#52hikechallenge2018 Week 1

As has been our tradition for the past several years, my husband, dogs and I kicked off the new year with a hike.  Monday’s hike also served as the first of the 52 Hike Challenge.  We completed a 7 mile out and back trek on the PA Appalachian Trail south of Pine Grove Furnace and north of Caledonia State Park.

The weather was extremely cold for southern PA: 9°F with wind making it feel more like 0°F.  The recent snow fall provided a 3″ covering of the trail, which made the path slightly slippery.  The dogs loved romping in the dry snow, and I enjoyed the beauty of the sparkling white trees and trail.  The dogs enjoyed a lot of off-leash play since we had the entire path to ourselves.  On the return trek, our 4 year old yellow boy, Marshall, carried a stick over 3 miles, and placed it in the vehicle as a take-home treat.  All the dogs had icicles under their chins, and I believe that Brian and I would have, too, if we weren’t wearing face masks.

Why I picked this trail for Day 1 of 52:

  • This trail section is easy on the feet.  It is rather flat, padded with an under layer of pine needles and free of large rocks.
  • The trail is wooded and the trees block most of the wind.  There is one small unsheltered section where power lines are overhead.
  • There is plenty of parking (12 spots) in the Shippensburg Road lot.
  • The Birch Run Shelter is located 1.4 miles from the parking lot.  It has a privy (bathroom) which is far more appealing than doing any “business” in the wind and snow.
  • A shallow stream near the shelter provided the dogs with enough water for a drink and not too much to get soaked in the cold weather.  Having a water source  that we passed twice kept us from having to carry packs with water bottles.
  • I feel at home on the AT, so it seemed appropriate to start the year hiking it.

I recorded our hike, but the cold weather killed my phone and the recording stopped 2-ish miles to the end.  So the stats are not correct, but the trail is highlighted on the map enough to show the pathway.

PDF version of the map

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanks for visiting!

Please sign up to receive newsletters about hiking, food, faith and more.

I never share email addresses with others.

Check your email inbox to confirm.

God-loving, healthy lifestyle enthusiast, mother, grandmother, animal obsessed and married to my best friend. Life is good!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: