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Buck30 - Potomac Heritage Trail Journal - 2021

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Brian (Buck-30)
Begins: May 18, 2021
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Jun 8th, 2021
Start: Point Lookout Lighthouse
End: Crystal Springs Metro Station
Daily Distance: 85
Trip Distance: 431.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 104
Journal Visits: 1,565
Guestbook Views: 20
Guestbook Entrys: 1

Potomac Heritage Trail Map

The Peninsula Roadwalk

Well from Saturday June 5 through Tuesday June 8, I walked about 85 miles of roads from Point Lookout lighthouse back to the Crystal Springs Metro station in DC. It was brutal! Heat wave came through and everyday was 90-95 degrees with 90% humidity. But worse the low temps at night were like 80 so it was unbearable to sleep!

Not surprisingly the peninsula was crazy busy with cars. I ended up altering my route as I didn't find the longer "quiet" roads to be quiet at all during the summer. The first half from Point Lookout to Helen was mostly on 2 land roads with an absolutely gigantic shoulder. Like 8' wide. Seemed bigger than the actual driving lane so that was great. The roads were somewhat busy but with only 2 lanes and a giant shoulder the walking was actually fine. Then I picked up the Three Notch bike trail for 7 miles which was a great break from roads and cars.
Then the real fun started. After the bike trail basically I was on a 4 lane divided highway the rest of the way. I didn't think this would be a big deal as the shoulder was still giant but it was a big difference. Cars were going like 70 mph and changing lanes which means they sometimes tend to stray closer to me which means I have to pay more attention. On the plus side camping was turning out to be easier than expected all 3 nights. First night I camped near some old rock quarry in the forest before Leonardtown, second night I camped in some tiny regional park that was basically a fishing pond just past Highesville and the third not I camped in some 60 acre national park which basically was just some old house the NPS had bought.
Just when I thought 4 lanes were bad, I connected to Highway 210 and got a 6 lane divided highway. At this point I was basically in DC commuting traffic. Somewhat ironically the shoulder actually got smaller but it was still ok. I only really had one issue, around Franklin Square Park my shoulder actually turned into a lane of traffic and all I had was like a 1' wide space with a zillion cars coming at me. There was a signal light ahead holding cars up so I ran as fast as possible but couldn't make it the 1/3 miles and had to face traffic head on for a few minutes till I reached the safety of turning off on a lesser road.
A lesser road of course is actually almost worse as these roads have no shoulder and are still really busy with DC traffic. But I was heading to a good cam spot so I walked a mile or so with sketchy traffic and no shoulder. In the morning I pretty quickly hit sidewalk and then had a really cool and complicated walk around the National Harbor and across the Woodrow Wilson bridge. From there I picked up the Mount Vernon bike trail again and connected my steps to the Crystal springs metro station where I left off a few days ago. I then found air conditioning as soon as humanly possible.
PHT done!

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Journal Photo

Potomac Heritage Trail

The Potomac Heritage Trail, also known as the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail or the PHT, is a designated National Scenic Trail corridor spanning parts of the mid-Atlantic and upper southeastern regions of the United States that will connect various trails and historic sites in the states of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. The trail network includes 710 miles (1,140 km) of existing and planned sections, tracing the outstanding natural, historical, and cultural features of the Potomac River corridor, the upper Ohio River watershed in Pennsylvania and western Maryland, and a portion of the Rappahannock River watershed in Virginia. Learn more:


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