June 23, 2016
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No camping for 17 miles! It’s the traverse across Cumberland Valley, PA that includes the town of Boiling Springs. The trail skirts farms and crosses a dozen roads, including the PA Turnpike, US 11, and I-81. Most hikers hoof it across the 17-mile stretch of easy walking all in one day. We did that as well in 2007 when we walked south. This time, we’re doing the stretch over two days, with a hotel stop in the middle.
The corridor of the trail is owned by the Park Service as what is known as Appalachian Trail Lands. In the Cumberland Valley, signs tell us this, along with the information that these lands are being farmed to preserve the historical and pastoral quality of the area.
It is satisfying to walk on a path through cropfields of wheat, corn, and oats. In one field, a farmer was harvesting wheat as we walked by!
Clouds billowed all day, blackening then clearing, then building up in white again. The predicted storm held off!
Although I’m happy to rest my feet after our 15.5-mile walk, the scenery was delightful, diverse, and a welcome contrast to the rocky forest ridges. Enjoy the photos!
From forest to cornfield!
Narrow path traverses fields.
Historic Sycamore in Boiling Springs.
Pastoral land, newly harvested.
A meadow of Milkweed for Monarch butterflies breaks the crops.
Clouds billow above the oats.
Safe crossing over the highway where we get off the trail for a night in a hotel near Carlisle, PA.
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