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On September 6, 2014, the Keystone Trails Association will sponsor the sixth annual Susquehanna Super Hike & Ultra Trail Run, a trail challenge event for adventurous trail runners and hikers on the wild river hills of the lower Susquehanna Gorge.
This daunting trail challenge event on the Mason Dixon and Conestoga Trails alternates breathtaking vistas with steep descents into dark, scenic hollows followed by strenuous climbs to the next vista. Prepare yourself for the steep hills, rocky terrain and deep ravines of the Susquehanna Super Hike, an arduous, undulating and challenging course.
This year, participants can choose their own adventure! Customize your event, and pick between the 29.6-mile "Ultra Trail Run" and the 23.4-mile "Super Hike"! Both events follow the same course, and utilize the same starting and finish line, with the 29.6-mile "Ultra" participants completing an additional 6.2-mile loop around the Otter Creek area before passing through the finish line. Your chosen mileage will be highlighted on your completion certificate, and in the results posted online.
Although the Susquehanna Super Hike is a supremely challenging timed event, the challenge is not to "win" or "come in first," but to finish the hike in one day. For many participants, the Susquehanna Super Hike is the ultimate test of physical fitness and mental toughness. "Winning" is the personal satisfaction that comes with finishing the course in the allotted time.
The event course will traverse both sides of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster and York Counties. The Super Hike will begin at 7:00 AM at the Pequea Creek Campground, one mile east of the village of Pequea in Lancaster County. The course follows the Conestoga Trail southward, while paralleling the Susquehanna River, crosses the Norman Wood Bridge, and then follows the Mason Dixon Trail northward. It finally finishes at the Otter Creek Campground, on Rt. 425 in York County.
Just a few of the highlights include Wind Cave, House Rock Vista, Tucquan Creek, the Pinnacle Overlook, Kelly's Run, crossing the Susquehanna River on the Norman Wood Bridge, historic Lock 12, and Oakland Run. Participants of the longer course will also enjoy the scenic Urey Overlook and Otter Creek.
In this timed event, runners will release through the starting gate ahead of the hikers. Participants are required - for safety reasons - to reach each checkpoint within a certain time period and to complete the hike no later than 7:00 PM (12 hours from the start). This requires a sustained, minimum pace of almost 2.5 miles per hour (29.6-mile course) or 2 miles per hour (23.4-mile course).
PREVIEW HIKES: We're sorry, but the Preview Hikes are now closed. If you'd like to plan a practice hike with other participants, feel free to ask on our Facebook page or on our Super Hike forum!
Check-in will be Friday, September 5 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Saturday, September 6 from 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM at Pequea Creek Campground
. The event will start at Pequea Campground on Saturday morning at 7:00 AM. Ample parking is available at Pequea Creek Campground. Click here
for driving directions to the start and finish lines. NOTE: Shuttle buses are available to transport you back to Pequea Creek Campground when you finish.
Three trail clubs are responsible for building and maintaining the Mason Dixon and Conestoga Trails and have been hard at work preparing the route for this event: the York Hiking Club
, the Lancaster Hiking Club
, and the Mason Dixon Trail System.
Without their efforts, the Susquehanna Super Hike would not be possible!
Want to know how past Super Hike participants enjoyed the event? Click here
VOLUNTEERS: Volunteers are needed for the sixth annual Susquehanna Super Hike & Ultra Trail Run scheduled for Saturday, September 6, 2014. Many volunteer opportunities are available including registration (Friday evening and Saturday morning), parking, checkpoints, trail sweeps, and more. Approximately 120 volunteers are needed. Please register to volunteer online, or contact Shanna Klucar, Program Administrator, at 717.238.7017 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.