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AT: Darlington Shelter Out-and-Back

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Head along a popular stretch of the AT with easy access and a demanding but rewarding climb to the Darlington Shelter.


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Map Key

8.5

Miles

13.6

KM

93%

Runnable

1,238' 377 m

High

385' 117 m

Low

905' 276 m

Up

905' 276 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Views

Additional pull-off parking is available to the north off Sherwood Drive, cutting down the overall mileage to six miles roundtrip (see parking symbol on the map).

Overview

This out-and-back run uses the AT from the Scott Farm Trail Work Center up along Conodoguinet Creek, through Donnellytown, to climb a ridge toward rewarding views near the Darlington Trail and shelter. This is one of the more accessible stretches of the AT outside Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg, just north of I-76 and I-81 toward Carlisle.

Description

From the Trail Work Center, head back toward Bernheisel Bridge Road and look for the opening to the AT with painted white blazes on trees indicating the trail. This first stretch of trail is flat and straight, heading north parallel to the Conodoguinet Creek for just shy of a mile.

After a mile, the trail continues north as the creek bends away to the right (east), where it meets another access point off Sherwood Drive at 1.25 miles.

From here, the trail continues north but begins to head uphill very gradually, staying within the woods behind various residential areas with a road crossing of Wertzville Road (944) in Donnellytown at just over two miles from the start. This marks the start of the uninterrupted forested section that heads up to Darlington Trail and the impressively constructed Darlington Shelter and Taj Mahal privy, which is the destination of this out-and-back run.

Around the 3.3-mile mark, the trail heads up a few long switchbacks that provide some views the higher you get with the prize view around the 3.6-mile mark at the Cumberland Valley Overlook. From here, continue north for another 0.6 miles looking for the Darlington Shelter Spur trail to the right (east).

Retrace your steps back to the starting point, enjoying the initial flat stretch as a nice cool down for a solid day run.

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes

#1

in Carlisle

#3239

Overall
  4.0 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Carlisle

#60

in Pennsylvania

#3,239

Overall
63 Views Last Month
375 Since Feb 25, 2020
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Intersection with Appalachian Trail.
Feb 25, 2020 near Schlusser, PA

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