Pine Lick Trail (Green Ridge State Forest)

The possibilities seemed endless, but we opted for Pine Lick Trail

The possibilities seemed endless, but we opted for Pine Lick Trail.

Today, we headed for the Green Ridge State Forest Headquarters, just off of exit 64 of I-68.  Here a spur trail leads to Pine Lick Trail and many other options for hiking in the forest.  Pine Lick is a 6 mile long footpath that heads north and ends at the Pennsylvania border.

One of the many ways to cross over water in Green Ridge.  Mostly, though, you get your feet wet!

One of the many ways to cross over water in Green Ridge. Mostly, though, you get your feet wet!

For the first (roughly) 1.5 miles, the trail is a little too close to I-68 for our liking, but it was something new, and we were able to ignore the droning traffic as we wound our way toward Fifteen Mile Creek.  Much like Log Roll Trail, Pine Lick follows the stream valley, and there are several fording points–many of which are on a tributary of the Fifteen Mile in about the 3.5-5 mile vicinity of the trail.

Footbridge across Fifteen Mile Creek.  Shortly afterward, the trail follows a smaller tributary stream.

Footbridge across Fifteen Mile Creek. Shortly afterward, the trail follows a smaller tributary stream.

Various roads crisscross Green Ridge, and the trail is never far from one.  Likewise, there are picnic areas, campsites, and a shelter.  Nevertheless, the middle part of the trail has a remote feel to it.  The streams are stocked with trout and appear to be popular with fishermen.

This is a popular fishing, swimming hole on Pine Lick trail and Fifteen Mile creek Road.  It is equipped with a rope swing as well.  it looked like a great spot to try out my Lifestraw.  It worked really well.

This is a popular fishing/swimming hole on Pine Lick trail and Fifteen Mile Creek Road. It is equipped with a rope swing as well. Later, we dined at the Road Kill Cafe and the waitress said that the water is very cold.  It looked like a great spot to try out my Lifestraw. It worked really well.

At about the four-mile mark, the trail splits and forms a loop with the Twin Oaks Trail.  Twin Oaks has a trailhead near the junction of Old Cumberland and Double Pine Roads and looks to have a series rapid, moderate elevation changes.  Unfortunately, our original plan to take Twin Oaks on the return trip was foiled by a late start, and the loop has been relegated to being another hike for another day.

Mason-Dixon Line.

Mason-Dixon Line.  I think we were expecting a flashing neon sign, but the rustic variety works just as well.

Bypassing Twin Oaks, we headed up a long hill as Pine Lick Trail left the small stream below, and we passed the other end of Twin Oaks just before crossing Old Cumberland Road.  The remainder was a disappointing half-mile of “No Trespassing” signs and trash as we headed toward the Mason-Dixon Line.

 

A sign for those exiting Green Ridge and continuing their hike on the Mid-State Trail

A sign for those exiting Green Ridge and continuing their hike on the Mid-State Trail.

At the Pennsylvania border, the path once continued north and merged into the Mid-State Trail.  Many older maps show this, but I was fortunate enough to receive an interesting comment stating that the Mid State Trail has been routed further to the west (see comments).  The AT, Tuscarora Trail, etc. are in a state of flux from year-to-year, and I would encourage anybody interested in the Mid State Trail to check out the corresponding website.

Twin Oaks trailhead

Twin Oaks trailhead–unfinished business.  The directional sign early in our journey referred to the trail as Twin Oak.  I’m pretty sure that Twin Oaks is correct.

As stated, late starts are a bit of a nuisance, and we were forced to bypass a return trip through the woods.  Instead, we completed our journey along Elbinsville Road, Old Cumberland Road, Double Pine Road, Fifteen Mile Creek Road, Route 40, and MV Smith Road.  It was a dusty seven mile journey back to the car, which leaves me thinking that further treks in Green Ridge will be completed with a vehicle at separate trailheads,  Is anybody with transportation interested in a shuttle hike? Look me up!  I’ll be happy to join you!

Hiking up Route 40 was a bit of a pain!  Cool sign though

Hiking up Route 40 was a bit of a pain! We were happy to get to MV Smith Road.  Cool sign though!

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by LevelWalker on April 19, 2014 at 11:25 am

    If anybody with information about the Great Eastern Trail happens to surf in, I’m really interested in learning more about it. It certainly makes the towpath and some of our local trails an important part of a longer journey. I think the GET is a magnificent idea, and hopefully it will be popular with hikers.

    Reply

  2. The currently designated GET West route in Green Ridge SF is actually further west, up over Polish Mountain north of Paw Paw Tunnel. The Mid State Trail (no hyphen or dash) in PA has been relocated westward as well from its former junction with Pine Lick Trail. MST now ends on Black Valley Rd just north of Flintstone, in order to meet this currently designated route. GET website is http://www.greateasterntrail.net – but does not have detailed hiker-scale maps as these come from the component organizations. MST website is http://www.hike-mst.org

    Reply

  3. Posted by LevelWalker on June 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Peter,

    Thanks for the information on two counts: I hope I didn’t lead anybody astray, and I do have an interest in checking out the Mid State Trail. The map available at Green Ridge SF headquarters was a little bit sketchy, but one of the employees told me that they’re updating it to include more information on the GET. Actually, the free map had more GET details that the more-inclusive $6.00 map. I will be interested to see which trails/roads it follows. As I understand it, the first Great Eastern thru-hikers completed the trail in 2013. It seems like a great alternative to the AT, and hopefully it will continue to gather interest. Good stuff!

    Reply

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