On September 7, 2013, the Keystone Trails Association will sponsor the fifth annual Susquehanna Super Hike & Ultra Trail Run, a 28.4-mile trail challenge event for adventurous hikers and trail runners 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.
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.
Check-in will be Friday, September 6 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Saturday, September 7 from 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM at Pequea Creek Campground. Buses will leave Pequea Campground Saturday morning at 6:15 AM, and will arrive at the starting point by 6:45 AM. Ample parking is available at Pequea Creek Campground with this option, and your vehicle is waiting for you at the end. Parking is also available at the Otter Creek Campground for those who wish to set up a shuttle and leave vehicles at both ends of the route. NOTE: Shuttle buses are not available to transport you back to Otter Creek Campground when you finish.
The event course will traverse both sides of the Susquehanna River in York and Lancaster Counties. The Super Hike will begin at 7:00 AM at the Otter Creek Campground on Rt. 425 in York County and mostly follows the Mason Dixon Trail south to the Norman Wood Bridge. From there it connects with the Conestoga Trail, crossing the bridge and continuing north while paralleling the Susquehanna River. It finally finishes at the Pequea Creek Campground, one mile east of the village of Pequea in Lancaster County.
Just a few of the highlights include Urey Overlook, Oakland Run, historic Lock 12, crossing the Susquehanna River on the Norman Wood Bridge, Kellys Run, the Pinnacle Overlook, Tucquan Creek, House Rock Vista and Wind Cave. 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 6:30 PM (11 1/2 hours from the start). This requires a minimum pace of almost 2.5 miles per hour for the entire route.