Thursday, April 19, 2012
This is Childrens Lake. It's full-out spring here, but this setting has to be one of the prettiest spots the AT passes at any time of year.
And just after the NoBo hiker leaves Childrens Lake behind, they reach the ATC regional office - a cute-as-a-button cottage where hikers can get a mug shot taken by the staff. Here's mine:
I actually hiked over four summits, including Centerpoint Knob in the morning before concentrating on the southern half of the Cumberland Valley and reaching Boiling Springs. These summits are what I call 'toy mountains' because they are at just 1200 feet above sea level, and reaching them requires only 500 feet of climbing at most. Still, they provided some exercise.
But back to the Cumberland Valley. Strangely, parking lots turn out to be one of the headline stories here. The long term AT parking lot in Boiling Springs was closed for construction - they're upgrading it into a spiffy 31 car lot:
Meanwhile, up the trail a bit, the ATC is proudly introducing the brand-new Trindle Road (PA 641) parking lot:
The trail south of Boiling Springs passes through open fields (cropland, not pasture) for a mile and a half to the foothills below Centerpoint Knob.
But when I left the highway on my way north out of Boiling Springs, I was surprised to find myself back in the woods. A pretty woods, to be sure, but I wasn't expecting more woods walking here in the flatland.
I'd estimate that more than half the trail miles within the Cumberland Valley are woodland walks, albeit sometimes with civilization in sight beyond the narrow wooded corridor.
And many more miles are along the edges of fields with woods to one side:
Because today presented me with so much that was different from the normal AT fare, I will long remember it. Sometimes the endless 'gaps' and 'knobs' blur together and fade from ready recall. That won't happen with Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.
Below is a map with today's hike plotted on it. The title line is a link to many more photos.
AT Day 92 - Boiling Springs, PA at EveryTrail
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