Thursday, August 27, 2009

Schenley - Faloon/Panther Hollow Trails



So as any kid who's finished middle-school science class will tell you, the days are getting shorter. Might want to start this route before 8 p.m.

Anyway, it's a nice run. I started at Phipp's. My boss had told me about a trail but I couldn't remember the name of it. He said you'll see the sign near the fountain past Flagstaff Hill. The sign's there, but I missed it the first time around. Not to worry; it added a nice warm-up to the route.

Here's the map.

Just to the right of the Westinghouse Memorial Fountain is an opening in the woods. Start up that and stay to the right when it forks. You'll come out of the woods on the edge of the golf course; turn left and run along the edge of the woods until you hit the road. Turn left again and follow Schenley Drive back down to the fountain.

Pass the fountain and you'll see a trailhead, clearly labeled "Steve Faloon Memorial Trail." (Who was Steve Faloon? "A remarkable and gifted young man who died at age 23 of aplastic anemia." Here's an article about him and the Children's Hospital Endowment in his memory.)

It starts out packed limestone/gravel/etc. and gently works its way into the woods, where you get a bit more terrain, but nothing too serious. A root here, some stones there. You'll notice several places where it looks like you might be able to get into some steeper, rougher sections off the sides, but none seem to lead too far, and anyway the vegetation in the area is in rehab so you'd best stick to the beaten.

Where the trail splits, go right. This will lead you down to a fork for the Upper or Lower Panther Hollow trails. You can take either, as they form a loop around, you guessed it, Panther Hollow. Once you circle 'round, hop back on the Faloon trail and finish where you started.

I guess this is under 4 miles from looking at the map. Seemed a bit longer to me, but I'm a bit out of shape. And it was dark as night (literally) by the time I finished and I was a bit anxious to get back on pavement so I could see where my feet were falling.

Anyhow, nice run. Nice woods, not too buggy. Panther Hollow Lake is a nice little gem along the way (though later described as "creepy" by my fiancé). Hilly, but balanced.

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