Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Running in Pennsylvania is Awesome

Autumn woods from my mom's back porch:

The warm Thanksgiving weather made PA's woods and fields and rolling hills even more fun to run in than usual, and even though the leaves are down there's a lot of green undergrowth to make it feel alive. The November air smelled fantastic. The one drawback to PA is its old geology and broken up granite and shale that give it the Appalachian Trail hiker's nickname of Rockylvania. Neversink's trails are a lot of fun and totally under-utilized, but a bit rocky. Fortunately the western shore of Blue Marsh, my new favorite place to run in Berks, is almost all soil rather than rock.

So is there any kind of a "Berks County Triple Crown"? I.e., you've completed the Thun Trail plus Blue Marsh circumnavigation plus Neversink? It's a neat interlocking trail system and seems ripe for something like this. There are cool races around those parts already like the Mt. Penn Mud-Run, how about an ultra for all those trails?

I had a side trip to Western PA but unfortunately didn't have any time to run - was going to do the Thousand Steps near Mt. Union but that will have to wait until my next trip to State College. I also had never heard of the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Trail until I drove under the pedestrian overpass across the turnpike. Coolly enough, there's already an ultra. Here's a video of the trail, one end of which is at Ohiopyle falls and rapids, which is in turn close to Wright's Falling Water:

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