|Length||193 mi (311 km)|
|Location||Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware; US|
|Designation||National Recreation Trail|
|Trailheads||Appalachian Trail, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania|
|Hazards||Road walking, mosquitoes, ticks|
The Mason-Dixon Trail is a 193-mile (311 km) hiking trail that begins at the Appalachian Trail in south-central Pennsylvania, continues through northeastern Maryland and northern Delaware, and re-enters Pennsylvania shortly before ending at Chadds Ford. It is named for the historic Mason–Dixon line, which it crosses twice. About one-third of the route follows roads through rural areas, but the rest is on traditional footpaths. The trail also traverses many tracts of private land, at which passage for hikers has been arranged with owners. This results in occasional relocations. The trail takes hikers through a variety or rural and semi-urban landscapes, with most of the route in Pennsylvania featuring farmlands and forested areas, and most of the route in Maryland and Delaware featuring historic sites and small towns.
The Mason-Dixon Trail begins near Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, at a junction with the Appalachian Trail on South Mountain. Heading east, the Mason-Dixon Trail soon descends into an agricultural area and passes through Gifford Pinchot State Park.Except for the park, in this general area the trail mostly follows rural roads. It briefly follows Pennsylvania Route 297 over Interstate 83 and through the village of Strinestown, and continues on rural roads to an escarpment above the Susquehanna River.
The trail then travels primarily to the southeast, parallel to the right bank of the Susquehanna. It passes near the Codorus Forge and Furnace Historic District, then follows another series of roads under US 30 and through the town of Wrightsville. A section of the Mason-Dixon Trail south of Wrightsville was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2010.After two walks along Pennsylvania Route 624, the trail reaches the top of the Susquehanna River Gorge and continues mostly alongside the gorge for a considerable distance into Maryland. Just south of Holtwood Dam, the trail reaches a junction with the Conestoga Trail System at a parking area for Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal Lock 12.
The Mason-Dixon Trail continues to generally follow the Susquehanna, except for a trip inland at Muddy Creek and its substantial side gorge, with a brief walk along Pennsylvania Route 74 near the village of Castle Fin. The trail then returns to the Susquehanna and crosses the border into Maryland at about 115 miles from its western terminus.
In Maryland, the trail continues to follow the right bank of the Susquehanna, nearly to its outlet at Chesapeake Bay, passing through Susquehanna State Park along the way. At Havre de Grace, the trail crosses the Susquehanna via US 40 and now heads to the east via various rural roads and occasional footpaths through Cecil County. A few miles after walking through the village of North East, there is a longer sojourn on footpaths through Elk Neck State Forest.The trail then follows urban and suburban streets toward and through Elkton, and then crosses the border into Delaware.
The Mason-Dixon Trail then turns north and follows various roads in the Newark area, with segments through several public parks. The trail follows a lengthy and meandering route through scenic areas in White Clay Creek State Park in the Delaware Wedge area. The trail crosses the border into Pennsylvania and follows footpaths in and around White Clay Creek Preserve and undeveloped areas in southern Chester County. The trail passes back into Delaware for a walk along various roads in the Hockessin area, followed by a brief segment through Auburn Valley State Park. The trail then crosses the border into Pennsylvania yet again, following footpaths through Stateline Woods Preserve, followed by various rural roads until it ends in a small wooded area off of US 1, just west of Chadds Ford.
The Tuscarora Trail is a 252-mile (406 km) hiking trail in the eastern United States, following the Appalachian Mountains through portions of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Its route is roughly parallel to, and to the west of, the Appalachian Trail.
The Northern Central Railway (NCRY) was a Class I Railroad connecting Baltimore, Maryland with Sunbury, Pennsylvania, along the Susquehanna River. Completed in 1858, the line came under the control of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1861, when the PRR acquired a controlling interest in the Northern Central's stock to compete with the rival Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O). For eleven decades the Northern Central operated as a subsidiary of the PRR until much of its Maryland trackage was washed out by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, after which most of its operations ceased as the Penn Central declined to repair sections. It is now a fallen flag railway, having come under the control of the later Penn Central, Conrail, and then broken apart and disestablished. The northern part in Pennsylvania is now the [[York County Heritage Rail Trail which connects to a similar hike/bike trail in Northern Maryland down to Baltimore, named the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail. Trackage around Baltimore remains in rail service as well as most of the trackage in Pennsylvania which is operated by Norfolk Southern and the southernmost section in Pennsylvania is operated by the Northern Central heritage railway.
The Mid State Trail (MST) is a 327-mile (526 km) linear hiking trail located in the Appalachian Mountains and Allegheny Plateau of central Pennsylvania, United States. It is the longest hiking trail in Pennsylvania, and one of just three to traverse the state from one border to another. A portion of the Mid State Trail is also part of the Great Eastern Trail.
White Clay Creek Preserve is a 3,050-acre (1,230 ha) Pennsylvania state park along the valley of White Clay Creek in London Britain Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park was donated by the DuPont Company in 1984 for the purpose of "preserving the diverse and unique plant and animal species, and the rich cultural heritage of the area". Dupont also donated an additional 528 acres (214 ha) for the adjoining White Clay Creek State Park to the state of Delaware. White Clay Creek Preserve is 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Newark, Delaware on Pennsylvania Route 896.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail spans 14 U.S. states over its roughly 2,200 miles (3,500 km): Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The southern end is at Springer Mountain, Georgia, and it follows the ridgeline of the Appalachian Mountains, crossing many of its highest peaks and running almost continuously through wilderness before reaching the northern end at Mount Katahdin, Maine.
The Horse-Shoe Trail is a 140-mile (230 km) hiking and horseback riding trail in southeastern Pennsylvania, United States. It begins at Valley Forge National Park and ends at a junction with the Appalachian Trail near Harrisburg. Most of the trail is in an agricultural region with gently rolling topography, where it generally follows rural roads and old country lanes, but the western end is much more mountainous and rugged. A 17-mile segment of the trail in Chester and Berks counties has been designated a National Recreation Trail.
Lehigh Gorge State Park is a 4,548 acres (1,841 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Luzerne and Carbon Counties, Pennsylvania. The park encompasses a gorge, which stretches along the Lehigh River from a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control dam in Luzerne County to Jim Thorpe in Carbon County. The primary recreational activity at Lehigh Gorge State Park is white water rafting.
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a 70.1-mile (112.8 km) hiking trail in southwestern Pennsylvania, which largely follows the Laurel Hill geologic formation. It begins at Ohiopyle State Park and travels generally to the northeast, and ends at Conemaugh Gorge near Johnstown. Construction of the trail began in 1970. It has been named as one of Pennsylvania's most popular backpacking trails and the premier trail in the southwestern region of the state.
The West Rim Trail is a 30.5 mi (49.1 km) linear hiking trail in Lycoming and Tioga Counties in north central Pennsylvania. The trail mostly follows the edge of Pine Creek Gorge, also known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, which is up to 1,000 feet (300 m) deep and about 2,000 feet (610 m) wide from rim to rim in the area traversed by the trail. The trail is entirely within Tioga State Forest and is known for its large number of vistas overlooking the gorge, which is a National Natural Landmark and one of the deepest gorges in the eastern United States.
The Baker Trail is a 134-mile (216 km) hiking trail in western Pennsylvania in the United States. The trail's southern terminus is across the Allegheny River from the borough of Freeport in Armstrong County. Its northern terminus is in State Game Lands No. 24, in Forest County near a border with Allegheny National Forest. The Baker Trail is maintained by the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy.
The Black Forest Trail is a 42.8-mile (68.9 km) hiking trail in north-central Pennsylvania, forming a loop through portions of Tiadaghton State Forest and routed through Pine Creek Gorge and areas of the Allegheny Plateau above the gorge. Most of the trail is in Lycoming County, with about five miles in Potter County and a very brief segment in Clinton County. The trail was named after the region's original forest landscape, which reminded immigrant loggers of the Schwarzwald region of Germany.
The Conestoga Trail System is a 65.8-mile (105.9 km) linear hiking trail in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The system connects several relatively short and discontinuous footpaths with walks on paved roads. About 53% of the network's distance is made up of road walking, and those segments are intended to showcase the rural scenery of Lancaster County, utilizing three covered bridges and passing numerous Amish and Mennonite farms, as well as some urban and suburban neighborhoods in and around Lancaster. The footpath segments offer wilderness scenery of the type that can be found in many of Pennsylvania's forested areas, plus some walks alongside farm fields.
The Donut Hole Trail is a 94.2-mile (151.6 km) hiking trail in north-central Pennsylvania, through Sproul State Forest and roughly parallel to the West Branch Susquehanna River. Most of the trail is in Clinton County, with a short segment at its western end in Cameron County. The Donut Hole Trail is regarded as one of the most challenging and remote backpacking trails in Pennsylvania, encountering just six paved roads along its entire length and featuring many difficult climbs and creek crossings.
The Warrior Trail is an approximately 67-mile (108 km) historical path and hiking route in southwestern Pennsylvania and the Northern Pandhandle region of West Virginia.
The Elk Trail is a 15.6-mile (25.1 km) hiking trail in Elk State Forest in north-central Pennsylvania. Most of the trail is in Elk County, with about one-half of a mile straying across the border into Cameron County. The route mostly follows old gravel roads, with some newer footpath connectors, and the route was selected to increase the hiker's chance of seeing the region's resident elk population. The trail shares parts of its route with several mountain biking and equestrian trails. The trail is known for passing old resource extraction sites while encountering very few signs of modern civilization.
The Gerard Hiking Trail is an approximately 36-mile (58 km) hiking trail in Oil Creek State Park in northwestern Pennsylvania, forming a long and narrow loop on both sides of Oil Creek. Several cross-connector trails enable shorter loops of various lengths. The trail is known for numerous vistas over Oil Creek and the state park, many small waterfalls on side streams, and historic artifacts associated with early American oil exploration led by Edwin Drake, who struck oil in the area in 1859.
The Terrace Mountain Trail is a 25.9-mile (41.7 km) linear hiking trail in south-central Pennsylvania, United States, which is mostly parallel the shore of Raystown Lake. The trail is open to both hiking and mountain biking. The trail is maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers as part of its management of the Raystown Lake complex. After the development of Raystown Dam and the artificial lake in 1973, the western flank of Terrace Mountain alongside the lake became part of a protected area mostly owned by the federal government, interspersed with some tracts of Pennsylvania's Rothrock State Forest and Trough Creek State Park. The Terrace Mountain Trail visits all these areas.
The Slippery Rock Gorge Trail is a 6.1-mile (9.8 km) hiking trail in western Pennsylvania, which follows Slippery Rock Creek and then Hell Run within McConnells Mill State Park. Part of the route is within Slippery Rock Gorge, which is a National Natural Landmark. It has been named one of the most challenging and scenic hiking trails in Pennsylvania.