Saturday, December 1, 2012

Trail Recap 13 of 27: Harpers Ferry to Half Way Pt.

My choice for the best white blaze anywhere on the AT - Weverton, MD

ATC office, Harper's Ferry, WV to trail mid-point marker near Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA: ~75 miles

General Impression/Theme:  The heart and soul of the AT.  Starting in Harper's Ferry, continuing through the current halfway marker, the new AT Museum at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Centerpoint Knob with its recently replaced plaque (Installed July 2012 after I had passed by), the ATC mid-Atlantic regional office in Boiling Springs, and on to Duncannon (actually five more day hikes north of this section), this part of the AT feels like its spiritual home.

People:  Very few except for day hikers.  'Two Brothers' doing a week's worth of trail northbound.  At the ATC office I had a nice visit with Information Services Manager Laurie Potteiger.  At Caledonia State Park I had the honor of meeting Quarry Gap Shelter 'Innkeeper' and 35-year volunteer extraordinaire, Jim Stauch.

Supply/Overnight:  Through this section I commuted from my condo in Eldersburg, MD.

Worst Memory:  No really significant one, so I'll go with the NoBo hiker's first introduction to Pennsylvania rocks on the aptly named Rocky Mountain.

Best Day Hike:  My clear choice is the extensive rock outcrops of Black Rock Cliffs in Maryland.  Site of a former hotel/resort, these cliffs are Maryland's answer to McAfee Knob.  The day hiker can come up past Annapolis Rocks from the US 40 parking area near the I-70 overpass or approach from the west via the Thurston Griggs Trail up from a trailhead at the end of White Oak Road (39.583, -77.6035).

Two other great choices for day hikes are Weverton Cliffs with its fine view of the Potomac River, High Rock from Pen-Mar Park, and Washington Monument State Park with its excellent view to the west from the 1826 vintage observation tower.  All three of these are accessible from the AT via side trails of just a hundred yards or so.

No comments:

Post a Comment