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Favorite Trail Runs

Email me at with your favorite local trail runs.  Be sure to include directions/parking info, approximate distance/time, condition/technicality of trail, and any other valuable info. 
Under 12 miles
Darlington Special - Start at the trail head of the Darlington trail on top of Lamb's Gap Rd.  Get there - from Wertzville Rd travel west from Rt 81 and turn right onto Lamb's Gap Rd.  Follow up the mountain and turn right into gravel parking area.  The Dalrington will be on the left marked in orange.  For this run, get onto the Darlington from the parking area and turn left (the Darlington also goes to the right).  After 40 yards, it will cross Lamb's Gap Road.  Follow the trail for 2.75 miles to where it crosses Miller's Gap Road (gravel at point of crossing).  Turn right to run down Miller's Gap Road.  This will be a nice 1.5 mile downhill.  Before you get to the end of the road watch for the Appalachain trail marked with white.  The AT will cross Miller's Gap Rd shortly after you come to a farm.  Take a right onto the AT and follow for about 3/10 of a mile and turnaround at Rt 850.  Retrace your steps but this time cross over Miller's Gap Rd and follow the AT up the mountain for 2.2 miles.  At the the top of the mountain, take a left onto the Darlington (there will be a sign).  Follow the orange blazes for 4.25 miles back to where you parked at Lamb's Gap Road.  Total Run is 11 miles and takes about 2 hours (+/- 20 minutes).  It contains some nice rolling hills and plenty of rocky trail.  -Jamie
 Thousand Steps Huntingdon County -   The entrance to the trail is right
off Route 22 in Huntingdon County.  It is soon after the Mount Union
turn off so if you are going west (from Harrisburg) look for it on the
right. It is only about .75 miles to the top, but it is literally over
1,000 stone steps and much harder than the short distance would make you
think.  It is part of the Mid State Trail and you can continue to follow
the trail as far as you like north to add mileage. -Brad

Wildwood Lake Park -   This is only about 4 miles total, but it is
convenient to the city, pretty in all times of the year and easy on the
feet.  At the Linglestown exit of Route 322 W, turn left, cross the
highway to the first light, turn right and pull in at the bottom of the
hill.  There are restrooms and a pavilion.  I usually run the towpath
trail (wood chips) first, turn left across the dam breast and then run
the boardwalk through the lake for a change of surface.  After leaving
the boardwalk turn left, cross the creek and turn left again.  Right
before the big hill in front of you duck left off the trail and take the
right in the "Y".  This follows a trail for about 1.2 miles.  It
undulates, is pretty easy, but you see an abundance of wildlife and
plants.  When you finally come out, I like to go straight across and up
the hill to take the tall timbers trail.  It loops back out and you can
run right down the hill past where you started.  To finish off, turn
left and duck down the Fox Run Trail.  This used to be really easy but
since the floods last year, there are trees down and no creek crossing
(find your own way or run right through it).  When you come back out,
turn left and uphill to finish the loop.  The pavement is anticlimatic,
but again, this is a short, convenient, after work loop. -Brad
12-20 miles
Baby Buzzard - use the Buzzard's Marathon course and cut it short for a 16 miler.  Get there - travel on Rt 322 to Fishing Creek Valley Rd.  Travel east on this road for approximately 8 miles.  Soon after you pass Pine Tree Ave on your right, turn left onto a gravel drive (DCNR parking area that goes up 100 yards into a gravel parking area).  The run - follow the trail (end of parking area with gate) which will meet up with the Horse Shoe Trail (yellow blazes) after a short distance.  Follow this trail as it gradual climbs.  (*Note that the Horse Shoe will lead to the right after less than 1/2 mile.  Do not follow this but continue straight.)  Follow trail as it turns left and then after another 1/2 mile or so turn right onto the gas pipeline clearing.  It climbs the mountain.  Follow over the mountain and less than 1/2 mile down the other side the HST turns right (yellow blazes) off of the main trail.  Follow this- it will be a wide logging trail that has rolling hills as you gradually make your way down to the valley floor.  Stay on the logging trail for approx 3 miles.  You will come to a "T".  Turn left down the trail (opposing side will go up fairly steeply).  Cross Stony Creek and turn left onto the rail trail.  After a little more than a mile, turn right off of the rail trail onto the Water Tank Trail (blue blazes).  There is a small sign on the left side of the rail trail for the WTT but faces the other direction.  Follow the WTT up the mountain for approx. 1 mile.  After 1/2 mile up the WTT you can either stay straight and climb steeply or take a right onto a redish/purple blazed trail.  Both lead up to the HST at the top of the mountain.  Take a left onto the wide jeep trail at the top and follow this down the mountain for 3-4 miles.  At the bottom of the mountain take a left onto the dirt road.  Look for a gate on your right after 1/3 mile.  Follow the trail just to the left of this gate and follow to Stony Creek.  Cross the creek (sorry no bridge).  Find the trail (if you can) that meets up with the gas pipeline clearing trail.  (It's hard to miss this trail).  Note you will pass through muddy areas.  Follow the gas pipeline trail up the mountain and down the other side.  At the bottom of the mountain take a left.  You are back on the HST.  Follow this back to the parking area.  (*Note that the HST will turn left prior to the parking area - just stay straight as the trail goes down and then up to the parking area).  This course contains a nice mix of ups and downs with some nice runnable trails mixed in.  Should take 3-4 hours to complete.  -Jamie
HST at top of Third Mountain
20 + miles
AT Flat 22 miler - Use the Appalachian Trail for a nice easy 22 miler.  Get there - park along the AT at Sherwood Drive.  Get to Sherwood by following Wertzville Road west from Rt 81 approximately 5 miles and take a left onto Bernheisel Bridge Rod and then a left onto Sherwood Dr.  Park on the right in the pull off area.  Follow the AT south (away from the mountain) for approximately 11 miles to Boiling Springs.  Turn around and follow back to your car.  This is a relatively flat run through fields, farms, woods and has numerous road crossings.  Approximate time is 4 hours (+/_ 40 minutes) -Jamie