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Old 06-15-2020, 11:44 AM   #1
Tomcat
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Susquhannock Trail System

Headed down to PA and backpacked this 85 mile loop last week
lots of wildlife and lush green forests and few people. I even saw a few camera shy bears.
Full TR and 100+ photos at my website at the link.

http://www.tomcatsadventures.com/202...il-system.html







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Old 06-15-2020, 03:15 PM   #2
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Looks like one hell of an adventure! Thanks for sharing!

Pennsylvania has a lot of great backpacking trails: Mid-State Trail, Standing Stone Trail, West Rim Trail, Tuscarora Trail, AT, NCT, this trail, and others. Was thinking of heading down that way this upcoming weekend, but the weather forecast looks a bit iffy.
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Old 06-15-2020, 06:33 PM   #3
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You wrote a great report...with nice photos. Thanks.
Some people would find that hike the adventure of their life.
So, did you do anything for the tick bites once you got home? And do you use any repellants?
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Old 06-16-2020, 12:16 AM   #4
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Looks like one hell of an adventure! Thanks for sharing!

Pennsylvania has a lot of great backpacking trails: Mid-State Trail, Standing Stone Trail, West Rim Trail, Tuscarora Trail, AT, NCT, this trail, and others. Was thinking of heading down that way this upcoming weekend, but the weather forecast looks a bit iffy.
I grew up in PA and didn’t hike much away from AT. Always wanted to hike elsewhere. Now that I’m back in the East I have a new found appreciation for its trails and recreation opportunities. The Loyalsock is a favorite PA trail of mine having camped in that area as a kid. Black Forest Trail is next down there.
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Old 06-16-2020, 12:21 AM   #5
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You wrote a great report...with nice photos. Thanks.
Some people would find that hike the adventure of their life.
So, did you do anything for the tick bites once you got home? And do you use any repellants?
Glad you enjoyed the report. I just liberally alcoholed the imbedded spot. It didnít get filled up with blood yet. I didnít take bug spray. Other bugs werenít an issue. I just forgot how bad the ticks are in PA. Itís been almost 15 up since I lived there and had maybe 2 ticks on me since then.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:09 PM   #6
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Glad you enjoyed the report. I just liberally alcoholed the imbedded spot. It didnít get filled up with blood yet. I didnít take bug spray. Other bugs werenít an issue. I just forgot how bad the ticks are in PA. Itís been almost 15 up since I lived there and had maybe 2 ticks on me since then.
I was both curious and concerned. Thanks.
Here, a couple counties north of you in NY, 50% of the ticks carry Lyme so big prevention and caution after are necessary.
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:44 PM   #7
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I was both curious and concerned. Thanks.
Here, a couple counties north of you in NY, 50% of the ticks carry Lyme so big prevention and caution after are necessary.
I actually live in Tupper Lake but havenít had one in the ADK in the 13 months I lived here. I havenít seen any on my dogs either. Prior I lived in Colorado where there were few at most. Prior to that Maine where I had maybe 2 in 8 years. I have forgotten about PAs excessive ticks but certainly had my share when I lived there.
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Old 06-17-2020, 01:31 PM   #8
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I actually live in Tupper Lake but havenít had one in the ADK in the 13 months I lived here. I havenít seen any on my dogs either. Prior I lived in Colorado where there were few at most. Prior to that Maine where I had maybe 2 in 8 years. I have forgotten about PAs excessive ticks but certainly had my share when I lived there.
There are plenty in Black Brook/Wilmington area.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:51 AM   #9
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There are plenty in Black Brook/Wilmington area.
Well about 10 days after removing a tick but losing the head in my thigh the area suddenly grew to quarter sized and pink around the bite site. I started to feel weakness, a couple headaches plus swollen lymph nodes near site. I went to dr and am now being treated for suspected Lyme. The test results wonít be back for several days though.
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Old 06-18-2020, 12:14 PM   #10
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Well about 10 days after removing a tick but losing the head in my thigh the area suddenly grew to quarter sized and pink around the bite site. I started to feel weakness, a couple headaches plus swollen lymph nodes near site. I went to dr and am now being treated for suspected Lyme. The test results wonít be back for several days though.
Best of health and luck.
Early stage Lyme is easily treated with antibiotics.
Could be too you only have a localized infection because the tick head was in your skin for so long...tho it sounds like more than that.
Also-if the tests come back negative 1.get retested as there are false negatives. and 2. remember there are other tick borne illness's.
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:43 PM   #11
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Sorry about the Lyme.

The STS is hands down one of my favorite backpacking trips that I've ever done. Easily top 5 and a serious contender for the #1 spot. It's a good mix of both physical challenge and opportunities for solitude and remoteness. After thru-hiking the trail in 2013, I returned a couple of times with friends for easier trips in the Hammersley area... which has gorgeous campsites, gets little use (probably due in part to the 1,000 foot climb to get into- and out of- the area), and is literally littered with history.

I do wish that with the new shelters that the site selection had been a bit better, though... I know one of the shelters is literally a stone's throw from a road. Pretty much the surest way to guarantee that it will turn into a party spot sooner or later.
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:36 PM   #12
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Well about 10 days after removing a tick but losing the head in my thigh the area suddenly grew to quarter sized and pink around the bite site. I started to feel weakness, a couple headaches plus swollen lymph nodes near site. I went to dr and am now being treated for suspected Lyme. The test results wonít be back for several days though.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that it is just a localized infection. If it is lyme, it is good you get started on antibiotics sooner rather than later. I assume they put you on a 21 or 28 day dose?

I've had god knows how may ticks on me but did end up with what could have been the text book image of the bullseye. My Dr. diagnosed me in a half a second. Before I even got my shirt up beyond the bite, she was like "oh, yeah, that's lyme".

I had some mid-level fatigue/malaise and joint pain but have been essentially fine, so this is just a note to let you know that if you catch it early things have a good chance of being just fine, long term.

I just went through your trip report-looks awesome! I like the backpacking in PA; it can get a bit "samey", but the streamside campsites are rad and the solitude is generally unbroken. I've hiked the BFT, Loyalsock, Old Loggers and now have the STS and Quehanna on my radar. Just got the map and guidebook for the STS, actually. Likely over Labor or Columbus Day weekends, with an extra day taken off from work.

Fingers crossed for you, buddy!
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:29 PM   #13
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I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that it is just a localized infection. If it is lyme, it is good you get started on antibiotics sooner rather than later. I assume they put you on a 21 or 28 day dose?

I've had god knows how may ticks on me but did end up with what could have been the text book image of the bullseye. My Dr. diagnosed me in a half a second. Before I even got my shirt up beyond the bite, she was like "oh, yeah, that's lyme".

I had some mid-level fatigue/malaise and joint pain but have been essentially fine, so this is just a note to let you know that if you catch it early things have a good chance of being just fine, long term.

I just went through your trip report-looks awesome! I like the backpacking in PA; it can get a bit "samey", but the streamside campsites are rad and the solitude is generally unbroken. I've hiked the BFT, Loyalsock, Old Loggers and now have the STS and Quehanna on my radar. Just got the map and guidebook for the STS, actually. Likely over Labor or Columbus Day weekends, with an extra day taken off from work.

Fingers crossed for you, buddy!
I was put on 21 day course of Doxycyline immediately and symptoms have dissipated. I have also hiked the Loyalsock and the BFT in on my radar when I travel down there soon to visit my parents. I think the Quehanna may be next.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:31 PM   #14
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Sorry about the Lyme.

The STS is hands down one of my favorite backpacking trips that I've ever done. Easily top 5 and a serious contender for the #1 spot. It's a good mix of both physical challenge and opportunities for solitude and remoteness. After thru-hiking the trail in 2013, I returned a couple of times with friends for easier trips in the Hammersley area... which has gorgeous campsites, gets little use (probably due in part to the 1,000 foot climb to get into- and out of- the area), and is literally littered with history.

I do wish that with the new shelters that the site selection had been a bit better, though... I know one of the shelters is literally a stone's throw from a road. Pretty much the surest way to guarantee that it will turn into a party spot sooner or later.
I would say the STS exceeded my expectations. The Wild Boy Shelter was in a good location, not too close to road and had a stream next to it. There is a newer shelter not in the guide but its again dry and near a road. Hammersly is a cool area.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:01 PM   #15
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Any recommendations on trail/guide book or maps for the STS and Hammersly Wild Area ?
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:59 PM   #16
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There's a guidebook and associated map set for the STS. It's a must-have for hiking the entire trail in one go, or for doing any sections of it: https://pahikes.com/products/hiking-...ehannock-trail

DCNR also has a public use map for Susquehannock State Forest that may be useful: http://elibrary.dcnr.pa.gov/GetDocum...e=sf-PUd15.pdf

There is also a blow up map showing just the Hammersely Wild Area but the link (found on this page for the Susquehannock State Forest wild areas) doesn't seem to currently be working.

If you call the headquarters office for Susquehannock State Forest (contact information can be found at the bottom of this page), they will mail you free paper copies of the above maps.

A word of caution concerning the official maps: In my experience, the officially designated, orange-blazed State Forest Hiking trails are fairly well maintained, well marked, and easy to follow (for the most part). However, side trails are a gamble- they range from "well maintained and marked" to "any sign of this trail disappeared decades ago." And more often than not, they tend to fall more on the "not so well maintained" end of this spectrum. Accordingly, if you plan any trip that incorporates side trails, you would be wise to seek independent verification of the current state of said trail (or have a backup plan in mind should the trail prove to be heavily overgrown or even non-existent).

I do know that some of the side trails off of the STS in the Hammersley area especially have been problematic with regards to recent maintenance. But the STS itself is well maintained through the Hammersley area (although be aware that there are un-bridged stream crossings that will likely force you to wade).
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:03 PM   #17
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Guide to the Susquehannock Trail System by Chuck Dillon 2018 edition is most recent and very accurate. It comes with map set. It shows campsites on map although they aren’t always well established. Also water is a little difficult to see on the maps and not always 100% clear in the book but never more than a few miles away
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:04 PM   #18
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The side trails are questionable. I saw signs and occasional blazes but tread is overgrown in many cases with no discernible tread.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:12 PM   #19
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I have also hiked the Loyalsock and the BFT in on my radar when I travel down there soon to visit my parents. I think the Quehanna may be next.
Great choices to queue up next. Try the BFT when it's likely to be less crowded, and maybe pass on the QT until mid/late August to avoid the nettles, but those are probably my two favorite PA backpacking trails. Don't overlook the interior trails of the QT either, particularly around the Quehanna Wild Area / East Cross Connector.
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:25 AM   #20
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I was put on 21 day course of Doxycyline immediately and symptoms have dissipated. I have also hiked the Loyalsock and the BFT in on my radar when I travel down there soon to visit my parents. I think the Quehanna may be next.
Great to hear that your symptoms are no longer present and that you were well enough to hike in the Adirondack High Peaks earlier this week (nice photos and trip report, btw).

With regards to tick prevention, I've had success using JT Eaton 209-W1G's spray that uses permethrin as its active ingredient (0.5%). Going to put it to the test again today in Allegheny National Forest, PA where I'll be doing some on-trail and off-trail hiking.
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