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Topic: Tiadaghton Trail< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2007, 9:25 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Do any of you folks have any info new or old about the "Tiadaghton Trail" loop around Waterville, PA?

I also remember hearing that some group was working on it recently and could use contact info.

As part of the ongoing MST mapping project the loop would be on the next MST map for updating and reprinting, but my sources differ considerably on its route.

I'm hoping to GPS hike it soon with someone who's promised me a "Mountain Burger" but I'd like a bit more information to plan.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2007, 10:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How big of a loop is it?

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2007, 10:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There was an article maybe a year ago in the Williamsport paper about the boy scouts rebuilding the trail. Maybe a local boy scout troop or camp may have info.

If the trail is back, it would make an excellent loop with the MST.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 04 2011, 9:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I tried heading out from Waterville rail-trail parking, no blazes on 44 but wide shoulder enough the fracking trucks weren't too bothersome. Yellow blazes start on Lower Pine Bottom Rd which is the 2nd left after crossing Pine Creek (and the location of the new Tiadaghton SF office). The route quickly switches back left on sidehill around private land, then drops in the middle of a row of cabins almost right back to the bridge and on the 1st lane. A white blazed tree solves this mystery, the backmost cabins are on state ground but the lane to the bridge is private. Yellow blazes continue along a path dug long ago into the very steep sidehill above Pine Creek. Yellow blazes end at another blazed forest boundary so I continued following yellow tape (no no-trespassing sign). At a junction near the mouth of the Bull Run hollow, I saw some old white T on red dot blazes and those and the yellow tape seemed to lead up what seemed like a skid trail up the point, instead of around the bend to Bull Run stream like my map showed. The wide well dug trail continued up, up, up and ended at a small flagstone quarry. I saw yellow tape continuing up an extremely steep slope without any hint of trail, and followed it for a bit until the flagline seemed to disappear, then I saw a painted corner and figured I was still on the private land. Not knowing what to do at this point I decided to bushwhack up to Bull Run Vista which proved to be about the same distance up as it was over. I followed an orange flagline for some of this distance, of the type that usually denotes a seismic line these days. On getting to the rim there was a sort of path and it had yellow tape on it so I circled around to the drive-up vista, offering a grand sweep up both Big and Little Pine Creek valleys.

Figuring I was clearly off any reasonable Tiadaghton Trail route at this point, I figured I would head out Bull Run Vista road and pick up Fred Hollow trail and hopefully return to the Tiadaghton Trail, or maybe that's what the new route is supposed to eventually do. But rounding the first curve, I encountered a gas well pad and the road got a lot wider and higher with pipelines along the side. Around the area where both the map and a waypoint in the GPS said I would find Fred Hollow trail, I found no trace in the laurel and brush circling the waypoint for a half hour. The sun was starting to get low and I figured bushwacking in the laurel and brush off the edge was a bad idea, so I thought OK, I'll just circle around on the next trail down to Lower Pine Bottom. Trouble was before I got to the alleged location of the next trail I passed a water impoundment and even more pipelines, and again at the appointed location, no sign of a cross trail. I continued out to Bull Run Rd proper, where there is now a compressor station - the last time I heard that many jet engines I was at the end of the regional terminal at O'Hare airport. Down Bull Run Road I went, now much closer to the frack trucks, descending gently to Lower Pine Bottom Rd. Fortunately the frack trucks don't run this road, only a couple of good ol'boy pickups passed me in the gathering darkness down the singing run, isolated by hills from noise from above and below.

I must say I didn't see any hint even walking the road of the two trails that supposedly head back up towards Bull Run Vista, so there might be a problem with the Pine Creek circumnavigation idea. The only trail coming off this road I thought I saw, was something that's unnamed on the Public Use map heading straight west towards the upper basin of Ott Fork - and certainly not the Wolf Path that supposedly comes out opposite the seemingly also nonexistent Fred Hollow trail. Also Lower Pine Bottom Run is a fairly good sized stream where the Wolf Path should be.

I suppose the circumnavigation route could go high enough to come up Bull Run Rd at least as far as Gamble Run Trail and follow it down to MST, but it did look like some kind of equipment has been running down Gamble Run even from the Bull Run Rd end - hopefully they won't get too far. Following Bull Run Rd all the way to the MST crossing would be rather more education in the gas industry than most hikers would like.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2011, 12:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Maybe I was more optimistic than I should have been about the state of completion of the Tiadaghton Trail.  Here is the link to the July 20, 2010 Williamsport Sun-Gazette article.  There is also a May 15, 2011 Sun-Gazette article that says:

"DCNR's Bureau of Forestry and the Jersey Shore High School Outdoors Club are working on the Tiadaghton Trail, which meanders through that state forest. Work is new

"It is just about complete, and we are very happy about that," said Jim Hyland, forest program specialist."

Just about complete may leave some significant gaps.

Last Sunday I drove the length of Lower Pine Bottom Road also looking for the trail crossing and never saw it, although I did see the one trail angling up the hill on the other side of the stream and the yellow blazes of the Tiadaghton Trail.  

The south end of the Tiadaghton Trail is clear and blazed as of August 2010 when I was on it.  I went up from Camp Kline, about 3/4 mile south of the bridge on the rail trail and came back down to the rail trail about 0.2 south of the bridge.  Both options were in good condition.  I only did a total of 4.5 miles out and back due to my hiking partner wanting to turn around.  I am not sure how much further it is completed and blazed, but I hope to approach from that end again and see where it goes.

I just realized I have several days of vacation to burn up before the end of the year, so I will probably be exploring...
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2011, 9:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would up with another little chunk of time and went the other way from the rail trail parking lot up Huntley Mountain. There are eight well dug switchbacks starting up from an old rail spur to an old road. About halfway up to the old road (or maybe 1/4 of the way up the hill) is a dry campsite with a bit of a west view. Strangely, most of the switchback section is NOT blazed, had to use ankles to follow the trail through new-fallen oak leaves. This dug trail is well laid out around this rock and that ledge at a nice grade.

The old road is nicely hemlock shaded and thoroughly blasted out. It's wider and a bit steeper than the newly dug portion. Rising to the rim, there is a single blaze at a Y junction of abandoned roadbeds, with the remains of a fire ring in the middle of it. I saw one more blaze off to the left so I went that way on the roadbed. Next is an actual double blaze and footway to the left. The trail passes a cleared vista and some other ledges then circles the rim in an old pine plantation (unfortunately a number of pines have fallen here, with the sparse blazing it's not always easy to regain the trail). Eventually I came to a barrier, this time with blazes on both sides, and a gravel road. Blazes turn left on the gravel road but not wanting to go back in the dark again I circled right on the newly graveled road. At the next fork I took the right, which was tanktrapped. It turned out to be the same old roadbed, but wetter atop the plateau. Strangely, it too was yellow blazed, but the other way had some remains of the white T on the red dot from time to time.

This was a nice bit of trail, hikable with a bit of a sense of adventure. The main thing this section needs is better blazing, and some chain saw on the upper portion.

Since it was a little bit more light than the day before I drove back out the Lower Pine Bottom Rd to try to find traces of the trail junctions I missed. Still couldn't find them.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 06 2011, 9:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Took a ride up Lower Pine Bottom Road again today, but this time I took the time to check mileage on the map first to get a better idea of where to look.  There, right where they were supposed to be, were the two trails crossing the road and the stream.  There is no place to park there, but I got out long enough to go a few yards up the Fred Hollow Trail to the left and eyeballed the stream crossing and Wolf Run Trail ascending on the right.  An adventure for another day...

We then proceeded up to Bull Run Road and turned onto one of Pennsylvania's newest fracking freeways.  First we rode out Spur #1 to the Bull Run Vista and looked around a little.  We then proceeded to my real destination, Spur #2.  Just prior to the bend in this road, I spotted an obvious trail to the left and a sign "Tiadaghton Trail to Waterville".  The path was blazed yellow, as was the road straight ahead, so I continued on the road expecting to gaze over the valley at the Ramsey Vista.  Nope.  The road and the yellow blazes dead end at a guard shack entrance to a gas drilling pad where the huge rig that does the horizontal drilling was in place.  I turned around before the blonde in the guard shack even got out of her chair.

I then proceeded back to the well marked trail, parked across from it at the end of another old forestry road, and started trekking in a northerly direction.  It was a pleasant walk (if you ignore the drone in the background) across the plateau.  At about 0.9 miles, the trail began a steep rocky descent down the left fork of Bull Run.  This is an exercise in route finding and picking your way through the rocks, but it is fairly well blazed.  At 1.3 miles, we came to the fork of Bull Run.  From there, the yellow blazes continued down the hollow, but my hiking partner was becoming worried about making it back to the top before dark, so we turned around.  The climb up was actually much easier and quicker than the climb down.

Once back at the car and finding we still had considerable daylight, we walked down the road we had parked on, turned left at a clearing onto another old dozer road, and wound up on the yellow blazed Tiadaghton Trail at a vista overlooking Pine Creek.  I had been nearly to this point by coming up from Ramsey in the past.  This bypass route that goes to the south and west of the active drill pad is clearly visible in the aerial photos on Google Earth.

So with today's exploration, I have confirmed that most of the Ramsey to Waterville route is open and blazed.  The only iffy section I have not confirmed is the area where ki0eh lost the blazes somewhere in the shadow of the Bull Run Vista.  I would also like to find if the Fred Hollow Trail still exists as the map shows or if it has been totally lost in the industrialized mountaintop Main Street.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2011, 8:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I looked at an old MST map (20 year old Thwaites) and he lists Fred Hollow and the next cross trail to south (labeled "Gorman Draft" thereon but unlabeled on the Public Use map and the current MST map) as "unblazed but explored", and further notes the Gorman Draft slabbing down the north side of the follow at the bottom instead of coming directly to the lease camp right on the bottom. On my second drive through I thought I saw the slabbing grade up here in the dimming light even though I did miss the Wolf Path/Fred Hollow twice.

So the most likely explanation on both of these is that they weren't cleared too well through the laurel on top and brush scattered by the road/pipeline builders obscured the rest.

Neither Fred Hollow nor Gorman Draft trails at the crossing of Bull Run Vista Rd (aka Spur #1 on the Public Use map) should be crossing right at a restricted access gas facility, perhaps the thing to do would be to follow both from up below and flag them across the brush left behind by the pipelines etc. along Bull Run Vista road.

The most likely route up Bull Run hollow is the path right in the hollow shown on both old and new MST maps. Since this is (albeit unposted) private land perhaps the yellow blazer skipped that portion.

It sounds like you should have been close to but not quite at the Bull Run hollow end of Fred Hollow trail if I follow this right.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 12 2011, 8:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was back in the Waterville area for some more exploring today, and finished up my hike of the Tiadaghton Trail.  It took over a year and three different short hikes to do it, but it is a very nice trail.  The last section is where ki0eh lost the blazes and wound up doing a massive bushwhack climb to the Bull Run Vista.  I followed the path along the steep side hill above Pine Creek to where the old skid trail crosses it at an angle.   By this point, as previously described, the yellow blazes were gone but some older white T on a red circle blazes remained and were what I was following.  The double T indicated a turn up the hill where I saw some yellow tape ahead.  Just a few steps up this skid trail, I spotted another double T blaze which indicated a left turn onto a single track switchback that headed toward Bull Run again.  With fresh fallen leaves obscuring the obvious path, you need to keep a sharp eye out for the old T blazes, but the trail is there.  It angles right and a slight uphill around the point until it once again becomes yellow blazed and settles into an easy, nearly level sidehill path that maintains its elevation until Bull Run rises to meet it.  I continued up to the fork of the run to meet where I had hiked to northbound previously.

The rest of my day was spent confirming that Fred Hollow and Wolf Path trails do not really exist and should not be part of any sane person’s through hiking plans.  If you really want to read the details, go to the Pine Creek Circumnavigation thread.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 12 2011, 5:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well that helps with the mystery since I definitely saw the turn on to the skid trail but not the one off of it, being entranced by the yellow tape. Got a shapefile? Also, when you say you finished it, do you mean all of it, or all of it on the SW side of Pine Creek?
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 12 2011, 10:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, I should have clarified just the one side of Pine Creek.  That is where my priorities are right now for some unique summer plans.

Sadly, no GPX file of the entire day Friday.  I got to the trailhead to find I had no functioning GPS unit.  I even tried to use my Droid as a backup and it failed.  Then Saturday in the Asaph I realized over half way through the hike that my now-functional GPS was still in my pack and never turned on.  I never use one for navigation, but I do like to record my tracks to look at later.  

G-P-S:  Get Power Supply, Glitches Plague Software, Gotta Push Start

FWIW, my compass worked fine....
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 13 2011, 5:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

After I posted the last time I wondered if perhaps the Gorman Draft trail would be a bit more in existence for the circumnavigation, although the top of that if recoverable would be pretty close to the compressor station.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2012, 4:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK PAR2, what did you find, and did you remember the GPSr?
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2012, 10:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sunday, January 29 I headed out with Mama Smurf to see the sights of the Tiadaghton Trail East version as it ascends to Huntley Mountain and beyond.  We followed in the footsteps of ki0eh who wrote a good report on this trail in November.  The switchbacks up from the rail trail parking lot at Waterville are unblazed but very easy to follow.  Near the top, or at least near the very nice hemlock shaded woods road the yellow blazes become very dependable for the rest of the distance we covered.  The views do not disappoint and I would recommend this hike as a side jaunt for anyone in the area.  As was mentioned, there could be a little chainsaw work done along the top, but it is all easily passable.  

As we continued around the ridge described by ki0eh above, the sound of construction became more obvious and closer.  As we came to Huntley Mountain Road, the gravel forestry road he had mentioned, trucks and equipment were everywhere in the process of constructing a pipeline paralleling the far side of the road.  We stepped into the road, turned left and kept peering for yellow blazes.  In less than 50 steps I spotted one, and not really where I expected it.  The trail does not follow the road, it is merely a slightly offset crossing of the road.  We crossed the road and pipeline right-of-way and followed the blazes down an old woods road for maybe 100 yards, where the blazes indicated another left turn down a small wet hollow.  Shortly the blazes led us to the right of the hollow where the trail became a bushwhack through mountain laurel.  There was no discernible footpath, but the bright yellow blazes were still frequent and painted on the same trees as the old faded red and white “T” blazes.  The blazes then started leading steeply down into Bush Run.

It was at this point I knew I had to face reality.  We had gotten a late start.  It was after 2:30.  We had a 3 mile hike back to the car.  This north facing slope had a couple inches of slippery snow on a steep bushwhack we would just have to climb back out of.  In short, nothing that would deter me from continuing on in my quest if I were solo, but everything that screamed there was no way my hiking partner was going to continue.  So I offered to turn around and we did.

As we got back to the pipeline, equipment and personnel were much closer to the crossing, so we waited for a tracked machine to stop before continuing to the road and exchanging pleasantries with the white hat.  He was surprised to see us but said “it’s neat to actually see someone up here”.  He asked about the trail and I happily gave him a lesson on what to look for with painted blazes and expressed how important it is to us dedicated hikers to keep these trails open.  After a brief friendly chat we wished each other well and continued on with our respective missions - he to his earth moving, and us to a wonderful turkey dinner at Restless Oaks in McElhattan.

GPS it seems is another story with me lately.  My brand new two-week old unit decided it would no longer communicate with my computer despite my best efforts at 12 and more steps of counseling, even with professional assistance.  A new part is on its way from Garmin that we all hope will rectify the situation.  Until then you just have to take my word for it.


PAR2 (happy to be home after being sequestered in Not-So-Happy Valley for a couple days)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 10:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

At the MSTA meeting yesterday I heard that the Tiadaghton Trail rebirth has progressed to the point where an ultra-run of about 27 miles is contemplated for fall 2013 on it, circling around on MST hitting all of Waterville parking, Ramsey, and Little Pine SP. Of course some people's one pass ultra-run circuit in State Forest might be some other people's backpacking loop. I may have some specific details soon.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 11:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Please keep us informed. I always drool when I look at that particular MST map, hoping to find a 20+ mile loop.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 4:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hope the trail becomes a reality.  That would be an excellent loop with the MST.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2013, 6:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've now been able to confirm the entire existence and hikability of the entire Camp Kline-Waterville forestry HQ section of Tiadaghton Trail, i.e. the portion south and west of [Big] Pine Creek. I did a circuit hike from Ramsey up the Tiadaghton Trail and back the rail trail yesterday.

Many blowdowns have been recently cut out and the plateau top is nearly all mowed. The vistas of Pine Creek on both sides, with rock castles on Kline Ridge and the descent of Bull Run were especially interesting, but the whole route was nice. Only one part of the climb up the point was over-steep. Bull Run has a lot of recent sidehill and switchbacks, the only wetness on the whole hike was a very little bit in the laurel near its headwaters.

The only spot that remains without the new yellow blazes is the private land area near the bottom of Bull Run, and there were also a couple of large blowdowns on the pipeline path along Pine Creek. The forester told me they do have permission to cross this private land bit, something will have to be done with this 200 yards before the ultra-run but otherwise the trail lacks for nothing.

Between Ramsey and Lower Pine Bottom Rd the route only crosses one drivable road (Bull Run Spur #2 as mentioned above). Since I didn't leave the yellow blazes I didn't find bulldozers, compressor stations, or fracking security chicks on this hike. The top of Bonnell Run and most of the Bull Run valley is behind a low divide from Pine Creek so much of the middle of the hike was even away from the fracking truck noise coming from PA 44.

Also the MST color map 311-316 does show this portion of the route correctly except for the following:
-Near the head of Bonnell Run the map shows TiaT paralleling a logging road up to Bull Run Spur #2, actually the yellow blazes are on the logging road so the crossing of Bull Run Spur #2 is a slight left-hand jog.
-At Lower Pine Bottom Rd the TiaT heads uphill to circle a tiny private land spot with about three cabins on it. It would be much shorter to go on the cabin driveway but presumably someone objects due to the work that went into sidehilling the new route around.

Also not all of the supposed intersecting trails on the MST map were observed. There is a steep cutoff trail on the point of Kline Ridge that short-cuts to the Ramsey bridge.

Presumably when the TiaT was originally laid out, it intentionally went to Camp Kline when it operated, and crossed Pine Creek on its suspension bridge (pic) when it was there pre-1972. Also the railroad was operational until 1988 - so until 2001 the MST forded Pine Creek where the suspension bridge used to be, until after the rail trail conversion occurred here.

I have photos and a GPS track, but I need to figure out how to extract the photos from the iPhone to something shareable. Without cell phone coverage I didn't try the Backpacker app. I did check in on Facebook from a brief spot of cell coverage at the Waterville Tavern, as my lunch yesterday was my most satisfactory experience there yet.

Walking the rail trail between Waterville and Ramsey isn't too bad, it's below the cliff from the parallel PA 44 so more isolated than I would have expected from traffic noise. I kept my microspikes on, there was more ice there than in the hills.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2013, 8:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Could you share the GPS track as a gpx file?

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2014, 11:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've now completed the Tiadaghton Trail exploration to the north junction of MST. I started from Huntley Rd, with PAR2's assurance the trail continues almost directly to the east I finally found it at an odd angle. It starts on an old skid road but quickly turns left, encountering blowdowns and laurel that hasn't been cleared in a really long time. Then the descent got steeper and steeper and rockier and rockier, kind of like the NB descent into Second Fork Ramsey Run used to be like on the MST (it should be noted that was originally Tiadaghton Trail too).

I expected the trail to turn left and stay high on the plateau, instead it kept turning right and descended a hollow heading directly east. A little ways down from the head of the main hollow the trail joined an old log slide for some actual tread way. Down and down the yellow blazes and occasional circle T went, to right behind a camp on Little Pine Creek Rd where the blazes suddenly turned left and began slabbing (no tread way) up the point occupied by Happy Acres Resort.

The blazes stayed on the State Forest side, although within sight of the back row of cabins, then made a 90 degree right turn (no double blaze) around the back private land corner. I could just about taste the beer at the Happy Acres Restaurant, but alas the yellow blazes curved left (another surprise!) and began paralleling lower Boone Run, climbing gently first on very narrow tread way then on no tread at all - after a bit I slipped off on the snow despite the microspikes and slid about 100' downhill. After resuming the blazed route on contour it then edged downhill to Boone Road.

On the other side of Boone Road from the yellow blazed route, there appeared a pull off, a steel I beam on its side for a bridge, and a not terribly useful routed sign purporting to show how Tiadaghton Trail met the Little Pine State Park trail system, behind square-weave wire - after peering at it for a while I finally saw "you are here" in the extreme upper left of the sign, and faded once-hot pink sloppy T blazes continuing on. Figuring I'd rather climb the plateau on trail, I said I'd turn back if I lost tread way.

This time the excavated (and even maintained, except for the faded blazes) tread continued all the way up the hollow, to the top and a junction with MST where a sign said I had just climbed the Spike Buck Hollow Tr. I turned left on northbound MST to stay on the plateau, turning left again at the Pesto Trail junction (where MST turns right to descend a steep side hollow to Love Run), climbing briefly to a higher plateau top, and emerging on Okome Road behind a CAT loader and a coil of gas pipe. I returned following Okome and Huntley Roads, about half the gas people waved as they drove by on a Saturday afternoon.

I would have to say that this last section of TiaT from Huntley Rd north to Boone Rd, is probably the roughest - although relatively well blazed in winter, there are enough saplings in the woods that the blazing would probably be obscure in leaf-on times - and the mostly non-existent tread way on un-dug sidehill and through un-moved rocks would be worse with a pack than as a day hike.

I did carry the GPSr, so hopefully I can extract the data for the future MST map and to share with those interested.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 03 2014, 9:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Photos of the final outing - let me know if this works
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