Trip Announcement: Tuscarora Trail Backpack (Sec 6&7)


Fri-Sun, 6/16/2006 – 6/18/2006. Tuscarora Trail backpack. 3C24. Will hike on Sec6 & Sec7 of the Tuscarora Trail, southbound, from PA-641 via Cowans Gap State Park to PA-16. Remote area, lots of decent vistas. This trip is perfect for people who would like to look for solitude. Backpacking experience required. Group size limited.

Trip Plan

Maps and Guidebooks:

The Tuscarora Trail North (Guide to Maryland and Pennsylvania)
Map K. Tuscarora Trail – PA Route 641 to Hancock, MD
Both the map and the guidebook are published by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club

Trail Traversed:

The Tuscarora Trail (Blue Blazed). Section 6 & Section 7. Southbound. From PA-641 via Cowans Gap State Park to PA-16.

Friday night camping:

You are advised to camp at Cowans Gap State Park for Friday night to ensure that the group has an early start on Saturday. As a leader, I’ll handle the camp site reservations for participants. If for some reason, you can’t camp there for Friday night, please meet with the group in front of the park office at 6:30 am on Saturday. (Link: Cowans Gap State Park Campsite Map)

The First Day (06/17/2006)


Tuscarora Trail, from PA-641 to Sat campsite between Fox Trail and Wagner Trail (mile 14.1).

General description and features

The trail uses two paved roads within the first four miles and ascents 700 feet. After that, the trail follows the ridgetop, with several good views. The trail enters Buchanan State Forest at mile 6.1 and passes two towers at mile 6.8. At mile 7.4, the trail reaches the high point of the ridge (1960 feet) and starts to descend. For the remaining 6.5 miles, the trail generally goes downhill with several short little climbs and intersects with various trails: Ellisic Trail, Allen Trail, Sharpe Trail, and Fox Trail. We will camp before the trail reaches the next trail junction with Wagner Trail.

Mileage and Elevation Change

Total mileage: 14.1 miles
Net elevation gain / loss: 1500+ / 1000-.


Primitive camping: around mile 14.1 on Tuscarora Trail between Fox Trail and Wagner Trail


Within the first 10 miles, the only water source is Dry Run at mile 0.6. After that, water should be plentiful: there are several stream/creek crossings at mile 10.2, 11.9 etc. and there are several springs at mile 12.1, 12.6 & 14.1 (camp).

The Second Day (06/18/2006)


Tuscarora Trail, from Sat campsite between Fox Trail and Wagner Trail (mile 14.1) to PA-16.

General description and features

The first two miles the trail is fairly level. After the trail passes Cowans Gap area, it starts to ascend steeply, and will climb 600 feet over 0.8 miles. The trail continues along the ridgetop finally climbing steeply to the top of Big Mountain (2458 feet), site of a former fire tower. The trail continues south on Tuscarora Mountain following a gravel forest road and then Aughwick Road until descending to US 30 at Tuscarora Summit (2118 feet). It then re-enters Buchanan State Forst and gradually descends to PA 16.

Mileage and Elevation Change

Total mileage: 10.4 miles
Net elevation gain / loss: / 1300+ / 600-


This section is dry. We should get enough water when we start in the morning at where we camp. The last water source might be Cowans Gap State Park.

To participate:
Please send me an email. I’ll have to ask you to fill out a screening form. And after you’re approved to join this backpack, I’ll email you a complete write-up regarding meeting schedule and driving directions, etc.

3 thoughts on “Trip Announcement: Tuscarora Trail Backpack (Sec 6&7)”

  1. Dear Little Po:
    你真的帶好多backpacking trip! 如果你在加州該有多好 我一定每團報到!

  2. nachtluft,

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