View of mountains from the top of a ridge near the eastern terminus of the Laurel Highlands Trail.
OMG, I was so excited to hike out to the Eastern Terminus of the Laurel Highlands Trail today, because that meant I’d have finished a thru-hike of my sixth National Scenic Trail. Woot, woot!

Maura and Andy were driving up from D.C. to pick me up and wouldn’t be arriving until noon or so, so I had a leisurely breakfast at my lovely camp and shelter. A little before 9 a.m., I headed out to tackle the final 5.1 miles (8.2 km).

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (among regular links) to products I own and like, or which I think you might like. This means that, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Eastern Terminus, Here I Come!

There was a pretty steep uphill hike out of the camp, so I hoped that would be it for the hills. Shouldn’t I be heading downhill by now?! Nope. The trail still dished up some climbs. Thankfully, a few came with nice views, although the light wasn’t great for good photos.Fake gray mouse set on a log in the woods.

At one point, I saw that someone had set out a fake mouse on a log. Ha!

I took a picture by the last milepost, 70, and then popped out at the eastern terminus. Yay! I’d conquered both the Laurel Highlands Trail and the entire Potomac Heritage Trail.

Final Thoughts

This trail is so interesting! It’s a nontraditional hiking trail, that’s for sure. First, it’s not linear, but rather a multimodal, braided network of trails, as the NPS bills it. It’s the most urban of our 11 National Scenic Trails, which has its positives and negatives.

Woman standing on one leg with her arms outstretched on top of a bench in the woods.
I LOVED all of the history I was able to see and experience, something you don’t necessarily get on other trails. And I’m honored to be among the first hikers to hike the entire trail. Not just the main stem, if you will, that runs along the Potomac. But all of the crazy side jaunts. 

Now I’m going to write some articles about the trail and prepare some talks that I can hopefully give in various D.C. locales and beyond. Because very few people know the PHT exists. If you have any ideas for where to speak, send them my way!


Today’s Miles: 5.1 (8.2 km)
PHT Miles to Date: 781.1 (1,257.1 km)
PHT Miles to Go: ZERO!


©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons