Last year while snowshoeing in Musser Gap I broke my one snowshoes. After an extensive repair I was ready to see how my handy work would hold up. We had been getting quite a bit of snow lately and the first day of February was forecasted to see more snow falling from the sky. I tossed my snowshoes in the back of the truck and headed over to Galbraith Gap to do some snowshoeing in Rothrock State Forest.
|Trailhead:||N 40° 45.88'
W 77° 44.25'
|Trail Length:&||3.9 miles|
|Hike Time:||2.5 hours|
|Near:||Off route US322 near Bolasburg, PA.|
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The trailhead for this hike is located back Bear Meadows Road, at its intersection with Corner Road. This is located about 1.7 miles beyond the Tussey Mountain Family Fun Center on Bear Meadows Road. To reach the trailhead you will need to get on route US322. Traveling east, you will see Bear Meadows Road on your right, just after passing Boalsburg. The four lane highway will reduce to two lanes with Bear Meadows Road being 0.65 miles beyond this point, on your right. If you are heading east, you will see Bear Meadows Road on your left, directly across from the Mountain View golf course. Once you get on Bear Meadows Road, drive for 1 mile. You will see a stone road as well as a sign to your left. You will cross a bridge as the road turns to the left. Soon the road turns left and crosses on another bridge. In a little over a tenth of a mile the road splits. Stay left on the paved road and drive for another 0.8 miles. As Bear Meadows Road makes a sweeping right here, there is a dirt road straight ahead. This is Corner Road and there is enough room here to park a car for doing this hike.
I had initially planned on driving up to Bear Meadows to snowshoe on the Bear Meadows Trail. However, the road was quite snowy and not all that wide. It was quite difficult to get off the road when another car was coming in the other direction. I had seen signs where others got stuck in the deep snowbanks along the edge of the road.
Not wanting the press my luck, I parked at the intersection of Bear Meadows Road and Corner Road. I donned my snowshoes and started my adventure by hiking south on Bear Meadows Road.
The road had quite a bit of packed snow on it and I had not encountered any others, hiking or driving, during my walk along the road. After 0.7 miles I decided to head off into the woods. There is an old, blocked road here that once provided access to the forest fire burn area. This was also the point where the Fillmore Trail connected with Bear Meadows Road. Following the old road for less than a tenth of a mile I turned right and followed the Fillmore Trail.
The Fillmore Trail turned to the left and began to make a gradual ascent up the west face of Tussey Mountain. When I was no more than two tenths of a mile back the Fillmore Trail, my repair work on my snowshoe failed. It seem that the pop-rivets that I used for the repair were not beefy enough as they had sheared off. This was, to say the least, a bummer.
I decided to forge ahead, while removing my snowshoes and leaving them alongside the trail. I would circle back around on my way back to the trailhead to retrieve them. Walking through the snow without snowshoes made the going a little more difficult and that became quite apparent at a little over 0.9 miles into the hike. At this point the trail began to climb steeply to the top of the ridge and the snow here was quite deep. I was make very slow time on my climb as I waded through snow some eighteen to twenty-four inches deep in places.
After a very tiresome climb I reached the top of Tussey Mountain at 1.1 miles. I was happy to see that the snow on the trail was packed down a bit and that I wasn't going to have as hard of a time at it as I had coming up Fillmore Trail. The snow was falling steadily as I rested and enjoyed the quietness of being in the woods during the winter.
Turning right at the intersection of Tussey Mountain Trail and Fillmore Trail, I had a rather easy hike. There were a few places where the snow drifted across the trail and I had to post hole my way through, but all-in-all the trail was a pleasure to hike in the snow. I continued hiking on the Tussey Mountain Trail for the next mile before I came upon the intersection with Kettle Trail at 2.1 miles. I decided to head right here and follow the short descent back down to Bear Meadows Road. Once on Bear Meadows Road I turned right and started heading back to the trailhead.
Of course, on my way back to my waiting truck, I had to make a little sidetrack excursion. A short hike back up Fillmore Trail returned me to my waiting snowshoes. I picked them up, retraced my steps, and then finished hiking the last 0.7 miles back to the trailhead at Corner Road.
This outing did not turn out the way I had hoped. The broken snowshoe definitely deflated me a bit and without the snowshoes, the climb up Fillmore Trail was quite a bit harder. However, once I reached the ridge top I had a very pleasurable winter hike, surrounded by quite forest and falling snow. I will take the broken snowshoe down in to the basement and try yet another repair. Hopefully this repair will last longer than three quarters of a mile snowshoeing.