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Exploring the Todd Trail

August 13, 2010

Round-trip distance: 4.55 miles
Elevation gain: 1,350 feet

The Todd Trail starts from Aughwick Road at around 1,000 feet in northern Buchanan State Forest, crosses the Old Forbes Road Trail, and continues upward with clear-cuts from recent years on both sides of the trail. At 1,500 feet the terrain steepens, and the trail switch-backs for the remaining 250 feet of elevation to gain the ridge-top.


Headless snake skeleton for Friday, the 13th.

This trail has obviously been improved recently and is under continued construction. Fresh orange and red paint marked the trail, and the trail signs looked new as well. Trails went both directions along the ridge-top, and shortly after I turned south the trail split once again. At this split I turned right to follow what I correctly perceived to be the continuation of the Todd Trail. Immediately the trail started angling south and down the opposite slopes through some downright ugly woods consisting of plentiful rocks, logs and pole timber. As I descended further, however, the trail improved and I found myself amongst mountain laurel and mature oak forests.

The trail eventually bottomed out at the border of Narrows Gun Club. I saw another sign for the Todd Trail, pointing north along a logging road. I followed this logging road all the way to "The Narrows," but there were only brown markings along this road, and no evidence of recent trail maintenance. Having angled west and downhill around Scrub Ridge, I decided it was time to cross the bottom and start angling back to the north and east.


I found another logging road angling north, and eventually I happened upon fresh orange blazes and a well- maintained trail. This led me north and uphill to the border of Dutchmen Hunting Club. Then the trail switch- backed up through an old clear-cut full of pine trees, mountain laurel, huckleberries and plentiful deer trails. The upper slopes brought me back into the pole timber and rockiness, and before long I found myself once again on the ridge-top. I followed fresh yellow blazes northward, ending up at a scenic overlook, the highlight of which was Scrub Ridge to the southwest. I took my only significant break here.

It was a short trek south to meet up with the original trail junction I had encountered atop the ridge. From there it was an easy stroll back down the front slopes all the way to my jeep.