December 31, 2008

Chiques Rock Base Hike

I bundled up and ventured out for a hike recently on the Heritage Trail at the base of Chiques Rock. Back in March I featured some of the spectacular views from the top of the Rock--you can read about it here.

The views from the base are equally dramatic, and I took a lot of detail shots of the rocky outcroppings:

A bit further down the trail is the site of the former Henry Clay Furnace, built in 1845 and abandoned in 1889. It was a bustling industrial site in its day, burning anthracite coal to process locally mined iron ore. Transportation was provided by a canal running alongside the Susquehanna river, and there were buildings to house the workers as well as a tavern. The ruins are impressive:

Here's a detail shot of the interior of the wall:

Further still down the trail is the Point Rock Tunnel, which was carved through 180 feet of solid rock. You can read a fascinating article about abandoned railroad tunnels in Pennsylvania here.

I hiked back up to the Breezyview Overlook just in time to watch the sunset over the Susquehanna. You can see the modern Rt. 30 bridge that is just upriver from the The Old Bridge, as featured in View From The Old Bridge.

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