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Old 07-18-2018, 02:12 PM   #1
jmitch
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Old Loggers Path backpack

https://endlessmountains.wordpress.c...ath-july-2018/

I recently backpacked the 28 mile Old Loggers Path, a classic loop in PA. The trail featured great views, some waterfalls, large boulders, and two new shelters. One shelter is at Sprout Point, near the view, and the other is at Doe Run. The trail is often well-graded, not too rocky, and provides a perfect mix of moderate terrain. Rock Run, as always, was beautiful with its bedrocks chasms, cascades, and aquamarine pools.















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Old 07-18-2018, 06:58 PM   #2
DuctTape
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It has been years since I have been on the OLP. I remember it fondly. It was a favorite of a friend of mine.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-26-2018, 03:21 PM   #3
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I will admit to having mixed feelings especially about the push that has been made in the past few years to construct backcountry shelters along several of the official State Forest Hiking Trails. As a hiker, I (of course) love the idea. But the recreation management background in me makes me wonder if the decision to add shelters was really an informed one, made with the knowledge of just how much those shelters are going to change usage patterns along those trails, and not necessarily for the better.

Without shelters, much of the overnight use is scattered pretty evenly along the length of the official State Forest Hiking Trails. Established campsites are often frequent (every hollow with a water source has at least 1 or 2), and few are heavily impacted because much of the use is spread evenly throughout all campsites across the full length of the trail. Shelters will inevitably take that use and concentrate it instead at a few specific spots. Once information about shelter locations makes it into maps and guidebooks especially, the significant majority of backpackers will develop their entire itinerary around the shelter locations specifically. High use (holiday) weekends especially could see multiple groups camped at a single shelter site. Psychologically, when the shelter is the intended destination for the evening, many hikers will find themselves unwilling to continue on any significant further distance when they arrive late to find the shelter already occupied/full. Overflow campsites will become established, firewood supplies will dwindle, and tree cutting will start to become a problem.

Few of the already constructed shelters are particularly remote, either. Shelters tend to be magnets for trash to begin with, but easily accessible shelters are the worst off in this regard. And once word gets out about their locations, some will inevitably become occasional party spots.

So far, the powers that be at least have refrained from selecting any of the most popular campsites for shelter construction- and that gives me some hope that the decision to build shelters was at least a somewhat educated one. Construction of a shelter at the confluence of Yellow Dog and Rock Runs on the Old Loggers Path, or near The Pool on Hammersley Fork on the Susquehannock Trail System, or at the Clear Shade Creek bridge crossing on the John P Saylor Trail, would be horrible ideas.

As it is, I don't think that adding shelters to some of the PA State Forest Hiking Trails is inherently a bad idea, but I do hope that some careful thought is being put into site selection, as and also that preparations are being made to address the issues that will inevitably crop up at the shelter sites over time as they begin to get more and more use.

Jeff- do you know/remember, have all of the new shelters on the OLP and the STS also gotten outhouses or at least some form of box toilet?
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:14 PM   #4
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Yes, I see your point. I do agree popular spots should not have a shelter. After years of resistance to shelters, they are cropping up on PA trails. As for the ones I've seen, they've been placed in good locations, but I have not seen privies.

I was on the OLP again this month, Doe Run has not turned into a party spot and there was no litter. It's been there for a year.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmitch View Post
I have not seen privies.
If you have any input on how these shelters are being managed, one message that I would definitely pass along is that the shelters all really need to have a maintained outhouse or box toilet in the vicinity. It's possible that use levels may remain low enough that most of my "dire warnings" never come to pass, but I can guarantee that without an outhouse, improper human waste disposal will be an issue at some of the shelters sooner or later. If there's one single action that will have the greatest net-positive future impact at preventing adverse impacts at the shelter sites, this is probably it.
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Old 12-07-2018, 01:52 PM   #6
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https://endlessmountains.wordpress.c...november-2018/

I returned last month to hike with some friends. We hiked the northern part of the trail and took a short, off trail excursion to the Chasms of Rock Run, a beautiful gorge with cliffs, rapids, pools, and slides. We stayed at the new Doe Run Shelter, which was very nice. I also hiked down Doe Run to see its beautiful falls, which are largely unknown. We hiked to the vistas on Sullivan Mtn and then looped back via the Crandalltown Trail and hiked out the Ellenton Grade to the other car. Everyone enjoyed the hike.
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