Tuscarora Trail: Pt 5: Knob Mtn: Hemlock Rd to PA 641: A Strenuous 10.4 Miles

  • May 12, 2013 · 10:00 AM
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The Tuscarora Trail: Section 5 - Knob Mountain: Hemlock Rd. to PA 641

A Strenuous 10.4 Mile Section Hike

In this section, the trail proceeds along the top of Rising Mountain and Knob Mountain for 10.4 miles. The Hemlocks Natural Area, located at the beginning of the section ,consists of 131 acres of virgin hemlocks in a narrow ravine about one and one half miles long. Starting at Hemlock Road (elevation 1943 ft.) the trail heads southwest along logging roads.  Shortly after passing the Stewart Narrows Trail, it climbs to the crest of Rising Mountain continuing along the rocky crest of Rising Mountain to a highpoint of 2300 ft.  At the end of Rising Mountain, the trail intersects Mountain Road and Catholic Path (elevation 2000 ft.). Catholic Path was cut across Rising mountain as a route for the Catholics living in Amberson Valley to reach the Catholic Church in Doylesburg.  The trail continues southwest on Knob Mountain crossing several rocky peaks until it descends steeply a the end of Knob Mountain (elevation 1500 ft.) to PA 641, a descent of 700 ft. Carry sufficient water as there is no water in this section.  There is a spring on the right after descending Knob Mountain and before passing the gate to PA 641 but it is often hidden by brush in Summer.

Unique Sites We Will See on This Section

Tuscarora State Forest: The trail is within or near this state forest from mile 19.8 to 48.5.

Catholic Path: A route followed by Catholics across Rising Mountain from Amberson Valley to the Catholic Church in Doylesburg.

Kittatinny Mountain Tunnel View: The tunnel was constructed for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

What Is the Tuscarora Trail?

The Tuscarora Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that splits off from the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, passes through West Virginia and Maryland, then rejoins the Appalachian Trail near Marysville, Pennsylvania. It is 252 miles (406 km) long, and includes both the 110-mile (180 km) trail section formerly known as the Tuscarora Trail in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and the 142-mile (229 km) trail section formerly known as the Big Blue Trail in Virginia and West Virginia.

The Tuscarora Trail (including the Big Blue section) was built as a speculative alternative route for the Appalachian Trail. It was built further west, in a more wild corridor, because it was feared that development would force closure of the AT, before the Federal effort to conserve that trail.

Much of the trail in Pennsylvania was closed in the 1980s because a gypsy moth onslaught had killed much of the surrounding oak forest. The trail became overgrown with brambles, briar's and other vegetation to become impassable. The trail has since been re-opened and is now maintained by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

The Tuscarora Trail is today an official side-trail of the Appalachian Trail and is blazed in blue.

This trail eventually will become a component of the Great Eastern Trail, which will extend from Alabama to the Finger Lakes in New York state.

Trail Information
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Newville, PA
Length: 10.4 miles

Exposure: Mostly shady; less so in winter

Elevation Gain: feet
Trail Type: Point to Point
Skill Level: Strenuous
Season: Year-round
Local Maps:PATC Map J

Weather Information
We hike rain or shine. Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for the area where we will be hiking.

Carpool Information
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.  Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.

If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!

Directions to the Trailhead

Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for This Hike

Hike Meetup Time is at 10:00am

Carpool meetup time at Savage is 8:00 a.m.

Gear Information Click here for suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.

Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then please find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.

Fido is welcome on this hike!

Be sure to take the hike leaders numbers with you just in case!

Steve:[masked]

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  • Angela C.

    A beautiful ridgeline hike on a perfect day, excellent views, interesting rocks and wildflowers

    1 · May 13, 2013

  • Kellie C.

    Thanks so much Sandy and Steve for planning and leading this hike:)

    May 13, 2013

  • Sandy B.

    this was a great hike for my first one since breaking my toe. It was mostly on the ridgeline and when the trees thinned the views were great. The last 3/4 mile was a killer almost straight down. All in all a great hike.

    2 · May 12, 2013

    • Kellie C.

      YAY, Welcome back Sandy. Surprised you took on such a rugged hike your first one back. Looking forward to seeing you next weekend:)

      May 13, 2013

  • Caroline

    Is there anybody who could give a ride from DC?

    May 10, 2013

  • Carrie

    Hi Steve,
    I am interested in joining this hike, but am not familiar with the difficulty classifications in this group. I would be comfortable with up to 2500 ft of total cumulative elevation gain. Do you think this hike falls within that amount? Thanks!

    May 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Carrie, I'm new to this group, but it looks to me like this path is pretty flat, along a ridge. The description above says the elevation rise is only a few hundred feet, though there is a steep decline at the end.

      May 6, 2013

    • Carrie

      To be safe, I think I'll do a different hike. Thanks for your feedback.

      1 · May 6, 2013

3 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Tuscarora Trail: Pt 5: Knob Mtn: Hemlock Rd to PA 641: A Strenuous 10.4 Miles

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 2 day(s) before the Meetup

Additional notes: You get a refund if you update and change your RSVP to a "no" PRIOR to 48 hours of hike time.

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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