, poorly rated hotels?"

But if I were hiking that stretch, I'd stay in or camp by Darlington Shelter and then hike the entire Cumberland Valley the next day. It's 13 very easy miles until you're back in the woods after Boiling Springs. This is what I did on a SOBO section hike from Duncannon to Harpers Ferry in April '11.

01-09-2013, 10:55
First off the valley floor section of that area is quite easy though mostly fields and deciduous forest. That's where your exposure comes from. That said, winds in the valley are not nearly as bad as the same up on the ridge so dress appropriately and you shouldn't have a problem.

As for places to stay, there are alternatives from the motel. First, if you don't have a guide (The Guide or Companion) I highly encourage you to pick up one. They'll list some places to stay in there. Of the cuff, I see one, maybe two B&Bs in Boiling Springs (Germanhaus and Gelinas Manor B&B) and those tend to be a step or two above a hotel, let alone a motel. You could stop in at the ATC Mid-Atlantic regional office and inquire as to recommendations when you get there. Or look them up and call ahead.

Spirit Walker
01-09-2013, 13:27
It's actually a rather nice walk, especially when it's not mid-summer. Certainly much better than the old roadwalk it replaced, though even that wasn't that bad. It's farm country, fields and woods and streams. They did a good job creating a route though the valley.

01-09-2013, 15:28
I'm actually a Marriot hiker, forgot to mention that. I do the sections between Marriots.

01-09-2013, 17:24
I'm actually a Marriot hiker, forgot to mention that. I do the sections between Marriots.

Then I guess you won't be staying in The Doyle the night before your hike. Sorry for your forgone experience.;)

01-09-2013, 17:34
laughing about staying at the doyle . . . anyway the hike from darlington shelter to boiling springs is nice and easy. I did it after an injury, mosty rural, some woodland, some road. in boiling springs there is little resort called the allenberry . . . they have hiker rates

01-09-2013, 17:37
I just checked out the Doyle on Yelp, I am sorry to miss it. Looks really cool and authentic. You would enjoy the reviews of the hotels where rt 11 crosses the AT. With technology the way it is, people have take great photos of how bad they are and uploaded them- funny stuff. I think I am constrained to that junction due to the math of it all, 2 days, midway point etc. I am looking to knock out section 7 in PA on Sat, looks like good weather. Happy Trails!

01-09-2013, 17:45
"cool and authentic" perfect.