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
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.