For our end-of-summer getaway, my wife and I went camping at Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. Hiking, beautiful scenery, whitewater boating, and most importantly: two new summits in a new state!
Tharp Knob (8/28/2007)
With a pair of Cheeseburgers from the Firefly Grill, we drove out to the Tharp Knob Picnic Area. From there, we located signs indicating that a scenic overlook (specifically on the Kentuck Trail) was just up ahead - the summit! A short hike later and there we were - looking over the town of Ohiopyle from the top of Tharp Knob- 1902.89 feet up. Victory was sweet and the Cheeseburgers were tasty!
Sugarloaf Knob (8/29/2007)
The next day, after being thwarted in an attempt to go boating, we decided to try to tackle Sugarloaf - perhaps the highest point in the park at 2575.46 feet. (The park's map says 2640 feet. You decide.) It seemed a little challenging at first - the snowmobile/cross-country skiing trail just circles the peak, rather than make much of any ascent. I found a path where it looked like someone else had bushwhacked it recently, and rushed in, making for a quick, if somewhat scratchy and sting-y summit - lots of thorns and prickly things on the way up, and we had neglected to wear long pants. Sugarloaf's Cheeseburgers came from The Ohiopyle House Cafe - huge half pounders covered with provolone. We had to eat fast, because the flies were many and hungry.
There were also two other summits in the Ohiopyle vicinity we didn't hit: Holland Hill, which seemed difficult to find (not near a trail or road as far as I could tell) , and Kentuck Knob, which arguably should have been easy, being available to the public, but closed when we tried to go - at 4:00pm on a Tuesday(??). Anyone else who finds themselves in SW PA is welcome to give them a try.
Sam - glacial23
Amy - widget
It has been a warm and sunny summer in southwest PA, especially by southwest PA standards. Saturday dawned clear, and Sam I Am, Hamburglar, aka Green Eggs (with Sam), and Sheba dog set the navigation system (Shirley) for Ohiopyle State Park. A 1.5 hour drive found us in Ohiopyle, PA. After checking out the visitor center and walking around the town and falls area, we took a short (2 hours) hike, then back in the car for continuing recon of the area and the drive to the Sugarloaf Knob XC ski area. Sugarloaf is easy to see, as the maps show no trail to the summit, we chose a direct approach and stuck with it through briars, brambles and thickets to attain the summit; where of course we found a nice trail. There are no views and there is little to distinguish the summit from any other plot of eastern U.S forest. All three intrepid hikers, two of which were bleeding fairly profusely from the scratches on their unprotected legs, enjoyed convenient mini-cheeseburgers (Frozen Angus Cheeseburgers from Costco, carefully thrown in the pack frozen solid only six hours before). It was an easy and pleasant descent on the trail that winds on the south side of the knob and then joins the trail circling the knob, on the east. This marks Sheba's first cheeseburger summit.
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