2013-02-21 / Letters

Encourages Hiking Nearby Standing Stone Trail

To The Editor,

Only 10 miles north of Mc- Connellsburg is a dramatic hiking trail that explores sweeping vistas, fascinating rock formations, sinkholes, disappearing streams, and historical remnants. The Standing Stone Trail, formerly known as the Link Trail, offers a unique combination of scenic, geologic and historical features found on few other trails. And it is just waiting to be explored.

The 79-mile-long linear trail stretches from Greenwood Furnace to Cowans Gap State parks. It traverses high ridges, streams and pastoral countryside. The trail connects to both the Mid State and Tuscarora trails, and in turn, the famous Appalachian Trail. It is possible to hike all the way from Cowans Gap to New York, Maine or Georgia. The Standing Stone Trail is also a component of the Great Eastern Trail, which will stretch from Alabama to New York.

A cadre of dedicated volunteers, incorporated as the Standing Stone Trail, have been hard at work improving and rerouting the trail. It is a trail that is gradually being reborn, and in the process, it is becoming one of the finest long-distance hiking trails in the Mid-Atlantic.

I recently had the good fortune to thru-hike the entire trail. It was an experience that I will not soon forget. The views were breathtaking, the historical ruins intriguing, and the people we met along the way were warm and gracious. As I neared Cowans Gap, the trail followed the crest of a rugged ridge with several nice views. One view overlooked a series of distant mountains separated by beautiful farmlands. The sky just began to clear, revealing bright sun and deep blue skies. There was not a sound, except for a breeze and a cry of a hawk. Moments like that make it all worthwhile.

The people of McConnellsburg are fortunate to have such a beautiful trail system so close. I encourage everyone to explore this trail and support the volunteers who have made it a reality.

Jeff Mitchell

Tunkhannock, Pa.

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