I believe this could be the first time Springwater Trails has attempted to organize a holiday weekend event in a new location, outside of New York State. There is an interesting area that is easy to travel to through Pennsylvania, just about 5 hours from Springwater, into Western Maryland. The terrain is similar to the Little Finger Lakes, complete with farmland, mountain-like hills, lush state forests, reservoir lakes, multitude of fishing creeks and rivers, hiking trails, old railroad beds (which are developed biking and hiking trails), outfitters, Amish and craft stores, and excellent restaurants and campgrounds. We’ve spent 3 months planning this event into this secret place and to date, we have 15 persons already registered from Springwater Trails and joined by some members of the Secret Hikers from Kentucky.
Our event will begin Friday afternoon after hikers settle into their respective campsites or motel rooms. We will gather at 4:00 at our campsite in New Germany State Park in Grantsville, Maryland. A short 2-3 mile hike in New Germany State Park will exercise our bodies after our long car ride, followed by dinner at the Cornucopia Restaurant on the Casselman River at 7:00. Reservations have already been secured for 12-15 persons.
On Saturday morning, we will gather at 9:00 at the Ranger Station of New Germany State Park, and will divide into two groups, one for kayaking, the other for hiking, and travel to the Savage River State Forest 10 minutes from our campsite. We have a local outfitter that will deliver rented kayaks to the dry boat launch on the Savage River Reservoir for a 4 hour tour. (lunch will be provided, bring water shoes, and prepare to possibly get wet). Those experienced kayakers, with their own kayaks, will join us at the same boat launch to determine their own route with some suggested directions.(bring your own lunch).
Hikers will travel close by to a
spring wildflower trail called Monroe Run, crossing the creek several times for a 5 mile, mostly flat hike in the State Forest. (bring water shoes for creek crossings and lunch).
Evening pot luck dinner and campfire will follow around 6:00 at our campsites in New Germany State Park.
On Sunday we will bike the Great Allegheny Passage from Deal to Cumberland and hikers will walk from Deal to Frostburg or to their ability level. We will gather at 9:00 in Grantsville. Bikers will carpool to Cumberland where the outfitter will shuttle us and all bikes to Deal. Regardless of whether you have your own bike or are renting from the outfitter, we will all ride the shuttle with the outfitter. The 24-mile ride from Deal to Cumberland will then take us back to our cars/bike racks. Bikers can decide if they want to continue on C& O Canal trail, have lunch in Cumberland, or return to their cars. Hikers will walk the same downhill flat path, passing through the Big Savage Mountain Tunnel about 2 miles south of Deal and a mile south of the Eastern Continental Divide. Some hikers may continue to hike 8 miles to Frostburg. Hikers will decide if they would like to lunch in Frostburg or join others in Cumberland at the railroad station and visitors center. Hikers may also choose to walk some on the C&O Canal trail. Dinner, which includes a cooking contest, will be provided by Canadice Kitchens. (bring your outdoor cooking stoves and cooking pot). Campfire and hot chocolate to follow.
On Monday, after checking out of our rooms or campsite before 11:00, we will have a short hike at 11:00 for those interested in staying longer. Others may want to check out the historic Western Maryland train ride in Cumberland or other tourist areas located nearby.
If you do not have reservations and would like to join us, we will try to accommodate late reservations if possible due to the holiday weekend. Contact Pam or Bill for details. Costs for outfitters: Kayak/tour $65.00 Bike rental (full day) $30. Bike shuttle as group of 8 about $27 each.
Directions from Springwater: Take 390 south to the Southern Tier Expressway (I-86, NY 17). Drive east towards Corning. Take US 15 which is also I-99 south into Pennsylvania. At Williamsport, take US 220 south. 220 is a bypass around Williamsport. The signs will say Lock Haven.
Take 220 south to I-80. Go west on I-80 (which is also 220). At the second exit, take 220 south. Signs will direct you to State College and Bellefonte. 220 also becomes I-99. Take 220 all the way through PA down into Maryland. The I-99 designation ends after Bedford.
In Maryland, you reach I-68. Go west, passing through downtown Cumberland, to Exit 22, the first of two Grantsville exits. After taking the ramp at Exit 22, turn right if you’re staying at the Casselman Inn. At the light on Alt 40, turn left and drive about 2 miles to the Casselman which will be on your right. If you’re staying at the Comfort Inn or camping at New Germany State Park, turn left from the Exit 22 ramp. The Comfort Inn is on your right on the other (south) side of I-68. For New Germany, continue on the road (Chestnut Ridge) until it dead-ends at a T intersection. Turn left and drive 2-3 miles – look for signs for New Germany State Park. The Park HQ and Visitors Center is on the right, the campground entrance is on the left – follow the signs.
Our Friday evening dinner is at the Cornucopia Cafe which is less than a mile from the Casselman going east on Alt 40. The restaurant is behind the Penn Alps restaurant.