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Tuscarora Trail from WV9 to WV690 Backpacking Trip

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This trip took place the weekend of September 13 & 14, 1997 along the Tuscarora Trail in the Sleepy Creek Management Area between Berkeley Springs and Hedgesville, WV. Participants were John Lawrence, who led the hike,
Picture of the group at Sleepy Creek Lake, WV

At right, a picture of the group at Sleepy Creek Lake, WV
By Mike Calabrese

Charlie Johnson , Karen ? and Mike Calabrese. We all met at a small county park right where the Tuscarora Trail crosses WV9 near Hedgesville, WV around 9am on the morning of the 13th. It was just going to be 3 of us today. Karen was going to go back to the cabin where we were going to be staying tonight to get things ready. She would be joining us tomorrow, though. Our goal was 14 miles today and 7 tomorrow, for a total of 21. Piece of cake!

We started by having to cross Sleepy Creek, which was not easy. From there it was uphill for awhile until we got to the top of North Mountain. What

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was neat was that we were able to look in a northeasternly direction when we got to the top of North Mountain and see Lambs Knoll, the AT and South Mountain in MD. We were able to look west at one point and see Berkeley Springs, WV below at the Sidling Hill, MD "deep cut" off to the west. There were some great views. Once on top of the mountain, the trail followed mostly old logging roads. Unlike the AT, we hardly saw anyone except a few ATV'ers and some people at Sleepy Creek Lake. There were some ups and downs but it was a nice trail. We did have to ford Meadow Branch at one point. We had to take off our socks and boots. It was a charactor builder! We hiked to Sleepy Creek Lake,
Vview looking east from North Mountain in WV

At left, view looking east from North Mountain in WV .
By Mike Calabrese

then doubled back on the Meadow Mountain Trail to John L's cabin at the Woods resort. The cabin was located in the woods in more than one way. However, we had all the conveniences. Karen and John L made us a fantastic dinner. Charlie J and I washed dishes. Later that evening, we went to The Woods clubhouse, where we relaxed in the saunna. Man, that made me feel 100% better. No tents and sleeping bags tonight. We slept on real beds! The next morning we had a fantastic breakfast. John L cooked and Charlie J and I again washed dishes. Today, we only had about 7 miles to do. We started at the point we left off yesterday (we drove to this point today, though) at the Upper Campground and did about 7 miles to right above Wolfs Camp, where the trail crosses what I believe is WV 690. Karen joined us today.

The trail was somewhat different in this area. We hiked mostly on old logging roads. These roads were slowly receding back to nature. They were paved with grasses and mosses. There were some sections where ground water and erosion had made them swamps and we had to walk along side of them. The area looked

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well managed. We saw various maintenance projects, timber harvesting in some areas and reforestation taking place in others. The campground facilities, though we did not use them, appeared first rate.

Sleepy Creek Lake near the Tuscarora Trail at Upper Campground, WV

At right, Sleepy Creek Lake near the Tuscarora Trail at Upper Campground, WV.  By Mike Calabrese

We ended the hike just in time to listen to the Redskins game on the way home. This was a good hike. We had good weather and great company. We plan to do the Tuscarora Trail from the Potomac River to WV 9 and then from WV690 to the Virginia line. We will then be able to say that we hiked the Tuscarora Trail in all of West Virginia, which really is wild and wonderful.

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Mike C

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