Diary of a Trail
Diary of a Trail
Tom Floyd tells the story of the people who struggled to build the Tuscarora Trail, a 250-mile hiking trail, to serve as backup or replacement for a lengthy section of the Appalachian Trail threatened by encroaching development. With the passage of the National Scenic Trails Act of 1968, the trail had protected status and its continuity was assured; nonetheless, the Keystone Trails Association and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club determined to complete the work they had begun. This is the story of how the two trails - the Tuscarora Trail in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and the Big Blue Trail in Virginia and West Virginia - became the Tuscarora Trail. Floyd recounts the long quest to this end that began in Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Forest, and then headed north to the top of Blue Mountain just west of the Susquehanna River and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In the story he tells, no part of planning or building the trail was easy; it entailed long months of scouting, poring over land records, writing letters to landholders and visiting them, seeking informal agreements or donations of lands, rights-of-way, and easements; and sometimes raising money to purchase forestlands, springs, and campsites. The volunteers broke trail, cleared thickets, moved stone, and built and shored up footway through rugged terrain. They built bridges, campsites, and shelters. The work didn't end there; once built, volunteers maintained the trail, rebuilt sections, bought more lands and easements, and rerouted parts of the trail to satisfy changes in landownership. These activities are never ending and continue on today as a renewed interest in the Tuscarora Trail is evident.
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