A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A New (to me) Trail!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... One of my summer goals is to visit new trails. I'm a homebody and a creature of habit. I feel most at home and comfortable running the same trails all the time. But in the summer, there is absolutely no excuse not to switch things up. I have the time to drive to new trails and explore. So on Tuesday, that's exactly what I did!

I headed down to Pine Grove Furnace State Park, which is about 40 minutes away. My "loose" plan was to hike up to the Pole Steeple Overlook, then hook up with the AT and either do an out and back or somehow get myself back to my car via a loop or whatnot. (This sounds very fly by the seat of my pants and UN-Megan-Like!)

I hiked up to Pole Steeple a long time ago. On this day, I ran some of it but hiked the really steep parts. There was no reason to go all out. 

It was only about .7 miles to the beautiful vista! I stopped to take some pictures.

Unfortunately there was a family up there with young kids who were screaming and just ruining the beauty of the view. I really wished their parents would keep them quiet. Do you think I am being unreasonable? I feel like in nature you should be respectful and quiet, especially if there are other people around. (Either that or I'm a teacher on my 2nd official day of summer break and I don't want to hear rowdy children!)

Then it was time to find the AT. I kept following the blue blazes for the Pole Steeple Trail and soon came upon an older couple hiking. I scared the woman a little when I ran up behind her.

"I though you were another snake!" she said.

"Where did you see a snake!?" I asked, alarmed.

"Up on the rocks. There was a baby copperhead sunning."

"No there wasn't!" I challenged.

"Yes there was," the woman assured me. "I hate snakes."

"Me too," I told her. But then I had to run ahead. "I'll scare away all the snakes for you guys," I told them and they laughed.

But I wasn't laughing. Now I was convinced I was going to see a copperhead!

In just a few seconds I found what I thought was the AT. I turned right because I wanted to do a loop and this was the way the map told me to go. I had been on this part of the AT once before but I didn't remember it. The next two miles or so were a gradual downhill, rocky, and sunny. Every single stick I saw tricked me into thinking it was a snake. I basically convinced myself I was going to get bit by a copperhead. I'm a little... catastrophic.

There weren't many white blazes. In fact, I barely saw any! Soon I was worried I was even on the AT. But then I saw a dude coming toward me that looked to be a thru hiker. I asked him if this was the AT and he assured me it was. I was so embarrassed. I feel like the  AT is my trail and I should know if I'm on it or not!

After about two miles I came to a road. I consulted my map. If I turned right and ran a little ways down the road, I would hook up with the Mountain Creek Trail. So that's what I did. 

This trail was completely new to me, thus working me toward my goal of exploring new trails this summer! It was marked by yellow blazes. Most of the trail weaved around big tall trees and lots of green ferns. It also ran along a creek. It was very pretty!

After about a mile and a half, I came out to the road. I ran back down the road to my car and tacked on a little at the end to bring me to 5 miles even.

It wasn't a super hard workout by any means, but it was fun to run somewhere new!

Oh, and look at the informative plaque I saw when I got back to the parking area. 

It's a good thing I didn't see this before my run or I would have turned around and went home!!!
Do you like running the same route or do you like to switch things up?
Have you ever seen a copperhead or rattlesnake?


  1. Why do loud and whiny kids have to ruin everything? I know that is not nice to say, but I am not really a fan. LOL. What a fun adventure for you! Beautiful! I am glad you stepped out and tried something new. Like you said "very un-Megan like". I have a joke and I say "can I schedule my spontaneity?". I tend to like routine... A LOT!!

    1. LOL we are alike in that aspect! I may steal your joke!

    2. You can steal it because you totally get it! I like to have my plan. I don't like to not have a plan and I don't like to deviate from the plan. But I am trying to be better about it. It's hard, though!

  2. That is a great view at the top!
    I don't know what is worse, going into a trail somewhat naive, or having someone tell you to "watch out for something"? Like I'm sure you knew there was a possibility of snakes on the trail but it wasn't front in center in your mind and so you just concentrated on the beauty of nature. But once you knew someone had spotted one, that's probably all you thought about. That happened to me last summer. I run my favorite trail and then one day someone told me they saw a bear right at the entrance. Of course that's all I thought about for the next several runs.

    1. EXACTLY! Had she not said anything I would have just run the normal way I run and zoned out. I mean I am always looking where I am going and I know to be careful when going over logs and things like that. :)

  3. I once brought a baby copperhead to school in a PB jar. I had no idea it was a bad one. It was just cute and tiny!

    I was scared of snakes for a while after I climbed a ladder to the second story of a shed and then realized there was a giant snake curled up on a tarp near the ladder. The poor guy wasn't doing anything, but the fact that I needed to move closer to it in order to get down the ladder really scared me. Thankfully my dad was with me, he totally saved me, but for a few years I couldn't even look at a picture of a snake.

    1. OMG why did you take a snake to school lol. That is epic. You are cool.

      I would be scared to go down the ladder too if a snake was there. I don't want snakes to be hurt or die or anything, I just don't want to see them! I guess if I don't want to see them I should stop running through their homes, right? :)

      I have a friend who is from Texas and he told me he never sees snakes in PA but when he lived in Texas, they were EVERYWHERE. And they have a ton of poisonous ones too!

      I think I am going to look up a picture of a water moccasin right now just to scare myself...

    2. I grew up in Oklahoma so we had the poisonous ones, and the ones we saw were usually 5 feet long or more! Now in Massachusetts I just see little guys, mostly.

      Water moccasins, ugh! Now those still scare me, I watch a lot of the tv show Naked and Afraid and they are ALWAYS showing little clips of snakes gliding through the water ::shudder::

  4. Those trails look gorgeous. Living in the UK we just don't have the trails you get to enjoy running on :-)

    1. Really? So no forests or trails or anything like that?

  5. Very pretty trails!! We were hiking on the AT on our vacation last week to the Smoky Mountains. I just put a post on my blog about it. We enjoyed the AT hiking, although it was really steep for the first part! We saw a big snake. Go check out my post :)