I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but I've only ever hiked the famous Black Forest Trail once back in November 2010. I loved it then and spent the intervening years either out of the country or exploring Pennsylvania's other wondrous trails. The goal here is to hike it over Veterans Day weekend but without taking any additional time off of work (apart from the normal holiday Monday) and actually get back at a reasonable time on Monday after a celebratory lunch en route.
In short, this means departing from the DMV at 6:00 p.m. that Friday night, November 8 and getting in late up north in the boonies of North-Central PA. We won't be doing any hiking/backpacking that night, just crashing for the night by the cars.
For Saturday, November 9, we will sleep in a bit to shake off the evening drive and start our 42-mile hike. The splits are still being worked out to aim for some great campsite areas (ideas and input welcome) but will be roughly 17-18 miles on Saturday, 17-18 miles Sunday, and the final few on Monday morning. The idea is to even the majority of hiking out over the weekend proper and finishing up and getting on the road by mid-morning on Monday.
This is some tough hiking so I'll keep it at the VMO level despite not actually planning to hit 20 miles on any of the days. Seasoned members are welcome to sign up and ping me to work out if this is the right trail for you.
It'll be on the colder and darker side for November. I don't think it will be winter camping conditions yet but as we get closer it certainly could develop that way (Update: it kind of did!) . At the very least, it'll be extreme three season up there and we'll need to have that right mindset and gear. It's also early hunting season so we'll wear lots of tasteful orange.
But the point is to enjoy the heck out of the trail with glorious campfires and whiskey libations. We'll hike hard Saturday and Sunday and reward ourselves too.
Maps: there is both the Chuck Dillon guide and related information available for purchase (https://www.pahikes.com/trails/black-forest-trail) and Purple Lizard maps cover the area too (https://www.purplelizard.com/). DC ULers always have the right maps and know how to use them. Particularly Veteran Members.
Route: Approximate driving route from meeting up from the Grosvenor Metro Station Kiss and Ride: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Grosvenor-Strathmore,+North+Bethesda,+MD/Naval+Run+Trail,+Lock+Haven,+PAfirstname.lastname@example.org,-77.6468402,12z/data=!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x89b7cc1d7517e10d:0x4dd38c36fee3d96d!2m2!1d-77.1038202!2d39.029111!1m5!1m1!1s0x89ce69dd5e8e5387:0x166059213aea832f!2m2!1d-77.5724949!2d41.4615886!3e0