June 21 – 27, 2020
Planning a minimum 4 mile hike each day is starting to become a habit, albeit, still somewhat difficult to accomplish. This week was taxing due to both family and work commitments. So far, the challenge has not been physical, but more an effort of time management. I am pleased to have completed my goals and hiked some pretty beautiful treks!
Highlights of the week:
I hiked a night trek with my cousin who was visiting from out of town. We walked and talked and talked and talked, enjoying a gorgeous sunset and completing the last 1.5 miles in complete dark.
I have become quite intrigued with the Mason Dixon Trail, a trail system that includes roadways that connect trails from Boiling Springs to Chadds Ford, PA. I purchased the set of 10 maps about 5 years ago and have been pouring over them. I will be completing more sections throughout the summer.
Theme of the week:
Day 9 – Mason Dixon Trail Loop in Pinchot State Park
Day 10 – White Rocks Trail, Boiling Springs, PA
This was a pretty incredible hike. I had been wanting to complete this rocky trail for months, however, every time I have headed to the trailhead, it has been overrun with mobs of people. Choosing to social distance, I’d move on to another trail in the area.
It was a rainy day, and I had hoped that the weather would provide me with an opportunity for solitude. I pulled into an empty parking area, zipped up my raincoat and headed toward the White Rocks. It turns out that I was not alone on the trail. A lovely deer, paused during her meal, to watch me. She resumed eating the foliage as I filmed her with my phone camera. It is these moments that continue to pull me to the trail.
I climbed the boulders of the trail, connected to the AT and circled southbound on the Forest Road that I had discovered last week. I continued in discovery mode, connecting to another grassy path that led to various fire rings. I bushwhacked up over the crest, along the White Rocks and back down the trail to my car. I felt exhilarated and giddy. I walked without my dogs or another human being in sight and found the rain was peaceful rather than a burden.
Day 11 – Rocky Ridge County Park – 3-8-2 Loop
I enjoy hiking at dusk and in the dark. I worked until 7:30 pm and hustled to this county park for a late 4 miles. Darkness was setting in earlier than usual due to stormy skies. Like the previous night, I hiked alone, seeing only one trail runner along the way.
Around mile 3, my husband called to check on me. In my haste to leave work, I had forgotten one of our safety practices, sending a message with my location at the start of my hike. During the call, the trail became quite dark, but my eyes could still see my path. (I had a headlamp that I could have used, although I prefer to walk in the dark).
His question startled me and caused me to run. “Don’t they lock the gates to the park at dusk?” Uhhhhh. I didn’t know the answer to that. I am spoiled by the ability to walk on the Appalachian Trail at night and the thought that the park trails might actually close never entered my mind. I chose a side trail and cut off some of my mileage, arriving to the parking lot that hosted only one vehicle … mine. Luckily, the gates were unlocked and I exited, with my heart racing due to running and the concern of being locked inside.
Day 12 – The Heritage Rail Trail, York, PA
The Heritage Rail Trail is a gem in our community. The path is 21 miles, traveling from the city of York to the Maryland-Pennsylvania state lines. Without time to drive to a dirt trail, I walked 4 miles on the Rail Trail, after leaving my office and prior to teaching a Power Yoga class downtown. It was refreshing to walk briskly on a flat surface along the Codorus Creek.
Day 13 – Mason Dixon Trail – Andersontown Road to Pinchot State Park
This was my first planned road section of the Mason Dixon Trail. The majority of the 4 miles was on country roads, and the final .25 mile on the eastern most trail of Pinchot State Park. For safety, I left the pups at home and walked alone. Luckily this section had little traffic and plenty of space to move off the road when a vehicle did drive past.
Day 14 – Pinchot State Park at night
Since my cousin was in town and camping in Pinchot, I met hike for a night hike along the Mason Dixon trail, Lakeside Trail and through the campground. It was fun to walk, talk and watch the sun go down.
Day 15 – Rocky Ridge Park – 5-4 Loop
I really enjoy this 4.7 mile loop in eastern York County. Rocks, wildflowers, streams and views of the surrounding county make it a fun walk. The trails are clearly marked and easy to follow.
Interactive Compilation of my Hike for H2O adventures
This map is a compilation of all of the hikes completed during my 65 day participation in the Hike for H2O challenge. Zoom and scroll to see trail locations. Click my name in the map header to gain access to my recordings on AllTrails.com.
Green – County Park
Purple – State Park
Blue – Mason Dixon Trail
Red – Appalachian Trail