September 23 (5.5 miles, 3.25 hours) AT PA Map 1
Looking ahead from Sherwood Drive north to the Susquehanna, we realized that a 15-mile stretch loomed before us. That’s too much for us leisurely hikers prefer to accomplish in one day, so we decided to split it into two. That left us with a short 5.5 mile trek today.
This first day of autumn featured cool weather and clear blue skies. We started across dewy fields bordered by rows of hay stacked 8-feet high. Being in an especially leisurely mode, we watched a monarch butterfly alight on a red flower. And wished it and it’s progeny safe passage to their winter home in the Mexican mountains.
The trail winds through a beautiful wooded section and then climbs up to the Darlington shelter. At the crest we pass the Northern terminus of Tuscarora trail where it intersects with the AT. On the downside of the hill, there is a stone bench with a great view of the valley below. We give this section high marks for its intrinsic beauty.
Another interesting feature was the trail underpass beneath Rt. 944. I recall seeing a photo display at the AT Conservancy office in Boiling Springs. It showed the history of the project from concept to reality.