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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tuscarora Trail

The mighty Tuscarora.  Some call it Big Blue - I just call it the "TT" in "TOUGH Trail".

Though it was originally developed as an alternate route for the Appalachian Trail, "The TT" is a far cry from the manicured footpath known as the AT in southern PA.  It has its ups and downs, plenty of rocks, briars, and blow downs.  But I enjoyed every step of the 39 mile section of the TT that I backpacked with the South Central PA Backpackers Meetup Group this weekend.  Our group was 6 strong, enjoying a seldom used stretch of trail between PA 74 south to PA 641.  We only ran into 2 or 3 other parties the entire weekend.  Being deer and turkey season, the majority of people we ran into were hunters.

Day 1: PA 74 to Wagon Wheel Shelter, 11ish miles

Heading west near Colonel Denning State Park

Sunset from Flat Rock Overlook, Day 1, near Colonel Denning State Park

Day 2: Wagon Wheel Shelter to Fowlers Hollow Shelter, 16ish miles

Pipeline clearing south of PA 233

Day 2 was full of lush Mountain Laurel.  A great reason to come back to this section in June.

Some nice "scout work" near Fowlers Hollow Shelter - day 2

Great fireplace in front of Fowlers Hollow Shelter

Day 3: Fowlers Hollow Shelter to PA 641, 12ish miles

Hemlocks Natural Area, near Perry/Franklin county line, day 3

The best vista of the trip, around noon on day 3 atop Rising Mountain overlooking Amberson Valley

Some neat slabs of stone on Rising Mountain's extreme western end, just a few miles from PA 641

The group finishing the section along PA 641


  1. How was the Wagon Wheel shelter? I've seen a pic on someone else's blog, so I know the shelter itself is nice. How far was the water source, and was there a fire pit?

  2. It's small. Probably fit 4-5 comfortably. There was a fire pit and a privy, but the two water sources were a little walk away. I'd recommend using the stream north on the TT, around .3 miles from the shelter. The spring (trail) south is downhill and harder to spot.