View Full Version : Fayette PA to Harpers Ferry. Is my schedule realistic?

Captain Skivvies
03-29-2013, 21:07
Looking for input on my ideas for a section hike in May. We were able to average 15 miles a day last year (75 miles southbound into Damascus) and this looks less taxing. My initial thoughts: Day 1- Fayetteville to Deer Lick Shelter (13.2) starting 10am due to shuttle
Day 2- Deer Lick to Pogo (19.5)
Day 3- Pogo to Crampton Gap (15.7)
Day 4- Crampton Gap to Harpers Ferry (10.4) Hoping to get to town early and sight see
While realizing we need to HYOH, does this look realistic or will more time enhance the trip? Thanks

03-29-2013, 21:18
I think it's realistic. On your 19.5 mile day, the most rugged part comes after only 4 miles when the trail is rocky going south from PenMar. But once you reach the ridgeline, the footing all of a sudden becomes easier - at least that's how I remember from my section hike there 2 years ago.

I'm not one to recommend back-to-back 19 mile days but when you reach Crampton Gap, you may be tempted to go another 4 miles to Ed Garvey Shelter to give you more time to tour Harpers Ferry. The trail is pretty easy at that point. Garvey's water source is a PITA down a steep slope but if I was hiking that stretch at the end of the day, I'd stop and cook dinner at Gathland State Park (water there) and then carry just enough water for breakfast to Garvey Shelter. The shelter is situated where you'll catch a beautiful sunrise streaming right in to wake you up.

Don't miss the view of the Potomac from Weverton Cliffs before your final descent off the ridge line. When the AT turns 90 degrees right, take the blueblazed trail 100 yards straight to the Cliffs. It's worth it!

Captain Skivvies
03-30-2013, 17:44
Thanks for the info. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

03-30-2013, 20:20
Yes, your schedule is realistic, but I'd hike it in shorter, more enjoyable sections:

Caledonia SP to Antietam (grassy field & pure water)

Antietam to Ensign Cowell

Ensign Cowell to Dahlgreen campground (http://www.trailjournals.com/photos.cfm?id=538536) (hot showers & restaurant (http://www.trailjournals.com/photos.cfm?id=538538))

Dahlgreen to Ed Garvey (bring water)

Ed Garvey to Harper's Ferry

The problem with your 19 miles into Pogo is the 2-3 miles of rock field at the end of your long day. Both sides are lined with poison ivy. There is a clear flat stretch in the middle.


While I camped at Deer Lick on my section, Antietam was nicer. Deer Lick's water was a seep across the trail versus a city spigot near Antietem.

Captain Skivvies
03-30-2013, 22:07
I'd heard about the rock piles but wasn't sure where they were. Thank you