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“If you’re not moving, you’re standing  still.”


Steve Trafton

Trek from Washington DC to Pittsburgh

From the Borden Tunnel the trail continues to gain elevation and in another couple miles crosses the Mason-Dixon Line, the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. For over 100 years, supporters of William Penn and Lord Baltimore disputed the location of the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Between 1763 and 1767 two British astronomers, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, carried out a survey to mark this boundary, now know as the Mason-Dixon Line.

About a mile inside Pennsylvania the trail, now snow covered, approached the Big Savage Tunnel. The tunnel is 3294 feet long and was only recently opened to foot traffic. When I arrived the tunnel was closed for the winter and so I had to climb the snow covered path up and over the small mountain it passes through. The trail, sometimes steep in spots climbed to a power line service road that I followed for several hundred yards before taking to the woods and descending steeply down the northwest side of the mountain to reach the northwestern portal of the tunnel. It took nearly an hour to negotiate this detour but it was an interesting diversion from the sometimes mundane hiking along the railroad bed.

Trek From Washington DC to Pittsburgh: Big Savage Tunnel entrance Big Savage Tunnel entrance after its opening the year following my hike


Once on the other side of the mountain I continued along the trail for about a mile before reaching the Eastern Continental Divide near Deal, Pennsylvania at 2392 feet. Now the path started its gentle descent toward Meyersdale. Two hours after leaving Deal I came to the Keystone Viaduct, a 909 foot long viaduct which takes the trail over Flaugherty Creek about a mile outside Meyersdale.

The Keystone viaduct outside Meyersdale, PennsylvaniaThe Keystone viaduct outside Meyersdale, Pennsylvania


The trail passed through the outskirts of Meyersdale (milepost 32) and then another mile and a half to the eastern end of the Salisbury Viaduct. Here I hiked to a nearby farmhouse and called for the taxi to once again to take me back to Cumberland for the night after completing 17 miles.

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