We decided to spend the day officially expanding our surveys into Mifflin county and Bald Eagle State Forest.
We started out by visiting Stillhouse Hollow Rd, which departs old route 322 just west of Milroy and accesses Greens Valley. Unfortunately, this very rough road is blocked at the second switchback by a gate proclaiming that there is an unpassable bridge ahead. It was still worth the visit, however, as the hollow off of old 322 was quite obviously a very substantial log slide. It seems highly likely that this was constructed to feed the Reichley railroad going past the mouth of the hollow into the Milroy sawmill.
Next we took new 322 up to Sand Mountain Rd (deja vu all over again?) and went to the other end of Stillhouse Hollow Rd. Passing a very nice little camp/residence, we followed this rough road back to reach Lingle Stream. Alert! Suspicious ledge! We were very pleased to discover a branch apparently undocumented by Kline. We surveyed it to the west, along a branch of Lingle Stream, as far as the dam at the Seven Mountains’ Boy Scout Camp lake. It criss-crosses a scout nature trail, but is reasonably intact. It’s interesting to ponder whether it continues on the other side. Could this be the real connection to Crowfield Rd railroad, and the hell with Kline’s supposed horseshoe route (which we never found) over Sand/Treaster mountain? Hmmm.
Returning to the truck, we headed southeast on Stillhouse Hollow Rd, as it appears plain that the RoW is under the road. Reaching a gated bridge at the junction with a private driveway, we explored and found RoW continuing southeast along Lingle Stream. We continued to survey through some really nasty thickets, until it became obvious that we were into Greens Valley. Somehow–scarcely imaginable in these thickets!–we missed the junction with the line coming up from Laurel Creek reservoir and Milroy.
[From: Pitch Pine and Prop Timber, p. 132, Benjamin F. G. Kline Jr.]
We continued surveying along Greens Valley stream. It’s a quite scenic and extremely narrow valley, with heavy rhodadendron. Eventually, with much cursing, we reached the aforementioned defective bridge on Stillhouse Hollow Rd, which appears to primarily need new wood planking. Ok, DCNR, whatever!
The RoW must continue (along with the omnipresent Mid State Trail) on the other side of the bridge, but we decided to suspend here and head back along SHR, so we might sample other points along this route. Apparently “Horse Path” is 2km up Greens Valley Stream from here, and perhaps this would be an appropriate place to experiment in the future with my proposed “equi-motive survey” techniques.
Returning to the truck, we headed up and over Sand Mountain Rd. While being run off the road by an a$$hole in a big pickup towing a huge RV at ridiculous speed for this road, I noticed something curious and let out a “whoa!”. Walking back, we found what appears to be wide rock-ballasted RoW atop Sand Mountain. Vince pointed out that there were no obvious tie cribs. The location does not appear to jibe with Kline’s maps. Waypoint.
We turned onto Siglerville-Millheim Pike and stopped to briefly explore the area where the MST crosses the road. Though it seems highly likely the railroad crossed in this area, it’s fairly level and we found no clear signs. We therefore headed SW on a 4WD road which is also the MST. Eventually it does a jog to the NW. Exploring on foot, I quickly found a small stone fill giving clear evidence that the next portion of road (after the first jog) was atop RoW.
Continuing to the second jog in the road, the road ends, while the trail continues. Walking a ways down the trail, it becomes obvious that this is again RoW. We decided to record the stretch of road between the two jogs as RoW under road. We will come back later to connect this with our surveys earlier in the day, and extend it NE along Panther Run and hopefully to the supposed connection over the mountain at Little Poe Creek.
New territory! How cool is this…?
- daily contributions: 1.12 miles
- total: 27.15 miles
- daily contributions (under road): 1.06 miles
- total (under road): 16.18 miles
- grand total: 43.33 miles