2012 State Parks Mini-Tour

This is still in the conceptual phase, but I am playing about with the idea of a 5 day tour early in the season that would visit several state parks/forests in the region. 

The intent is to be self-supported, but yet remain close enough to home should there be any shakedown issues or the need to bail out early.  It also presents the opportunity for family to visit by car for an afternoon, or possibly overnight; and for anyone else to join in mid-tour if they only have a day or two available.

Here’s my rough plan:

  • Day One: My house to Codorus State Park – 37.5 miles
  • Day Two: Codorus back up to Pinchot State Park – 33.7 miles
  • Day Three: Pinchot to Pine Grove Furnace or Michaux State Forest by way of Mount Holly Springs – 35.4 miles
  • Day Four: Pine Grove Furnace to Colonel Denning State Park and/or the adjoining Tuscarora State Forest; but with a detour down to Shippensburg and then returning via the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail into Newville before climbing Doubling Gap. – 52 miles
  • Day Five: Colonel Denning to home via Carlisle and Grantham – 44.2 miles

Here’s a map of the route.

202 miles total, give or take.  Each day would have routes running by restaurants/food stores, and access to shower facilities (whether actually using the park or an adjoining forest).

The upside: I’m on a bike, camping.

The downside: I think State Park camping can be hit or miss.  A lot depends on the site and how crowded things are.  Plus it can get expensive.  There is no discounted rate for bike/tent campers who don’t need the full range of facilities. 

It also might be too easy to pack it in.  A “real” tour doesn’t always afford that opportunity.

Like I said…just something I’m chewing on at this point.  There are some other rides on my list for this year, but this one is appealing on several levels as kind of a shakedown cruise.

More to come.

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6 responses to “2012 State Parks Mini-Tour

  1. If we can wrap this around a weekend, I’m in for at least 3 days depending on the dates. The nice thing about Pine Grove Furnace and Col. Denning is that we could spend those nights in the State Forest and skip the camping fees. The gravel roads in Michaux are nearly car-free. They should come into play.

    I suppose I need to track down a rear rack for the rSogn…

    • I’ve got a Trek rack that’s nothing fancy, but you’re welcome to it. I was thinking that we probably could get away with camping on forest land, and then schlep into the park(s) if we need to use any facilities.
      A weekend shouldn’t be a problem.

  2. I haven’t been out bike camping in 2 (3?!) years and really miss it. If this works out for you I’d like to meet up for at least Codorus. I could start a Maryland chapter of the camping club… I’ve got vacation saved up and I’m using it this spring & summer. I’m also interested in an Allegheny Passage trip, but not so sure I want to do the whole thing.

  3. Dave. As this comes gels, I’ll keep you in the loop. I’d be great to get together.
    I’m interested in the Passage too, but probably later in the year. That’s a bit tentative, though.

  4. Any thoughts on dates, Doc? We’re headed to the beach June 10-16. I’m probably rather flexible otherwise.

  5. I really haven’t had a chance to focus on this lately, other than checking out the roads around Shippensburg. I’ll need to look at the schedule and just firm it up. Stay tuned.

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