A small group of four PATC hikers and one dog explored various trails in the SNP Central District on Saturday, November 21. The hike started at the Bearfence Parking Lot on the Skyline Drive. While Michael Seth, Dianne Anderson, and Nancy Handley explored the Bearfence Trail, hike leader Jeff Monroe and dog Gracie took the parallel Appalachian Trail since dogs are not allowed on Bearfence.
The group met up again on the southern intersection of the two trails and continued south on the AT to the Meadows School Trail. Following this trail to the SNP western boundary, the group inspected some recent development just outside of the park.
After climbing back up to the Skyline Drive, the hikers lunched at the Bearfence Hut and then continued south on the AT to the Lewis Mountain Trail, which they followed to its end. The group's return was through the now seasonally closed Lewis Mountain Campground and picnic area, and then north on the AT back to their cars.
Total hike length was 9 miles, with a total ascent of 2325 feet. Minimum elevation was 2271 feet at the western boundary of SNP, and maximum elevation was 3609 feet on the Bearfence Trail. The hike took just under 6 hours to complete.