MST / Old Tram Loop
TRAIL DISTANCE - 9 miles
TYPE - Backpack (one night)
This is our second visit to the Mid State Trail, and we were fully prepared for the PA Rocks! This hike had us parking at the Raymond B. Winter State Park Office, but the majority of the hike is in Bald Eagle State Forest. Our route today was getting on the MST/Bake Oven Trail, the Old Tram Trail, Overlook Trail, then we finished up the hike by getting on the nature trail where it comes out across from the Park Office. Our original plan was to park at the Dam, but while signing in at the Park Office, we were told by the rangers we had to leave our vehicle parked at the Park Office for overnight parking. It was no big deal, it didn't add any extra mileage or anything to our hike. As long as they kept an eye on our vehicle, it was all good with us!
After a long gradual climb of over 3.5 miles,
we reached an old lookout
tower which is enclosed with razor wire (no climbing). We took a rest
and a quick lunch break with a group of young adults who were out for
a hike. They were heading in the opposite direction of us, with their
destination being the campground. After we refueled, it was time to start
the dreaded steep downhill.
After turning onto the rocky Old Tram Trail, we started looking for a campsite. We knew that there was a couple of sites to choose from by reading other trip reports online, but we were having trouble finding anything appropriate due to the heavily wooded area, and the fact that we had our hammocks. This area is so thick with rhododendrons, it's unbelievable. We finally found a spot that had the trees we needed and barely had enough room for us to set up completely. Tenting here would not have been much fun either.
To us, any hike is a good hike, because
we just love getting out in the woods together. But we also enjoy the
"camping" experience. And this campsite was not comfortable.
Needless to say, we probably will not be coming back to this particular
hike just because of the lack of practical campsites. But we still had