GET Section 3e Trail Report

August 8, 2015

I hiked and worked on the entire section.  I found the trail, though not in great condition due to tall grass and weeds, is as good as I have seen it in the summer.  I cut back the tree branches reaching into the trail, so in that way the trail is in the best condition I've seen it so far.  I worked to cut back the weeds and briers over the whole section, although some open (and scenic) parts of the southern part of the North Mountain Trail still have low briers--I just didn't have time to do it all. 

The trail is much less worn south of the Orkney Springs Trail, but still fairly evident.  (If southbound) You still have to watch out for that "Hiker" sign that points toward the Orkney Springs Trail--- DO NOT go that way for GET/North Mountain Trail.  There had been some Bike Race route on the North Mountain Trail which was flagged, but it missed an overgrown section just north of the pipeline, and follows the pipeline a ways, then a road that the NMT uses further north.  I cleared that part especially. 

The trail intersection of the North Mountain Trail with the Hunkerson Gap Trail (to east) and Snyder Trail (to west) is not marked, and no orange blazes are visible from the intersection.  The bike race route used the HGT and the NMT, so it is the Snyder Trail, which is the way the GET continues south, that is the faintest.  Anyway, this intersection is marked with a stack of stones. 

July 11, 2015

I did some work on this trail from the Dominion Towers end.  I weed-whacked the field across the pipeline and trimmed the trail for about 1 mile.  I have heard reports that the trail is difficult to find south of the Orkney Springs Trail.  I also weed-whacked a bit of the Snyder Trail near the trailhead. 

July 25, 2009


Hunkerson Gap to Dominion Towers on GET, 7.4 miles

            This hike was taken on a hot day, and plants were dry, although it rained after the hike was over.  Because of extra growth that we cut back, the hike took 5.3 hours.  Similar to the July 6 hike, the earlier part of the hike (at least on North Mountain was more overgrown, with the final miles quite clear). 

            Some observations:

  • No Gypsy Moth damage seen. 
  • The Snyder Trail starts and ends as seen on Topographic Maps, but part has been relocated away from private property.  I measured the distance of the trail as 1.3 miles, same as claimed on National Geographic map. 
  • The North Mountain Trail is recently built, so is not on the Topographic Maps, or even the 2001 NG map.  It stays fairly close to the state line on the ridge crest. 
  • The intersection of Snyder Trail and North Mountain Trail has no signs, and there are no blazes on the North Mountain Trail (they start at a campsite just north of this intersection). 
  • The North Mountain Trail south of the Orkney Springs Trail is somewhat to quite overgrown.  It's not too bad in the heath plants areas (with Mountain Laurel and blueberry plants), but much worse in the rocky grassy areas where there is little tree cover.  There the trail is ingrown with blackberry, black locusts, thistles, and cherry.  In many other places, Striped maple branches reached into the trail.  We cut the maple and locusts back, and tried to mash down blackberry and thistles as much as we could.  This is what took so long. 
  • The rocky grassy areas are infested with a small-flowered morning glory.  I noted three areas that had them, and the southernmost parts were the worst. 
  • There was a sign on the south side of a gas line crossing saying that the area had been sprayed with Round-up--in 2004.  I suppose this was for the small-flowered morning glory. 
  • There was some Garlic Mustard infestation in the northern mile of so of the hike. 
  • Also in that northern section of the trail were a lot of Serviceberry Trees, and some were quite big. 
  • There were several places in the grassy areas where it was hard to follow where the trail was--we lost it at least three times.  Fortunately, it wasn't far away. 
  • There was no poison ivy in the entire hike.  We also did not get ticks although we had to wade through a lot of grass. 
  • The length of this section of North Mountain Trail is 6.1 miles, or 7.4 miles with the Snyder Trail, as measured on the Topographic maps. 
  • The part of the North Mountain Trail north of Orkney Springs Trail (2.1 miles) was mostly well-cleared and the tread dug out some.  It looked fairly well-worn, while the rest of the trails were very lightly worn.  Although it looks like horses are largely responsible for the wear on this trail, there were no recent droppings. 


March 31, 2012


        I repeated this hike N-->S with Nancy Ruggles (with her dog Aslan), Chad Churchman, Mary Huffer, Christa Neher, Kathy Davidson, and my dog Sid.  Serviceberry trees were in full bloom, and few places on this hike were they not visible.  There were still some places where the scrub oaks still grew into the trail. 
        There is a confusing place at the intersection with the Orkney Springs Trail.  A Hiker sign directs southbound hikers to turn onto the Orkney Springs Trail and Kathy started down it before I could call her back.  The GET/North Mountain Trail goes right here.  Even though I had been through here before, I still missed one turn, and we followed the road out to the gas line crossing and got back on the trail on the other side. 

        The North Mountain Trail blazes still stopped just north of the Snyder/Hunkerson Gap Trail.  There were some blowdowns still across the lower Snyder Trail. 


January 5, 2013


        While hiking section 7f, I saw that the Snyder Trail had been freshly blazed--with blue "i" blazes.  Perhaps the North Mountain Trail was blazed more fully. 





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