Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Information

I recently raced in the Grassroots Racing Point-to-Point, which I will hopefully write about soon. Anyways, it took us on the first 18 miles of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.

This trail was previously unknown to me but it is quite beautiful and nicely located within about 90 minutes of Pittsburgh. The “first 18 miles” to me is the southernmost part of the trail from Ohiopyle to Rt 653.

In trying to plan a “family-friendly” hike on the next part of the trail, I have decided that Rt 653 to Rt 31 is too far. Grindle Ridge Shelter is located along that stretch, but there does not appear to be any car access. However, that stretch also seems to go through Seven Springs, right around Lake Tahoe. I thus embarked on a mission to try to figure out where at Seven Springs it crosses, since I know the ski resort fairly well.

Here is a thread in the DeLorme forums about a fellow who has hiked the whole trail and posted some GPS information in .an1 (DeLorme-proprietary format). I used GPS Babel (free – GPL’d) to convert lm1_70points.an1 to a KML file, and then load that with Google Earth. It is then pretty easy to see that the trail crosses Seven Springs property between miles 26 and 28.

“Dane” also has some information about the LHHT, which includes the following:

Oct 07, 2008…Please be advised the park has made some route changes to the LHHT, specifically, the area around Lake Tahoe at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Hikers are now being re-routed around the opposite side of Lake Tahoe. New signage and posts with yellow blazes have been installed.

Thus, the trail goes right along the edge of Lake Tahoe. Perfect. I will try to update this post to confirm that Seven Springs is a reasonable waypoint for a hike on this trail.

Update 2009-10-25

Just hiked from Rt 653 to 7 springs. The trail does indeed come up from behind Lake Tahoe. It is very well marked with yellow blazes. It continues on and passes beneath the ski lift that I think of as the North Face Quad. After that we hiked to our car in the north face parking lot. I’m not sure where the trail goes after this… yet!

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