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Topic: NCT/PA/ANF Trail Condition Report< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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JOHN/OHIO Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 18 2013, 11:57 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Planning an early October bp trek on the North Country Trail, Pa Section on the Allegheny National Forest in Early October.  Planning a 2 day trek starting at St Rt 59 (North of Warren, Pa) heading northward to Handsome Lake and base camping at the campgrounds for a few days.

Anybody ever hike or backpack this section?


I've been on the trail section from St Rt 321 to Handsome Lake & Hopewell Campgrounds a number of times... and on the Tracy Ridge Trails & the NCT from Willow Bay.

Not familiar with the NCT from Sugar Bay to St Rt 59.

Trail conditions, Trail camping sites,  what to expect, etc>


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                   "Fresh mud on the bottom of your boots is tranquility to the soul and a few steps closer to heaven".
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 18 2013, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

we just did 321 to Hopewell most of trail is an old logging road and in good condition water may be in short supply only on stream had running water and that was at the 321 trail head. you will have water at the camp ground though.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2013, 9:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

JOHN/OHIO  The section you want to hike, Rt 59 to Handsome Lake, is an easy section. Parking at Rt 59 will not be a problem. 2 spaces at the kiosk and much more further up that short road. There is a new re-route just north of 59. Well marked. Minard Run Oil Co. put 25 wells along the trail but they MADE the new trail for us. The forest service and I laid out the trail and they did the work.
 I don't know how many miles you do in a day, but, it's about 9.5 from Rt 59 to Handsome Lake CG. Once at the CG, you will be within the Tracy Ridge trail system. The SCA did  a good job last year in cleaning up and marking that system. Easy to make a few loops around the CG.
 Handsome Lake and Hopewell CG are right on the water. No better way to wake up than a good view and a cup of joe.
 I have maps I can send you. Just e-mail me.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2013, 5:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The section from 59 to 321 is a nice section of trail. The reroute down through the rocks was a nicer addition than the previous section was, IMO. To my knowledge, there may be one previously built camping spot along that section near Pigeon Run. But...unless you're wanting to have a very short hike your first day, you're probably going to have to book it all the way to the campground in one day (as pc mentioned, at 9.5 miles it's not a bad hike) as the rest of the trail there falls into or barely outside the 1500 foot buffer of the reservoir or on top of the dry ridge where you probably wouldn't want to camp anyway. You'll find decent water sources from 59 to 321, as you'll be right along a creek for a section and then crossing Sugar Run, which is plenty drinkable. From 321 to the campground, things are spottier but Nelse Run should have water and if we get a rain, there's at least one more intermittent stream that may be flowing. The Tracy Ridge Trail system has great potential to be one of the best, if not the best trail in northwest PA, IMO....if they'd ever let anyone cut a few trees, the views from up on the ridge (especially on the cutoff trails) would be spectacular!!

Off topic here slightly, but partly cloudy, I tried to send you a private message here about the trail register at Rte 6 outside Ludlow on the south side of the road, but it didn't seem to go through. Someone burned the register and log book, last I saw. It hadn't been replaced as of a week or two ago when I stopped by, so I thought I'd give you a heads up!
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 7:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks PC & stlcard25 for the Trail Conditions.  As I previously posted, I know the NCT Section & Tracy Ridge Trails very well, but never have treked the section between 321 & 59.  My plan is not to do the 9.5 in 1 day, but split it up into 2 days.  The miles the 1st day from 59 will most likely depend on when I hit the trail head.  If its early in the day, I may go all way to Nelse Run or on top of the ridge.  If I hit the 59 trailhead late in the day, I may only trek in a few miles.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 10:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

John/Ohio  There is nice campsite at the bottom of the hill after you leave Rt 59 TH. Anywhere along Hammond Run, just look for a suitable site. Also, when you cross over Sugar Run, a great site right beside Sugar Run. The second site would be about 5.5 miles from Rt 59. You'll see Rt 321 as you cross over Sugar Run on an old forestry road.

stlcard25 I will pass that info along. Many registry books get used as fire starter or just destroyed. Thanks


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 2:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks PC for the heads-up on those campsites

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2013, 5:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just checked my maps.  I have the old NCT map before that section was rerouted.  Will gladly appreciate an updated version.

North Country Trail from SR 321 to Handsome Lake Campground


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                   "Fresh mud on the bottom of your boots is tranquility to the soul and a few steps closer to heaven".
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 21 2013, 8:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice pic of above Sugar Run. Allot of work was done on that section about 7 years ago. The mud was so bad that I nearly lost both my boots when I sank ankle deep.

Send me ur e-mail and I'll send back an updated map.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 24 2013, 1:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great info PC, shaunkad & stlcard25.  THANKS GUYS...

Handsome Lake Campgrounds looking North towards New York.




Hopewell Campground View


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9 replies since Sep. 18 2013, 11:57 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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