DC UL's Tuscarora Trail Section Hike, 2014

Posted by Michael Martin on

I'd like to bring together all the writing and photos we've made over the past year to commemorate this section hike. Eight sections, 260 or so miles, all four seasons, one broken ankle, and one car accident. It truly was an adventure, as I'm sure everyone who participated can attest.

B.A.'s (Karan) map shows how we broke down the sections.

[u]Section 1[/u]

We began the journey in December 2013. With a winter storm bearing down on us, we didn't dare leave cars on Skyline Drive, and so parked at the base of Little Devils Stairs and climbed for the beginning of the TT. We were treated to amazing snow and ice effects:

After our first night on the trail--Little Crease Shelter, we got a load of snow dumped on us.

We ended up leaving a few cars at the trailhead as we couldn't drive them home. Section 1 Trip Report. Photos.

In [u]Section 2[/u], we walked from Elizabeth Furnace, accross the I-81 corridor, and through the Great North Mountain area. It started out quite cold--6 degrees, the coldest night we experienced--but warmed up considerably.

Section 2 Trip Report. Photos.

[u]Section 3[/u] was where the TT turned north and start following ridges towards Pennsylvania. A late winter trip, we started out in snow, but finished in mud, near Gore, Virginia.

The low point of the entire journey came when Hawkeye (Stephanie) broke her ankle on a rugged stretch of trail.

Section 3 Trip Report. Photos.

[u]Section 4[/u] was a short section that entailed a great deal of road walking. There were some odd moments:

Some memorable ones:

And some even more memorable ones:

I just received my new wide angle lens for Section 4, if you couldn't tell. Section 4 Trip Report and photos.

In [u]Section 5[/u], in May, we finally had some green. Of course, in fine form, we started out with car troubles due to very high water:

Not only did it us force us to walk a 31-mile day, which was NOT part of the plan, but it resulted in some weird moments:

Pleasant miles on the C&O Canal led to some tough road walking to regain the ridges in PA. But we were in PA--the last state!

Section 5 Trip Report. Photos.

After a long summer doing other trips, we returned to the TT in September, for [u]Section 6[/u], which started in the rain:

Once the weather cleared up, we enjoyed a beautiful section.

We did lose Blue Blazes (Hua) on this one, but we found her again ... a few miles down the Standing Stone Trail. Blue blazes, not orange!

Section 6 Trip Report. Photos.

By November and [u]Section 7[/u], we were back in the shoulder season. We walked through Amish farmland:

And climbed the ridges for pastoral views of PA's countryside:

Section 7 Trip Report. Photos.

At last we were positioned to finish the TT, in December, almost exactly a year after we started. This was [u]Section 8[/u], and boy had we saved some rugged footing for the end.

But we made it, finally, to the AT:

Section 8 Trip Report. Photos.

Congratulations are in order, not only to Pringle, B.A., and U-Turn, who hiked the entire thing, but to the many DC ULers who hiked significant sections of the trail. And we would be remiss not to thank all the trail maintainers with PATC and KTA, without whom this incredible, adventuresome and often challenging trail wouldn't exist. I think we all saw, in Section 8 especially, how precarious its existence is.

I hope others follow us on this journey!


Jimmy posted on

This is great Michael! Well put together!