Thru-Hiker's Guide to America

Tuscarora Trail Terrain
By E. Schlimmer

Excerpted from Thru Hiker's Guide to America by E. Schlimmer

The terrain of the Tuscarora Trail is challenging. You’ll have to contend with steep climbs and descents, limited water on sections, blowdown, and briar growth. However, you will speed right along on smooth sections of rock-slab ridgelines up high or canal towpaths down in the valleys. The northern sections tend to be the rockiest. That "Rocksylvania" nickname given by Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, aptly describes the Pennsylvanian portions of the Tuscarora Trail.

The tread consists of singletrack hiking trail, canal towpaths, all-terrain-vehicle trails, and cleared rights-of-way. In Pennsylvania the elevation rarely exceeds 2,000 feet; in Maryland the entire route is below 1,000 feet; and West Virginia’s section of the TT never exceeds 2,500 feet. Northern Virginia’s elevations range from 1,400 to more than 3,000 feet. The lowpoint of the trail is in Maryland at a stream only 400 feet above sea level; the highpoint is at the southern terminus, on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, at 3,400 feet. The biggest climbs on the entire TT are between 1,500 and 2,000 vertical feet.

Article © McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved.


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