Many of us have long wondered where some of these Susquahannock Trail System trail names came from. Some are self-evident, like the Ridge Trail, for example, as it mostly follows the ridge from DCNR at Denton Hill to Thompson Hollow Road and beyond.
Then you have Jacob Hollow. Maybe a logger from the old days or a CCC guy? After crossing Lyman Run Road you have the Fish Trail, I’m sure named for William Fish, considered the “Father of the STS.”
It then joins the B&S Trail. It is said that the CCC boys would use this trail to get over the hill to the B&S mainline for a ride into Galeton for the Saturday night dances. Wow, a night on the town and 5 bucks to spend, but they’d better not spend all of it, as it had to last a month.
Then at the top of the hill it is the Ewing and Crooks Trails. We have no idea about Ewing, but I’m sure the next trail wasn’t named for a crook. The Crooks Trail brings you down past the dynamite shed, or magazine, as we fondly refer to it as “D-Mag.” It is a pretty little brick building, with double walls, ventilation vents, a dry floor and a roof over hiker’s heads.
It had a heavy steel door, which was coming unhinged, so DCNR removed that and agreed to allow us to convert it to a trail shelter. It’s not real roomy, but could probably house a half-dozen hikers in a pinch. Joe Allis put on a nice door, small porch and steps. It just might be the most photographed place along the entire trail. It’s located at around the 10 mile mark, so could serve as a convenient stop-over.
After following Sunken Branch Road out to West Branch Road, and then up that road to a white cabin, the STS turns up Cardiac Climb. This was named “Camp Valley View” but for some reason it’s no longer named that.
I have often wondered why they didn’t reserve the name Cardiac Climb for Morgan Hollow, which is many times more difficult than Cardiac. But it is what it is, and it’s actually a part of the Fire Tower Trail, which of course leads you to the Cherry Springs Fire Tower. And the tower and the beautiful stone ranger’s cabin may be the second most photographed place.
The next short stretch of the STS down to the old B&S railroad grade is named for Veryl Scheibner, of Roulette, one of the original founders of the trail system. From there to Short Run Road, about 5.7 miles, the trail follows the hollow it is named after, the Hogback Hollow.
It’s a real nice hike, although there are some sidehill seeps which we would like to mitigate, but has a couple of log bridges and — maybe best of all — has a recently approved site for our 2020 trail shelter which we hope to start on soon.
Being only around seven miles from the D-Mag, hard-core hikers will no doubt pass it by, but those who hike at a slower pace may find it just the spot to stop for the afternoon and evening to relax and enjoy the area. You’ll see what I mean when you arrive.
Less than two miles brings you to Short Run Road, and the end of this segment of trail blazing. So keep your moccasins handy and next week we’ll head on down the trail. If anyone has any clues as to the names of any of these trails, we at the STC would love to hear it.
Our monthly meeting will be held at the home of Chad Rugh and April Castano, on July 4. This will be an open-air meeting, and distancing and masks are urged. Dish-to-pass dinner at noon, with a meeting to follow.
I don’t have the exact address, but if I understand correctly, you turn off Route 6 west of Coudersport at Olmstead, and follow Old Shovel Road. Gee, I wonder where that name came from? We can ask if they will put up some balloons or ribbons.