Cranberry Wilderness (Little Fork/Middle Fork Loop)
TRAIL DISTANCE - 13 miles
TYPE - Backpack (3 nights)
We haven't "bailed" on too many of our trips, but this was one of them. This was meant to be a 3 night anniversary trip for us with some fairly big miles, but we ended up only hiking about 13 miles in 4 days. After the long 4.5 hour drive to the trailhead, we got geared up like we normally do and hit the trail.
We weren't even an hour into the hike when Jodi started getting dizzy for some reason. Not "pass out" dizzy, but bad enough to make the hike a lot less enjoyable and a little more dangerous. Luckily the Cranberry Wilderness is full of connecting trails, so after a short discussion we decided to keep on hiking, but we changed our plans and route drastically. The original plan was to hike the Little Fork Loop, and then around the Big Beechy Loop area, but instead we just ended up hiking the Little Fork/Middle Fork Loop. We hiked in about 6 miles to the first campsite and called it a day.
The next day Jodi still felt the same so this is when we decided to really cut the trip short. We hiked about 4 miles to a nice campsite near Big Beechy Run where we spent two nights. It was kind of nice being lazy around camp for a couple of days. And exploring around camp is always fun. We stocked up quite well on the firewood as well; we needed two days worth! The trail wasn't crowded at all. We had a small group of boy scouts camp below us off of Big Beechy Run, and we only saw two other hikers the entire time. The last day we had a short 2.5 miles back to the car, which was nice considering we had such a long drive home.
This is a nice area to hike in, with a lot of water crossings, which can get high and dangerous at times. The trail was a lot of fun, even with Jodi's dizziness. We made it work. We still got some miles under our boots, and spent time together in the woods (for our anniversary). That's always a good time!