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  1. #1
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    Default Devils Racecourse Shelter

    Info, questions, comments, experiences (good or bad) regarding - Devils Racecourse Shelter

    Past/Present hikers - what can future hikers expect here? Have any good stories or memories from here?

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  2. #2

    Default Devil's Racecourse Shelter

    Stayed here one night in July '02. A bit of a steep walk down (about .3 mile) and the shelter surroundings a little ragged. A lot of "bitching" in the register about the hike down. I recall a pretty decent water source (spring). The neatest thing was the cat that lives there came out for supper and was super friendly. As you can probably guess NO MICE which made up for the hike down.

  3. #3
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    Default Shelter Cat Update

    I stayed there in October during one of my shakedowns. The cat is no longer inhabiting the shelter. The log said it has been taken in by a local family before the winter and cold weather came. It didn't take long for the mice to move back in. Apparently a new shelter is being constructed and it will be located just off the trail so the .3 downhill has been eliminated. (No more compalining in the log).

  4. #4

    Default Pictures

    The shelter is still way down the hill (May 2003). Of all the shelters in Maryland it was the most run down.

    Here's a shot of the shelter.

    And here's a shot of the "Devil's Racecourse" (a boulder field).

    Pb

  5. #5
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    Thumbs down

    Definately not the best of shelters. During a visit last October it was still in pretty rough shape. It wouldn't be so bad if it were just an old rustic shelter (in fact in many ways this can be quite nice). But unfortunately it was also appeared to be quite the party spot with beer bottles and cans strewn all over the place, profanities written all over the interior, grime and filth everywhere. We tried to clean it up a bit but I'm not sure it made much of a difference.

    Here is a picture of the shelter (looking pretty good actually).

    Here are some pictures of Devil's Racecourse:

    Pic 1
    Pic 2
    Pic 3

  6. #6
    Is it raining yet?
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    07-15-2004
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    Thumbs down What a dump

    A very old shelter, it is situated at the bottom of a very real downhill. In November, 2000, it was mouse infested. The craziest part about my stay there however was some old kook [sic] section-hiker who actually carried an entire gallon of white gas on his 3 week hike.

    FYI, there were several small areas for a tent where the blue blaze trail left the AT; though it's dry up there.......
    Be Prepared

  7. #7
    Kilted Thru-Hiker AT'04, PCT'06, CDT'07 Haiku's Avatar
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    The shelter is close to the road, and when I got there on a Friday night a bunch of rowdies had come up and were making a lot of noise. Then they urinated all over the privy. I climbed back up the hill and camped at the flat area just off the AT.

    Haiku.

  8. #8
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    i stopped there for a quick lunch and water break neo

  9. #9
    Registered User TakeABreak's Avatar
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    08-14-2004
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    It was the absolute worse shelter on the trail for me in 2000, a bunch of people came after dark going the hill to camp out, making all kinds of noise. traffic on the road drove me nuts, people parked near by and came in late at night and woke me up.

    I heard from some local it used as a party place sometimes on summer weekends.

    This one definitely needs to be re-located, in my opinion.

  10. #10
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    Stayed there in October of 2004. At that time the picnic table had been partially burned, likely by some teens wanting firewood.

    The water source is the best I saw on that trip.

  11. #11
    GA - Central PA 1977
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    I had an odd experience a long long time ago at DR..Me and my brother stopped there early in the afternoon and we spending the night..They was already a complete set of hiking equpiment there and laid out..pack..sleeping back..stove etc..and a half empty box of .357 magnum rounds..After awhile we heard some shooting coming from the area of the race course back behind the shelter..Not like a gun fight but a slower shooting like someone target shooting..Anyway it finally stopped but no one ever came back to the shelter..We stayed there that night and by next morning no one had come back to claim all the hiking gear..We got curious and went back around the race course area and could find nothing..We stayed over the next night also and the morning aftet that still no one...Always wondered what became of the owner of that gear

  12. #12
    I'm worth a million in prizes astrogirl's Avatar
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    03-13-2004
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    Default

    I spent my fifth night ever on the AT at Devil's Racecourse.

    It was Father's Day of 1999, and I wound up pulling a 20 miler in there and made it just before dark on one of those summer nights where dark brought a thunderstorm. I never would have pulled a 20 (from Rocky Run), but there were these really creepy guys at Pogo who wouldn't even return my friendly greeting and just *glared* at me (a very rare experience for me on the AT) and I really got a move on to get ahead. I got to Hemlock Hill and it was *right* next to the road and had a warning up about a bear visiting. Later, I found out the ranger station was right there, but at the time...

    Anyway, DR wasn't bad, any port in a storm, but a maintainer visited that night and kicked out the locals. Definitely a problem with local party people at that site.

    The hikers there (Bristlecone, Peaceful Warrior, Grace's Son, and Russell) were super nice to me. Upon reflection, they probably thought I was one of those paranoid women who think every man is out to do them harm (and I'm a solo hiker and really not like that at all), and knowing that, wow, were they nice to me. I mean, this is the only time I can think of that I was freaked out by people on the AT.

    Amazing what a complete lack of politeness can do!

  13. #13
    Master Chief - US Navy SKCM's Avatar
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    11-03-2005
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    I stayed there, well not at the shelter... I tented... The down side of this shelter are:

    1) it is old, very old and the floor is not even.... not close to even!
    2) it is a bit down the hill
    3) a local party spot for underaged drinkers. We had a few "guests" that came in and partied all night... very loudly!

    the upside

    1) the devils race course is very neat to see and experience
    2) there is a great spring there and it was easy to get access to
    3) there are plenting of tenting in the area
    4) plenty of wildlife that pays the area a visit... not just party animals

    It is surely not the best shelter but like the others stated... any port in a storm!

    For those that are into "letterboxing" there is also a hidden treasure in the area and it is pretty cool!

    Master Chief

  14. #14
    Hiker in Training geobart's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I stayed at DRC last week (November 22) and found it adequate. It was fairly clean (new roof maybe?) and a lovely spring nearby. We saw the campsite at the top of the hill overlooking DRC, but opted to trek downhill and check it out.

    The ensuing rainstorm that night made us glad that we decided to go down the hill to DRC. We did have an unwelcome rodent visit (tempted by food inside the shelter.)

    Reading the log, it appears as though the shelter is frequently checked by rangers. We had no trouble from locals (go figure on Thanksgiving holiday!) and enjoyed our stay there. The handmade fire pit came in handy too!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by geobart View Post

    Reading the log, it appears as though the shelter is frequently checked by rangers. We had no trouble from locals (go figure on Thanksgiving holiday!) and enjoyed our stay there. The handmade fire pit came in handy too!
    Yeah, down passed the privy where the shelter's namesake is located. once you cross all the rock their is a road right there and a small parking area. When I was there getting some water this summer, there was a guy sprucing the shelter and privy up (paint, replaced some wood). He took me to town for pizza and he was parked a there.


  16. #16
    GA - Central PA 1977
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    Quote Originally Posted by freefall View Post
    Yeah, down passed the privy where the shelter's namesake is located. once you cross all the rock their is a road right there and a small parking area.
    This road used to be one of my favorite cheat shortcuts when hiking North to South in Maryland way back when..Once I`d come down the steep hill to the shelter the next morning I`d just go back across the "race course" and down that hard top road and then make the right at the cross road and pick up the AT again there and continue south...Why trudge all the way back up that hill and then back down a hill just to get to that road anyway?....Eric would be proud!
    Sometimes you can't hear them talk..Other times you can.
    The same old cliches.."Is that a woman or a man?"
    You always seem out-numbered..You don't dare make a stand.

  17. #17
    Registered User fonsie's Avatar
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    Well I stayed there on a thursday in late april 2006. I herd that place use to be used as a meth house. There where beer cans and bottles piled every where. Something scared my cat away and I could never find him, I noticed someone seen a cat living there....the next morning I don't kno what it was but it scared me. sounded like someone or something looking for a fix. when I do my thru hike I will keep going.

  18. #18
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    We are planning to do the MD section next week, PenMar-HF. We are being dropped off at PenMar the night before we hike to camp.
    I would prefer to just camp at PenMar- is there somewhere there to camp? Can we just go down the trail a bit and pitch a tent? I cant seem to find any info about PenMar and our options.
    Our other option is start from Deer Lick, camp there 1st night, then head south.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdfan View Post
    We are planning to do the MD section next week, PenMar-HF. We are being dropped off at PenMar the night before we hike to camp.
    I would prefer to just camp at PenMar- is there somewhere there to camp? Can we just go down the trail a bit and pitch a tent? I cant seem to find any info about PenMar and our options.
    Our other option is start from Deer Lick, camp there 1st night, then head south.
    PENMAR is restricted to camping. I can't remember the camping options south of PENMAR, the shelter is only about 5 miles south. I did camp north of PENMAR. at Falls Creek(~0.6 mile north), but the downside is there are many houses very close to that area and you may see some local rugrats scrounging around.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm not clear- you are allowed to camp at PenMar? Is there an actual campground, or do you just pitch along the trail? Fee? I've looked all over the net and can't find any info.

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