Trip Report: Exploring Buchanan State Forest (Take 2)

It was just too nice yesterday to sit inside all day in front of the computer.  With temps unseasonably warm and pushing the high 70’s I figured there was only one thing I could do… go exploring!

Heading north out of Fort Loudon

So, with the sunshine bearing down I headed back to Buchanan State Forest to do some more exploring.

My goal for the day was to found a long off-pavement stretch that I could build off of for the “One Lap of Buchanan State Forest” route.  According to the maps there was a road running north out of Fort Loudon toward the Letterkenny Reservoir.  This would put me near the southern edge of Tuscarora State Forest and I figured I would continue exploring north to see what I could.  I’ve given some thought about doing a more extensive “One Lap” which would include both Buchanan and Tuscarora, so this was the time to see if there was a contiguous unpaved route between the two (spoiler, there’s not).

My recoded breadcrumb path of Bear Valley Road and Broad Mountain Road

Special Note: Broad Mountain Road is the northern border to Letterykenny Army Depot.  Not a good idea to go exploring the woods on the southeast side of the road.

As you can see from the above screenshot I’m still playing around with the DeLorme Earthmate app on my iPhone.  I still feel the GUI is a little quirky and it’s not geared for the “power user” but so far it’s doing an okay job at recording breadcrumbs and I like how I can sync the online interface with my phone.  Makes editing a little nicer when I can edit things on the big screen.

Anyway, after logging nearly 25 miles through Buchanan S.F. and some State Game Land property I hit the southern edge of Tuscarora S.F.

My first attempt at a path through Tuscarora didn’t start too well.

The first fire road I chose for my path through Tuscarora ended up being gated.  I’m not sure if this is a seasonal gate for hunting, or permanently gated due to its proximity to the active PA Turnpike Tunnels (Blue Mountain and Kittatinny).  Given the road goes up and over the tunnel I didn’t have high hopes.  At this point I turned around and snaked some paved roads over the PA Turnpike and into the southwest edge of Tuscarora S.F..

Exploring Tuscarora State Forest

At this point in time my Jeep decided it no longer wanted to explore.  Not sure if it was bad gas, a bad Idle Air Control Valve, or a combination of both. Either way she wouldn’t stay running once I lifted off the throttle.  I was able to limp to a nearby gas station (after stalling about three dozen times) and topped off the tank.  That seemed to fix most of the issue.  Going to replace the IACV anyway since the idle doesn’t seem as smooth, or as high, as it should be.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll get back out and explore more of Buchanan and Tuscarora State Forests.