|Mile 0.00 to 3.00||Mile 34.54 to 39.59||Mile 3.00 to 4.81|
|Mile 4.81 to 9.10 Mile 9.10 to 13.53 Mile 13.53 to 15.45 Mile 15.45 to 18.25 Mile 18.25 to 22.08|
|Mile 22.08 to 25.24 Mile 25.24 to 28.42 Mile 28.42 to 30.57 Mile 30.57 to 34.54 Mile 39.59 to 43.27|
|Mile 43.27 to 46.11 Mile 46.11 to 49.25 Mile 49.25 to 53.60 Mile 53.60 to 56.00 Mile 56.00 to 59.28|
Revised April 29, 2006
to 39.59, hiked east to west then doubled back, September 3, 1994
Mile 34.54 to 39.59, hiked west to east beginning from High Knob Exit Road, October 9, 2005
Double Run Road past Alpine Views and Rode Falls to Jack's Window
our initial hikes during 1992, we got involved with buying another
then with gardening, yard work, and house work. As a result, we didn't
get back to continue hiking the LT until nearly two years later, on
Day weekend, 1994. Our third hike was a continuation of the east to
segments begun at World's End State Park and completed through Double
Road on the previous hikes. Although it did not change elevation as
as the segment from the park to Canyon Vista, the total elevation
was nearly the same, and the round trip distance was over 10 miles.
was one of the last times we did over 10 miles in a single hike until
Maria got big enough to walk that far on her own. It's
hard to believe we used to regularly hike 12 to 14 miles in Michigan's
Porcupine Mountains -- one time we did 16 -- but despite the
name, they weren't nearly as steep and difficult as the LT.
There's an "unofficial" parking area on the east side of Double Run Road where Coal Mine Road comes in from the west, a few hundred feet south of the point where the LT crosses Double Run Road. We hiked west up a gradual to moderate rise, crossing Coal Mine Road almost immediately, and eventually gaining about 240 ft of elevation to the top of a flat plateau. The next three miles were quite flat, with one steep but very short climb over rocks at an old coal mine at mile 38.04. Crossing Coal Bed Road at mile 36.76, we came to Alpine View at mile 36.45, elevation 1740 ft -- exactly the elevation at our starting point on Double Run Road -- thinking that this hike was a relatively easy one so far.
Alpine View, or Upper Alpine View, was a wonderful vista overlooking Route 87 and Loyalsock Creek in a westerly direction, between Hillsgrove and Forksville. The subsequent descent was treacherous and difficult, dropping nearly 300 ft in a quarter mile. (The ascent as we doubled back on the return trip was equally trying, especially coming as it did after over 6 1/2 miles of hiking.) Reaching Lower Alpine View at 1440 ft, Mike was surveying the rocky overlook for photo potential when he noticed a timber rattlesnake sunning on the rocks. This was the only poisonous snake we have ever encountered in several hundred miles of hiking, at least as far as we've noticed.
The 340 ft descent from Lower Alpine View to the low point of the hike at Ketchum Run did not have quite the steepness of the first descent. Reaching Ketchum Run at mile 35.23, we began following an old woods road upstream and immediately reached the intersection with Red X trail RX-5 and Rode Falls. Climbing the 16 ft ladder at Rode Falls was not as difficult at the presence of the Red X alternate suggested, and on the return segment, we regretted taking the somewhat steep RX-5.
After Rode Falls, the remainder of the hike to Jack's Window at mile 34.54 covered about 5/8 mile with an elevation gain of 430 ft. Some of this was on a not too steep railroad grade, although there were some switchbacks toward the end. Reaching Jack's Window, we stopped for a lunch break and enjoyed the view overlooking Ketchum Run upstream from Rode Falls in the vicinity of Lee Falls, though the falls themselves were not visible and the stream barely was.
return from Jack's Window to Rode Falls wasn't bad, but after that we
the pair of 300 ft climbs to the Alpine Views. The second one to Upper
Alpine View was especially taxing, and by the time we reached the old
mine at mile 38.04, even that short descent over rocks was brutal.
the remainder of the hike was the relatively flat part we'd done at the
beginning, and the last 1/2 mile or so was the gradual downhill to
Run Road. This may have been the hike where we initiated the tradition
of stopping at the ice cream parlor in Eagles Mere to celebrate
another segment of the LT!
2005, Mike was ready to attempt this segment for the third time, but
the first time that Maria accompanied him on her own two feet.
Yes, first Mike and Aimee hiked the whole trail between 1992 and 1996
... then in 1997 Mike insisted on rehiking the segments they had done
before Maria came around so that she could complete the entire trail
(in the carrier) ... and beginning in 2002, Mike and Maria began
rehiking the entire trail, one segment at a time, so that she could
complete it on her own two feet.
the October 9, 2005 hike, Mike and Maria completed this segment as the
final piece of a one-way west to east hike from High Knob exit road to
Double Run Road. There was some high water that day as the region
had experienced some heavy rains just a day or two before. Aside
from a short delay to construct a stepping stone bridge across the west
branch of Ketchum Run at mile 33.91, the two of them hadn't had major
difficulties because of the water.
only additional problem, again a minor one, occurred as they approached
Rode Falls in the downstream direction. As the LT followed the
stream just before the top of the falls, they found the normal path
inundated at a place where a relatively steep rock wall hugged the
streambed. Their simplest possible solution was to grab small
trees and saplings growing out of the rock and scoot along the rock
face for about 10 feet. Once this was accomplished, the remaining
stretch to the falls, including the descent down the ladder, was
of the features of hiking with Maria is that the pace is considerably
slower than it used to be. When Mike and Aimee hiked by
themselves, they used to aim for a pace of 2.5 to 3 miles per hour on
all but the most extreme terrain. With Maria, 1.5 to 2 miles per
hour is more typical. One of the benefits of the slower pace is
that the steep climbs don't seem as bad as they used to be -- even
being over 10 years older! This was the case with the ascents
from Rode Falls to Lower Alpine View and then up to Alpine View.
thing turned out worse than expected. In recent years, Mike had
gotten into the habit of picking up a rental car to use as a second car
for the hiking trips. He would drive the rental car to the
endpoint of the hike, then Aimee would shuttle him and Maria back to
the beginning point and drop them off there to begin. (At which
point she would drive back to town, since as she put it, "I already
hiked this part once -- why do I need to do it again?") Well,
when Mike parked the second car in the morning, he thought he was about
a hundred feet from the trail crossing of Double Run Road at mile
39.59. After hiking nine miles on the trail, he certainly didn't
want to have to walk any further than necessary to the parking location.
... after descending from the LT to the road, he and Maria started
uphill and found ... nothing! That's because instead of parking
at the intersection of Coal Mine Road and Double Run Road, he had
parked at the intersection of Shanerburg Road and Double Run Road, an
additional mile away, and in an uphill direction. So the planned
nine mile hike became ten miles, nine on the LT and one on Double Run
Road. Next time perhaps he will check the map more carefully
instead of relying on memory since he's driven by there dozens of
Footnote: We swore we'd never do it again -- then Maria came around, and Mike wanted her to have the experience of finishing the LT. On April 5, 1997, against Aimee's wishes, the three of them drove down Coal Bed Road -- almost as scary as the hike itself -- and redid the segment from mile 36.76 to 34.54. Aimee did not want to go, but insisted that the segment was too dangerous for Mike and Maria to do alone. By this time, having hiked the entire LT and being able to read "the lay of the land," Mike returned them from Jack's Window nearly to Lower Alpine View via an old woods road, bypassing 300 ft of descent to Rode Falls and ascent from it. Two days later, Aimee dropped the two of them off at the same point on Coal Bed Road, drove back to Double Run Road, and waited for them to hike out, which took Mike and Maria just under an hour. That short (2 3/4 mile) hike established the feasibility of Mike and Maria solo hiking the remaining segments of the LT that Maria needed to finish the trail.
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