Ascent of Blue Mountain-Perry/Cumberland High Point on 2001-05-24

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Thursday, May 24, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Blue Mountain-Perry/Cumberland High Point
    Elevation:2270 ft / 691 m

Ascent Trip Report

After my short visit to the Delaware state highpoint, I re-entered Pennsylvania and proceeded west along US-30 towards Lancaster and Gettysburg. I saw a few Amish and a few horse-and-buggies on the road. In Gettysburg, I thought about visiting the Civil War site, but it was packed with tourists, so I moved on.

The immediate objective was Blue Mountain, on which sat the highpoints of Cumberland and Perry counties. From Shippensburg, I followed PA-696 and PA-997 north toward the mountain. The Amish farms were cool. You know them because they lack any vehicles or other tell-tale signs of modernity. They are clean, well-kept places. This was my first time in Amish country, and I enjoyed it very much.

About where PA-696 and PA-997 meet near the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I took Three Squares Hollow Road into the mountains, the pavement eventually giving way to gravel, which I followed for about 9 miles total. I parked near a side road, closed to passenger vehicles.

The hike was two miles each way along this road. The rains had left long segments very muddy and others with standing water, so I had to bypass the road in spots by going into the forest. I scared a lot of toads, plus a few deer. By now, the sun was out and it was fairly humid. The walk gained just 100 feet, so it was level and I made good time.

The road crests to near a 2,270-foot spot elevation as shown on the map. This is the Cumberland county highpoint. The Perry county highpoint was more uncertain, given the vagaries of the county boundary along the ridge. I hiked north into Perry county, gaining a few feet until I was satisfied there was no more feet to gain. I immediately returned to my car, my total time gone 45 minutes.

The drive down was full of surprises. Coming down the mountain road, I came upon a huge Amish family out for a picnic, about 20 of them, with about six buggies parked along the road. I waved hi, but they just stared at me. Then a bee flew into my car and started to harass me. I swatted it into the space below the windshield and the dash, thinking it was dead. But five minutes later it came out buzzing again. I was able to smash it while not crashing the car at the same time.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Trailhead:2170 ft / 661 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike

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