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Black Forest Trail, PA: 42 miles

OK, it's not Maine, but I hear that the Black Forest Trail is pretty awesome.

http://www.pahikes.com/trails/black-forest-trail

Let me provide some more details for how we'll do this trip.

We'll take a 3-day weekend and meet up at the Rosslyn Metro Friday morning. Then, we'll drive up the parkway, out 270, and to the trailhead in PA. Essentially, we'll follow this route to SLate Run, PA:

http://goo.gl/maps/AWkq

Should take us about 5 hours, so we should be able to start hiking by 1:30pm or so.

From Slate Run, we'll hike the trail CW, which is the opposite of how the guidebook is set up. From the end of the trail (the 42.5 mile mark), we'll hike till sunset, reaching either the campsite at Naval Run (31 miles), or, preferably, the campsite at Callahan Run (27 miles). So, we'll be knocking out either 11 miles or 15.5 miles on Friday.

Saturday, we'll wake up early and walk a big day, walking either to a campsite at the 10 mile mark, or one at the 7 mile. So that will be about 20-21 miles. Ideally, I'd prefer us to reach the 7 mile campsite.

Sunday, we'll finish up early (10 or 7 miles), get breakfast, and drive home.

So the split would be ... 15.5 - 20 - 7 or 11 - 21 -10.

It goes without saying that it will be hot, so be prepared with electrolytes, a sun hat, and lots of water-carrying capacity. The trail has plenty of water sources, and all of my proposed campsites supposedly have water. Do check your headlamp, as we might end up walking after sunset.

With a 20-mile day, this will be fairly challenging and I will screen people. Basically, for everyone's safety, I'm just checking to make sure that you're ready to do such a long weekend.

The current forecast looks reasonable:

http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/slate-run-pa/17769/july-weather/2156224

I may cancel the trip if the heat looks extreme, but if we stay near the historical averages, we should be good to go.

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  • Glenn F.

    Black Forest Trail... If you've heard that it is the "Hardest Trail in the Mid-Atlantic", well I don't know if that's true or not, but it was tough. Having said that, I can't wait to go back! Each day had several moments of gratification, with a sweeping vista, or a great creek crossing where you could get wet, or just relax and enjoy to cool valley air. We didn't have the greatest weather, but who can predict that? Anyway, like I said,... Can't wait to go back. Totally worth it!

    July 24, 2012

  • Michael M.

    I was thinking we'd walk 11 miles to Naval Run, see what time it is. If we have time, I'd ideally like us to walk 4 more miles to Callahan run, so 15 miles total. Either way will be fine. I like walking at twilight though. We can discuss at lunch Friday, if you like.

    July 18, 2012

  • Max N

    Michael, what is the plan for mileage Friday night?

    July 18, 2012

  • Michael M.

    @ Jason ... Sorry you and Andrew can't come along! We shall endeavor not to die in Iceland. I am death-averse, you know.

    July 17, 2012

  • Jason W.

    Hey! sorry for the late response. I was away on family vacation and got back last night. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make this trip. Hope to see you guys in the near future! If I don't see beforehand, have a wonderful trip in Iceland. Don't die!

    July 17, 2012

  • Michael M.

    @Glenn ... Great, we may need your vehicle, but it may not be necessary. Let me figure out if Jason is joining us, or not, and we'll sort out the ride situation.

    July 15, 2012

  • Glenn F.

    Coming from the new guy I should be the last one asking for a ride, so I'll just offer to drive if need be. Otherwise, I'll be coming off of the night shift at work and will metro to Rosslyn. Can't wait. This is my first MeetUp Adventure.

    July 14, 2012

  • Michael M.

    Incidentally, the weather for next weekend is really looking pretty reasonable: http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/slate-run-pa/17769/july-weather/2156224.

    July 11, 2012

  • Michael M.

    @Jason ... It would be great if you could join us. If it helps, you could crash at my place in Alexandria Thursday night.

    July 6, 2012

  • Jason W.

    Definitely interested. Not sure I could make it up to Rosslyn by 8am though. I'll ask the bosses if I can slip away.

    July 6, 2012

  • Michael M.

    @Leo ... The stock answer is 3mph. We'll definitely hold that pace in the morning hours, when we'll wake early and cover miles. In the afternoon, especially if it's quite hot, we'll slow down a little, perhaps to 2-2.5 mph. For the long day, we'll definitely use most of the day to cover the 20 miles. Like last weekend, we'll probably take a long break in the afternoon to cool off, re-hydrate, re-fuel, and maybe even nap.

    July 4, 2012

  • Max N

    Elevation gain/loss is 9000 feet over the 42 miles.

    July 4, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Any idea what the pace will be, miles per hour? Elevation?

    July 4, 2012

  • Michael M.

    I'm fine going CW. Hopefully, I'll have the book by the time I fly out Sunday night and we can discuss the route next week.

    June 21, 2012

  • Max N

    There's plenty of places to park. I started at mile 0 the last time and went CCW. I'd like to do it in the opposite direction if you don't mind. If we went the opposite direction, it wouldn't matter to me where we started.

    June 20, 2012

  • Michael M.

    @ Max ... My trail book is in the mail. As soon as I get it, I am all ears about the best way to the walk the trail. Do you have a different TH you'd recommend? I was thinking to do it the standard way, like we did the STS.

    June 20, 2012

  • Michael M.

    @ David ... I have it set up so that I can confirm people individually, which I do for longer mileage trips. Has your additional person done a fair amount of backpacking?

    June 20, 2012

  • David S.

    Just curious, why does it say "1 Attending - No spots left?"

    June 20, 2012

  • Max N

    I may bail if it's going to be 100 degrees, but there's enough water where it might not be a big deal. I've got the map and guide, and did a similar breakdown a couple years ago. Where are you starting, and which direction? Expect the trail to be a little busy, so it might not be good to meet at the main trailhead, which doesn't have much parking.

    June 20, 2012

  • Michael M.

    Thanks, Mike! It was your enthusiasm for the trail that prompted me to plan it! Wish you could join us!

    June 20, 2012

  • MikeVW

    This is an awesome hike (probably one of my favorite all time, too), and the views and variety don't disappoint! If I wasn't going to be in Chicago for my sister's birthday, I'd be up for this. Have fun!

    June 20, 2012

4 went

  • Michael M.
    Veteran Plus Member (3-2!@ - 46er) (B-VI) (WFA) (U-Turn) ('17), Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Glenn F.
    Veteran Member
  • Max N
    Veteran Plus Member (3+@) (Yeti), Assistant Organizer
  • Nick
    Veteran Member

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