Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Mar 7 2009 - Diff. AT hike southern PA (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): John Fogle
Participants:John Fogle, Giadira Leon, Tara Moore, Jerry Wright, Gary Linderborn, Autumn Linderborn, Jason Dickey

Write Up:
Despite unseasonably warm weather, more than half of those who were registered for this event as of Thursday morning had canceled by Saturday. This high rate of 11th-hour attrition has come to be expected, however, and the reduced group size at least had the advantage of making the hiker-shuttle logistics a bit easier.

Seven of us met at Frederick Saturday morning, went over a rough itinerary, and drove north into Pennsylvania. We left two of our cars near the town of South Mountain, then took the remaining two back to Pen Mar at the Mason-Dixon line. Beginning the actual hike at around 10:20 AM, we trekked steadily northward on the Appalachian Trail. The temperature climbed well into the 60s to near 70 by the time we stopped at Tumbling Run early in the afternoon after logging nearly eight miles. Here we had a lunch break to fuel ourselves for the day's biggest ascent: the climb up to Chimney Rocks on Buzzard Peak.

Upon resuming the hike after lunch, we detoured from from the AT and ascended via the Tumbling Run/Chimney Rocks trails. At first this route followed the stream through stands of hemlock, then climbed more steeply along the remnants of an old switchback railroad bed. Finally we reached the hike's high point -- literally and figuratively -- Chimney Rocks. Here we took another leisurely break and enjoyed the distant views for a bit. Finally at around 4:00 PM we resumed the hike northward, once more back on the AT.

We reached South Mountain and our shuttle vehicles at 5:20 PM, having hiked roughly 13 miles and spent seven hours on the trail. As we drove back to Pen Mar and our other vehicles, Jason commented that we were able to cover in 20 minutes or so by car what had taken us seven hours to hike. A bit humbling when one considers what the early settlers had to endure in traveling this area...

Thanks to Jason, Jerry, Giadira, Tara, Gary, and Autumn for joining me on this hike as we conquered a tiny yet quite worthwhile chunk of the AT.

-- John Fogle

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