Ascent of Cherry Ridge on 2001-05-23

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Wednesday, May 23, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cherry Ridge
    Elevation:2460 ft / 749 m

Ascent Trip Report

From the Columbia County highpoint, I drove north on PA-487 for four miles to a Pennsylvania Game Lands access road to the right, then east and south clockwise for two miles to Opperman Pass. This location is not marked on the road, so I had to watch my odometer carefully and try to sense when the road "crested" and started to drop. The area has many downed trees and lots of crud. I wasn't sure if I was in the right place, so I parked and just started to explore ways into the forest, and got kind of lucky when I found a hunter's trail.

The trail is primitive, but it is marked with orange and white blazes on the trees and rocks. About a half-mile and 100 feet of gain later, I came to a grassy swath in the forest which was an old railroad bed. The track was long ago removed, but the ground had that "corduroy" effect from the ties that use to lie here. I turned right and followed this for about 0.4 mile until it started to drop slightly. According to the map, this put me just below the summit of Cherry Ridge, Luzerne County's highest point.

Unfortunately, there is no trail to the top. I left the old railroad grade and started up the hill. The woods are thick, and there were an enormous number of downed trees. Footing was often tricky on the slick, wet slopes. After about a half-hour I came out to the "top", as best as I could determine. The downfall was awful and it made getting around really tough.

I hiked and clambered carefully to where the highest area seemed to be, then walked a few hundred feet along the ridge in opposite directions to be sure there weren't other higher points. I'm pretty sure I visited the highpoint, as I found surveyor's ribbon tied to some branches in the area. While this doesn't prove for certain I was at the highest point, it's a good indicator. I was convinced enough to begin the hike out.

The hike out was fairly easy, once I was back to the railroad grade and the trail. The rest of the day was spent doing much easier, less bushy highpoints.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:260 ft / 79 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Trailhead:2200 ft / 670 m
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack

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