Gifford Pinchot State Park to Wago Junction at the Susquehanna River
Map 2 begins with a 7.1 mile walk through Pinchot State Park. Pinchot is close to my home and I am very familiar with its trails. I was, however, surprised to follow the M-D T onto 2 trails that I had never been on before.
The M-D T begins at Squire Gratz Road, where there is a small parking area for 6-8 cars. The path has virtually no elevation, some rocky sections (no boulders) and periodic views of Beaver Creek and Conewago Lake. This is a great trail for dogs, as there is plenty of opportunity for cooling off in the water sources along the trail.
At 1.5 miles, the trails opens into a large parking area used for boat launches. There is a restroom building on site. After crossing Route 177, the trail returns to a forest path that winds through the campground, woods and along Pinchot Lake, which is absolutely lovely.
The remaining 15.2 miles is on roads through Conewago Township. The first 6 miles are lightly traveled, with plenty of opportunity to step off of the road in case of an oncoming vehicle.
On Copenhaffer Road, Sasquatch stands guard in front of the BDH Custom Chain Saw Carving company.
Around mile 15.2 (M-D T map; 16 on my GPS), traffic increased and I was quite concerned for pedestrian safety. Cloverleaf Road crosses Interstate 83, and there is a lot of traffic in this area. The signage is a little confusing, as there are markings for no pedestrians, and yet the blue blazes are posted on the same sign pole. I made a run for it and crossed safely, but was on hyper alert for the many tractor trailer trucks entering and exiting the highway.
Continuing eastward, there is one other busy traffic section: George Street Extended. Fortunately, George Street has a wide berm, but the traffic moves at a very fast pace. The next 2 roads, Meeting House and Board Road, were walkable with sidewalks or wide grassy areas to stay off the road proper.
Caution is need as walkers pass under an overpass at mile 22.2. Turn right onto Gut Road and follow the instructions on Map 3.
Parking and restroom options west to east
Mile 0 – Squire Gratz Road Parking Lot – small parking lot for 6 – 8 cars
Mile 1.5 – Pinchot Park Boat Launch – large parking lot that hold at least 20 vehicles; restroom facility
Mile 2.8 – Pinchot Campground Entrance – very large parking lot a short walk down the entrance roadway
Mile 4.5 – Conewago Day Use Area – very large parking lot; restroom facility
Mile 5.5 – Pinchot Boat Launch – parking lot; restroom facility
Mile 6.8 – Alpine Road Parking Lot – small parking lot holds 6 cars
Mile 11.6 – Mountain Grove Chapel Church – Ask permission (I also made a donation to the church in gratitude)
Mile 15.4 – Wendy’s and Rutter’s parking lots; restrooms open to patrons
Mile 20.6 – Northeastern High School – very large parking lot
Mile 22.3 – Gut Road – Road side parking in various pull-offs