The Mason Dixon Trail System
last updated 03/18/2014
The Mason Dixon Trail connects the Appalachian Trail with the Brandywine Trail. This 193 mile long trail starts at Whiskey Springs on the Appalachian Trail, in Cumberland County, PA and heads east towards the Susquehanna River, passing through Pinchot State Park en route. The trail then follows the west bank of the Susquehanna south to Havre de Grace in Maryland. Across the river, the M-DT continues east, passes through Elk Neck State Forest, then on to Iron Hill Park in Delaware, north along the Christina River and White Clay Creek to the White Clay Creek Preserve. The trail then heads northeast to its eastern terminus at Chadds Ford, PA on the banks of the Brandywine River.
The members of the Mason Dixon Trail System, Inc. hope that you enjoy your hikes on the trail. Volunteers from several states have constructed and are maintaining it. Our organization is aging and needs to mentor a new generation to run the organization. Unless we get some new active members we are in danger of losing the trail. Please consider helping. We need officers in the organization as well as trail maintainers. We meet four times a year at the convenience of the officers. Maintainers work at their own pace. For more information, contact James Hooper at (717) 252-3784 or Ron Gray at (717) 244-8040 or ronaldgray (at) comcast.net. We do need help.
It's time to renew your membership
There is a bus line you can catch to cross the Susquehanna
For other info, click here
Student Essay About the Trail
Get your MDTS T-Shirt
Trail work on Thursdays
Dupont donates land along Mason Dixon Trail in Newark DE.
From the York Daily Record/Sunday News
Volunteers moved part of the nature
walk off Route 624 onto safer land.
Dec 1, 2005 — A small group of seniors Wednesday said opening their hearts, giving their time and digging in the dirt keeps them appearing and feeling young. The volunteers, all of whom are retired, worked to clear about a mile of path for a hiking trail to be moved to a safer location.
They moved the portion of the 193-mile Mason-Dixon Trail off a dangerous part of Route 624 near Wrightsville. Now it crosses properties owned by Safe Harbor Water Power Corp. and County Line Quarry, which run along the Susquehanna River.
Jim Hooper, vice president of Mason-Dixon Trail System, and several other volunteers a few months ago used chainsaws and a Pulaski ax - a combination ax and hoe - to clear growth and vines on the side of a hill for the trail. "I'm excited to get it off the main road," said Hooper, who has been a trail volunteer for 28 years. The Mason-Dixon Trail, a public hiking path, crosses Delaware and Maryland, follows the western shore of the Susquehanna River, extends through Gifford Pinchot State Park and connects to the Appalachian Trail. It was built with member financing and contributions by volunteers who also maintain it.
The York Hiking Club has helped maintain the Appalachian Trail since 1948. The group monitors 40 miles of trail between Route 30 and Norman Wood bridges. A group of retired club volunteers meets weekly on relocation projects such as Wednesday's Wrightsville-area project. Volunteers don't need special skills or experience to help with trail projects.
"There's no government funding in this at all," Hooper said. "We need volunteers all of the time. ... We're finding younger (adults) don't join the club until they are in their 50s." York Township residents and club members Allen and Lore Britton, both in their 70s, have been volunteering for trail projects for more than three decades. "I love it," Allen said. "If I didn't do it, who is going to do it? If I like the trails, I've got to maintain them." He said people who work and walk on hiking trails are healthy for many reasons. "Everybody I know as a hiker has a youthful attitude," he said. "People who do volunteer work are healthier." Freysville resident Ron Gray, 62, is also a club member. He's hooked on trail work. "It's kind of in my blood," he said. Hooper and his wife, Joyce, met while working on hiking trails about five years ago. A lot of people have no idea of the pleasure of a hike through the land that we have," Joyce said. "It's very healthy, and you go home feeling very tired and relaxed. I find nature soothes the soul and clears your mind."
HOW TO HELP
Volunteers are needed to do trail work including trail building, cutting brush back from the trail, cutting blown-down trees, blazing the trail and maintaining bulletin boards.
Elk Neck State Forest, site of the March 15, 2014 Mason Dixon Trail spring meeting is located at 717 Irishtown Rd, North East, MD 21901. We will meet at the forest office, which is on the left just inside the entrance. Please arrive about 8:45 AM so we can get organized into work groups and move out to the project areas about 9:00AM. There are several projects to be worked but the plan is to work until 11:30AM and meet back at the forest office about noon to clean up and put tools away. Planned trail projects include blazing the entire MD trail in the Forest with Blue plastic blazes furnished by ENSF One task is to brush and clear the trail along with trimming can be accomplished. The second task is a section of trail along the north side of the forest land where the trail should be re-routed to a contour area from a wetland. This section is about 100 yards long and involves clearing organics off the new trail surface, bench cutting a new tread and naturalizing the new trail (along with closing the old trail). Tools for each of these projects will be on site but if volunteers would like to bring their own long handled loppers ] small hammers hard or garden rakes or Pulaskies or Rogue Hoes for bench cutting. We will make the final decision on what projects to complete depending on how many people are present. Please bring you own water, gloves, appropriate footwear (boots) and eye protection.
Following the work session we will move to the pavilion near the waterfront in the town of North East for the spring Mason Dixon System meeting. Bring your own lunch.
Meeting directions: From Rt 40 take Main Street into town of North East
Stay on Main Street about a mile. Make a right onto Walnut Street. Town Park is on Left at the end of Walnut Street.
From Elk Neck State Forest
Leave Forest make right onto Irishtown Road. Make right turn at the stop sign onto Main Street. Make first left onto Walnut Street Town Park is on Left at the end of Walnut Street.
The York Hiking Club is having weekly trail work hikes on
Thursdays. Most of the work hikes are on the Mason-Dixon Trail
System. Contact Jim Hooper 717/252-3784 if you are interested in
joining the group.