Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quebec Run Backpacking Loop

A few of my buddies and I headed out to Quebec Run Natural Area for a backpacking trip this weekend. We left the house on Friday around 6pm and parked at the Miller Run Trail head. We hiked 1.30 miles to a nice campsite along Quebec Run and set up our tents. There are 3 different camp sites along the 1.1 mile Quebec Run Trail, all offer great cover, fire rings and plenty of room for 3 tents. The rain came in at about 11pm and it poured on and off all night. When I woke up Saturday morning I had to string up the fly rod and cast to some Native Brookies before we set off for the hike. I caught 2 fish and let my friends try their luck at casting in very tight conditions, they missed a few fish but didn't land any.

After lunch we packed up and started up the mountain. After crossing Quebec Run Road the trail heads up the mountain side along the creek through some pine forest. After about .5 miles you hit the junction of Hess Trail. We decided to go left and hiked it 2 miles to the junction of Brocker Trail where we split right. This section showcased the dense ferns that covered the forest floor. After climbing about 700 feet and another 1.4 miles we arrived at the top of the mountain. We connected with Tebolt Trail and headed back down the mountain. This section followed Tebolt Run which was a very small mountain stream that contained some natives in the headwaters. The trail was also very rugged and contained many loose rocks that made walking interesting. We passed by 2-3 campsites at the top end of the trail that looked very cozy.

We decided to set up camp for the second night about 1 mile from Tebolt Road along the creek. This site also had plenty of room and cover for our 3 tents. I strung my rod up once again but didn't run into any fish. This stream is smaller then Quebec Run and harder to fish, access is rough because of the thick vegetation along the stream. The thunderstorms rolled in once again so I had to cook dinner outside my vestibule. After eating some chicken and rice, we took a shot of Whiskey and decided that we didn't want to sleep through the Thunderstorms again. At 7pm we started packing up shop and were on the trail by 7:30pm. We hiked at a very high speed and did the remaining 4 miles in 1.5 hours. We hiked Tebolt Trail all the way down to Mill Run Trail and back to the parking lot. Most of the last 4 miles were downhill or followed the creek bed so it was relatively easy.

The loop was about 11 miles long with the hardest section from Quebec Trail to Tebolt Trail. A very doable hike for beginners wanting to see the back country of the Laurel Highlands. There is plenty of water along the way so you don't need to bring any, just a water purifier and you will be set. There are many bears in the Quebec Run area so be cautious and hang your food away from your campsite.

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