Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just what the heck is the allegheny trail?

That seems to be the question I'm faced with anytime I ask a local where to get onto it at, even if they have a yellow marker right in front of their storefront. It just seems that the Allegheny is not maintained, hardly marked and not well known at all. I started my trip on the Allegheny but ended up road walking and taking a few other trails to get south. In fact there was a time when the Allegheny just stopped on me in the middle of the woods and I was just left standing there thinking "Crap where do I go now?" Luckily I knew another trail was a few miles west of me so I hacked my way through rhododendrons and stumbled down treacherous mountains to finally reach it at one in the morning. The good trails I have been on so far would be the North Fork rail trail which runs 26 miles from Glady, WV to Durban WV. This trail is well maintained but during the week it is hardly used. In fact I did not see a single person on it the whole two days I was there. It passes through some pretty remote areas full of animals, wild fruits such as apples, blackberries, and elderberries.
 Watch out though because I walked up on a bear in the middle of a blackberry patch. The other trail I took was the Greenbriar river trail. This trail runs 79 miles from Cass, WV to Caldwell, WV. It to is a rail trail with a very easy one percent grade the whole way. You will see bears, deer, osprey, woodpeckers, and many more animals. One of the signs along the way claims that there are even bald eagles there, but I was not fortunate enough to see one. This trail offers two tunnels and a multitude of bridges. There are plenty of great swimming and fishing holes where you can catch small mouth bass, native brook trout and other good game fish.

From this trail I walked to Pearisburg, VA to join up with the Appalachian trail and that is where I stand now on this journey. I am currently resting at the Holy Family Church Hostel, which is run by the Catholic church here in Pearisburg for hikers and backpackers of the AT. It is a free Hostel, but they do accept donations in order to keep the Hostel running. I will be uploading pics as soon as I find a place which I can pop my SD card into.

For extra cash I have been keeping my eye out for some things I have discussed in previous posts, such as ginsing. I have so far found a few nice peices and a couple of smaller pieces which I sometimes use in tea made from sassifrass.
                                                       A nice piece I found along the trail.

Ginsing is predicted to hit 1000 dollars per dried pound this year so lets hope I find lots more like this one.
If you would like to see all of my trip pics so far feel free to add me on facebook at Franklin Radcliff.


  1. You need to give more details when you have time, about the bears and the people you have met on the trail. That would be great reading! Have fun and keep safe!!

  2. You should write a book about this trip. What you have written so far about your trip and the way you write it is very interesting, i think. I think you trip would make a good book.