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Mount Holly Marsh Preserve, off of RTE 34 North of Gettysburg, PA. Really beautiful, warm weather for January so I shoved a couple water bottles and some lunch into my daypack and headed out.
From the parking lot at the preserve I headed up the Lamberton trail, and "up" is a great description, the trail climbs right up the side of the mountain over loose rocks, deadfall trees and more leaves than you could count for about a mile to "lookout point" - at that point you could just turn around and head down the trail, but, two miles does not a "day hike" make so I took a right (North) on the Ridge Trail - the ridge trail continues up the mountain for another .75 miles or so and then it turns and starts to head down. Followed the ridge trail its loop for another mile and a half or so until I intersected the Marsh Trail. I followed the Marsh Trail for about .75 miles until I came upon the Stream Trail. Took the Stream trail East (left) down the hill towards Mountain Creek. In about .75 miles I hit the Swamp Trail (the Stream Trail would have gone back up the side of the mountain to intersect the Marsh Trail, but I wasn't ready to head back to the car yet). The Spring Trail is well named, about .5 miles along you pass an open spring fed pond, with bubbles coming up from the limestone and sand below - neat place to observe wildlife. Stopped for a quick lunch by the spring. While eating I got to meet "Bud" (an Australian sheep dog - he introduced himself, actually) and a couple minutes later his humans came along. After a nice talk with them about the place, the weather and how nice their dog was I headed the last 1.75 miles to the parking lot. All in all a very nice afternoon spent in the woods. About 7.75 miles (distances are approximate), three hours, 1200-1500' of total elevation gain/loss.
for more information about the area please vist:
Please note - the link indicates that there are maps available at the parking lot. Five years ago this was true, but as of yesterday, the maps were no longer there.
And for gosh sakes, pack out your trash!!! My daypack was few pounds heavier when I left than when I began - but the beer cans I picked up WILL be recycled!