10/10/2009- Tuscarora Trail near Gore, VA Backpacking Trip

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We met at the Gore Grocery Store on Saturday, October 10, 2009 to begin this hike. It was an overcast day and we were concerned about rain. We shuttled a car around to Loman Branch, WV near the town of Lehew, then returned to Gore and started this 13.6 mile 2 day moderate to difficult backpacking trip.

There were four of us on this one: me, Chris I, Bill I and Charlie J. We took the 1.1 mile white blazed Gore Connector Trail to the Tuscarora, then turned right. We then passed the Howze Camp site. The next 6 miles would be along rocky trail that was mostly uphill. We heard alot of gunshots in the woods and saw some 4 wheelers. The scenery was sort of mundane at first, but then got interesting as we approached the Pinnacle Shelter. We saw alot of cliffs and caves.

As we approached the shelter, we crossed a dry stream bed. I jokingly said 'I hope this is not the water source for the shelter.' It was. We were somewhat panic stricken at first. We searched up and down this creek bed for any sign of water. There was none. So we discussed the situation. We had roughly 1 liter of water for each of us. This had to last us from Saturday afternoon until we got off of this mountain. So we used half a liter to cook a meal that evening. We then nursed the remaining half liter all night and until mid day Sunday.

The night was cool but not cold. Bill, Chris and I pitched our tents in the shelter. I know it's verboden but we figured that no one else would show up. Charlie pitched his tent by the shelter. Charlie did hear something roaming around his tent that night making a throaty sound. Bill thought is was a possum.

So on Sunday morning, October 11, we got up early, did about a half mile up to a good view at Pinnacle Peak. We then crossed a powerline, another blip, did some ridging for awhile and then, we saw a bear about 20 feet from the trail. He was a small one and ran away when he saw us. We then started a long down along switchbacks to the Lucas Woods campsite. We then hiked on a dirt road for about 1.5 miles, then paved road for about a half mile, then we reached our shuttled vehicle and the end of the hike.

This was a decent section of trail. It was well blazed and had two camp sites and a nice shelter along it. The cliffs and caves right before the shelter were neat as well. The only downer was the lack of water. I hope that we get alot of snow this winter to replenish the water table. We really need it.

Mike C

The Howze Campsite mentioned above did become the Barclays Run Shelter some time between 2011 and 2014.

Pinnacle Shelter, Tuscarora Shelter, VA
Pinnacle Shelter, Tuscarora Shelter, VA
By Charlie Johnson
Pavillion at Pinnacle Shelter
Pavillion at Pinnacle Shelter.
By Charlie Johnson



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