Mason-Dixon Trail

About Mason-Dixon Trail

Connecting the Appalachian and Brandywine Trails, the Mason-Dixon Trail (M-DT) is 310 km (193 mi) long and starts in Pennsylvania at Whiskey Springs on the Appalachian Trail. It then goes east to the Susquehanna River, passing through Pinchot State Park along the way. The M-DT continues along the west bank of the Susquehanna south to Havre de Grace in Maryland, crosses the river and continues east through the Elk Neck State Forest into Delaware’s Iron Hill Park. From there, the M-DT heads north along the Christina River and White Clay Creek to the White Clay Creek Reserve. It then turns northeast for the last leg to the eastern trailhead at Chadds Ford on the Brandywine River, back in Pennsylvania.

The Trail is well marked by blue blazes, but is no wilderness excursion designed to avoid human habitation. True, it does go through much pleasing open countryside, but in so doing often follows narrow back roads where traffic can be dangerous. It also passes through plenty of small towns and developed areas. That said, it does offer some fine vistas, along with long and scenic stretches of hilly, rolling terrain that is well wooded, plus rocky climbs out of side gorges along the Susquehanna River.

 

Though essentially designed for hikers, many sections of the M- DT are increasingly being used by mountain bikers. There is an active Trail Association that provides up-to-date maps and is constantly doing maintenance and improvement work on the M-DT, also dealing with the occasional outbreaks of friction between private owners and hikers that can cause the Trail to be slightly re-routed.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

Gifford Pinchot state Park – reverting farmlands and wooded hillsides with Pinchot Lake serving as the centrepiece.

Codorus Furnace, located along Codorus Creek – once owned by James Smith, a signatory of the Declaration of independence, this furnace built in 1765 supplied ammunition to colonists during the American Revolution.

 

The Holtwood Environmental Preserve on the banks of the lower Susquehanna River, including the Lock 12 Historic Area.

 

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

The M-DT follows in the footsteps of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, who surveyed the Maryland- Pennsylvania border In 1764, thus establishing the historic dividing line
between the USA’s North and South

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