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Caledonia to Pine Gove AT Backpacking Trip

  • May 9, 2014 · 6:00 PM

Route description:

Point-to-point trip from Caledonia State Park to Pine Grove State Park along the Appalachian Trail (AT).

This trip is of moderate difficulty with total trip Total distance = 20 mi over 2 days.  Elevation gain = ~1000’

Trail map and elevation plot :

Note: PATC MAP 2-3 Appalachian Trail


Caledonia State Park - Group camping sites off RT 233 (group camp sites circled in red)

Friday evening : Drive to Caledonia State Park

Plan is to meet at the Quince Orchard Rd & Gaithersburg Park & Ride (GPS [masked],[masked]) and car pool up to Caledonia State Park group campsite #4.   Coming from the south you will need to take exit 10 off RT 270 to RT 117 West (Diamond Ave.) and then hang a right onto Quince Orchard Road.  Park and Ride is on the right prior to crossing under RT 270.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/39.134723,-77.209036/%27%27/@39.1426028,-77.2148034,15z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m6!4m5!1m0!1m3!2m2!1d-77.218177!2d39.147754?hl=en

Coming from the north exit 11 takes you into the front of the Park and Ride.

Others wishing to meet up at the campsite:  the Caledonia State Park map above has the location of the group site circled in red. There is a small service road just off of RT 233 that leads to the group camp sites. I have site #4 reserved for us. The site is big enough for 20 and its in my name.  I believe you can use it any time after 3pm on Friday.


Trip description:

Saturday  :

Saturday morning all drivers will shuttle cars up to to hike's end point (Pine Grove State park ) to park cars for return on Sunday. We then pack drivers in a car to return to Caledonia  to join others and start trip . 

Hike ~10 miles to Burch Run Shelter area.   There are two camps with fire rings at the shelter. Either should accommodate us all if necessary.


Day 2

Hike remaining 10 miles to Pine Grove State park past AT halfway point at Halfway Spring (photo opportunity). Note: to commemorate the completion of half of the journey, it is a thru-hiker tradition to attempt the “half-gallon challenge” of eating one half of a gallon of ice cream in one sitting. On a summer day, it is common to see hikers working on the challenge at the Pine Grove General Store.

Visit AT museum on Sunday (open noon– 4pm until May 10,  9am after then)


Things to see:

Pine Grove State Park :

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/pinegrovefurnace/#camping

Steeped in natural and historical features, the 696-acre Pine Grove Furnace State Park is at the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in an area known as South Mountain. Visitors enjoy many recreational opportunities, including two mountain lakes, Laurel Lake and Fuller Lake, hiking the Appalachian Trail, biking the rail trail, visiting the Appalachian Trail Museum and imagining when the park was a charcoal-fired iron furnace community. The park is surrounded by Michaux State Forest, which provides opportunities for exploring extensive public lands around South Mountain.

Appalachian Trail Museum: The Appalachian Trail Museum is in the Old Mill Building at 1120 Pine Grove Road (along PA 233) between the Pine Grove Furnace State Park office and the Pine Grove General Store. Museum exhibits and programs pay tribute to the pioneer trail-builders and hikers, including Earl Shaffer, Grandma Gatewood, Gene Espy, Ed Garvey, and their commitment to fitness and conservation. The Children’s Discovery Area provides fun, hands-on learning experiences. The museum is near the midpoint of the 2,186-mile Appalachian Trail, a National Scenic Trail that goes through 14 states from Georgia to Maine. The museum welcomes newcomers to the A.T. as well as veteran hikers and frequently offers an opportunity to meet current thru-hikers.

Museum Open noon to 4pm on weekends Spring and Fall. 9:00am to 4pm 5/10 to 7/6


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  • Amanda S

    Wonderful trip! Thanks Mark and all for an awesome weekend.

    1 · May 11, 2014

  • Mark H

    Could not have asked for a better group of people to spend weekend hiking with. Thanks for the good times !

    May 11, 2014

  • david

    Thank you Mark for organising, great trip. Thanks to the rest of you, great company, and learnt from all. Safe travels. Dave

    1 · May 11, 2014

  • Natalie

    Oh, don't forget to check for ticks ! I found one despite the DEET.

    May 11, 2014

  • Natalie

    Fun times! It was great to backpack on the Appalachian Trail with old friends and also meet new friends along the way. A shoutout to Mark for a well-run trip. :)

    1 · May 11, 2014

  • Becky R.

    The weather vacillated between gorgeous and somewhat challenging, but what a super-compatible group of people!!! Many thanks to our fearless leader for a fabulous weekend!!!

    1 · May 11, 2014

  • Paul

    What an awesome weekend! Thank you Mark for leading the hike and the group for all the conversation, laughter and good times on the trail.

    1 · May 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm here at Shady Grove - where should I be?

    May 9, 2014

    • Mark H

      At the quince orchard parkland ride on 124 . Directions are on meetup but you can call me to help with directions

      May 9, 2014

    • Mark H

      [masked]

      May 9, 2014

  • Mark H

    I have reserved us group site #4 at Caledonia State Park for car camping Fri night. You can either meet us Friday night at 6pm and car pool up from the Quince Orchard P&R or go directly to the group site if that is better for you. I added a pic of the park with the location of the group sites circled in red (entrance is off RT 233). If folks could give me $3 each for the group site reservation it would be appreciated.

    I will plan to be at the Quince Orchard Park and Ride at 6pm Friday. I can drive the first 3 that request otherwise please use the board to arrange rides.

    Looking forward to see you all in a few weeks !

    April 21, 2014

    • KingsleyC

      this sounds good. will see u then.

      May 8, 2014

    • Mark H

      I'm on right side of P&R in light green Subaru back hatch open

      May 9, 2014

  • Hollis

    I hate to do this, but I don't think I'm going to make it. I injured my foot last week and I thought it would be better, but I tweaked it again yesterday and it is still throbbing. I don't think 20 miles on it will do it any good.

    May 8, 2014

    • Hollis

      Thanks Paul, but it hurts just walking around not carrying anything. I could probably suffer through it, but it would just be making the problem worse. Some rest will hopefully have me back on my feet in a week or so.

      May 9, 2014

    • Paul

      Sorry to hear. Rest up and hopefully see you out on the trails soon.

      May 9, 2014

  • Mark H

    Hopefully my final spam. I closed RSVPs today. We have one potential addition, Benjy. Otherwise if you are on the wait list and interested in joining please send me a note ASAP. Weather is looking pretty good this weekend, yay ! Chance of thunderstorms so please remember to bring your rain gear and pack covers. If you are meeting at the car pool location, please review directions above as its a bit tricky to get to coming from the South on 270. My phone # is (240)[masked] in case anyone needs to reach me in the next couple of days.

    See you all soon !

    May 8, 2014

  • david

    Work is messing me around so not sure what time I'll escape tomorrow, if eRlier I'll make my way to camp, if later will get to the P&R RV. If anyone is flexible and needs a ride from along the Chantilly / McLean and up corridor then let me know. Have found some logs mark, only a few, will also throw in a Sven saw. D

    1 · May 8, 2014

    • Mark H

      Sounds great Dave ! I'm also bringing some wood and a saw. The more wood the better for Friday.

      May 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Mark, I can't make it this weekend after all. Hope to see this one repeated in the future. Have an awesome time. :o)

    May 7, 2014

    • Mark H

      Sorry you couldn't make it PJ. Look forward to seeing you on a future event !

      May 7, 2014

  • david

    Mark, where would I get a copy of the map from, can only see it as small image. Have searched for it as a PDF / waypoint details / grid refs etc or similar but can't find it. Probably me being dumb and not used to the system here!Thank you. Dave

    May 5, 2014

    • david

      Thank you mark, I'll try and retrieve something off the site tonight, just wanted to get my head round the map / route and waterproof a copy. Cheers Dave

      May 5, 2014

    • Mark H

      I uploaded a scan of the trail map and the elevation plot for those that want to look over. These are both scanned from the PATC MAP 2-3 for Appalachian Trail (better source if you have it as scan losses some detail). As Hollis stated above, just go to the menu above "More" and "Files" to download them. Hope that helps.

      May 5, 2014

  • Mark H

    Things are starting to dry out finally. We are a little more than a week out for what should be a fantastic trip ! We have a great group, hope all can make it, but if you are having second thoughts now is the time to change those RSVPs so others on the wait list can join. Please don't hesitate to post questions. I still have room for others that want a lift. I'll be leaving from the posted car pool spot 6pm next Fri.

    May 1, 2014

    • Becky R.

      I forgot that this one is much closer for me to drive direct, so one more spot in Mark's vehicle for someone else. :-)

      1 · May 2, 2014

    • Becky R.

      I will also probably be going up early--thanks so much Mark for the helpful campsite information! :-)

      1 · May 4, 2014

  • Mark H

    I'd like to welcome everyone to what should be a fun and rewarding backpacking trip for all ! To that end, I need to assess people's readiness for this trip and ability to keep up with others as this will be on group all hiking together as I see we have a number of new folks signed up (welcome !) Those that have not backpacked with me, please send me a summary of your backpacking experience and your equipment lists as soon as convenient, but no later than 2/28. I'll review you summaries and contact you afterwards. If anyone has any questions regarding this trip, feel free to send me a note.

    February 7, 2014

    • david

      Do you want replies to your personal email Mark? Or posted here. Hope all well with you . Regs Dave

      February 7, 2014

    • Mark H

      E-mails please, thanks for asking David. We backpacked together at Seneca Creek so no need for you to send me anything :) Glad to see you got on this one buddy !

      February 7, 2014

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