Route: Cumberland Valley on the AT (PA)

Pennsylvania, US
29 km
Vertical Gain
600 m

Rick Martin proposed this route:

I plan to run a double crossing of the Cumberland Valley portion of the Appalachian Trail. I will run the valley “rim” to “rim” to “rim”, which is a few kilometers shy of 60k. In order to reach the symbolic 60k distance, I plan on leaving the Boiling Springs forge parking lot at 8 am to run up to the first “rim”….Center Point Knob. I will then run across the valley to the next “rim”; the high point near the Darlington shelter. I will then turn around and run back across the valley to Center Point Knob. The final stretch will be back to my car at the Boiling Springs forge parking lot; hopefully by 4 pm. Link to the course….

GPS Track


This one is on my list to try.

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I'll be attempting the one way route on 5/16/20, unsupported. Will run southbound, as Karl already established, starting from Darlington shelter.

Just got home.  Submitted data for unsupported FKT of 2:30:37, from exactly the Darlington shelter to the sign at Center Point Knob.  Started at the Millers Gap Rd trail head for the Darlington Trail and ran out to the AT on that, then took side trail to shelter before resetting my watch and phone to start FKT tracking.  Got pretty tough out there in the warmer weather.  Not bad, but not used to it yet.  Had a little trouble with some of the road crossings, like the U-turn at the Conodog.... Creek.  Started to hurt around mile 11 and then got a wicked sidetstitch just outside Boiling Springs and actually slowed to a walk by the Children's Lake. I probably looked like I was in a lot of distress, shuffling along the lake, but no one said anything :P  Really didn't have anything left in the tank by the Center Point Knob climb and barely made it up.  Just missed my goal of sub 2:30. I'm submitting my point to point time and not the strava segment time.

I just got home from a southbound unsupported FKT attempt (very last minute - decided to do it around 3:30 p.m. today).  I followed the same route as Katie O and started at the Darlington Shelter and ran to the rock/plaque at Center Point Knob.  Doing it later in the day was a bit of a poor choice as the humidity was high and the temps were up to their peak for the day (high of 76° and the humidity approached 80% towards the end of the run).  I felt pretty good through 11 miles and then my calves started to tighten up.  I did my best to push through it until the base of the climb to approach Center Point Knob.  There was no way I was running that so power hike it was.  I was shooting for sub-3 hours as a conservative goal with an ideal goal to match the current FKT of 2:30 by Katie.  I think with some cooler weather and some more training, a sub-2:30 is achievable.

My Strava submission will include the Darlington Shelter start but I will subtract out the time from there to the four-way with the Tuscarora/Darlington trail per the already established FKT route.  Elapsed time is 2:41:59, subtract 1:42 to get an overall elapsed time of 2:40:17.

Nice work!  My time includes the distance from Darlington Shelter to the 4-way intersection.  Karl's previous FKT appears to start at the shelter, even though his description states the intersection.

We should be clear, for future attempts, where the exact start is.  I vote for shelter, because that's what Karl timed, and there's a strava segment, and that's what I established for first female FKT.  Otherwise, I'd revise my time down.  Thoughts?

I'm ok with establishing the FKT to match the Strava "Cumberland Valley - Darlington to Center Point Knob" segment to make this easier to track.  I can resubmit my time to a corrected 2:41:06 to match the segment time.

I had based my understanding of the FKT off the original posting/Strava entry by Rick Martin in which he only goes to the four way.  Matching it up to the Strava segment makes it easier for future candidates to understand though.

I wonder if we could get Peter to edit the original posting to include this information.  I'll include that question in my e-mail to him.

Yeah, that is probably easiest, and just note that to get the segment, you need to make sure you start your watch before/north of the intersection. I went all the way to the shelter because it looked like that's how far everyone else went, but my segment time is faster than what I submitted. 

Here's the response I received from Peter:

I'm not seeing a reason to change the FKT route.  Both the trail junction and the shelter are clear landmarks.  The route description on the FKT page says the "high point" of the trail, which makes sense for a valley crossing.  Also, the point is to cross the Valley on the AT, but the shelter is slightly off of the AT.


I had also started at the shelter because of the Strava segment, but it sounds like a valley crossing is high point to high point per the above response.  I'd say resubmit your time with the shelter to four way time subtracted out to meet what Peter said. 

I plan to attempt the southbound one-way tomorrow, 7/19/2020. Based on the above comments, I will start my attempt at the "high point", which is just above the four way trail intersection, and end at the high point of center point knob. 

Ok so last week I started my attempt and cut it short when my son got sick and we had to take him to the doctor. So take 2, going to be trying again tomorrow 7/25/2020. 

On my 65th birthday (1/14/2021) I plan to run the same RTRTR route I ran on my 60th birthday (1/14/2016).  Since I anticipate having at least one other runner join me for a portion of the route, this will be considered a "supported" run. 

I will be attempting the one-way route tomorrow, 10/2/21, heading in the southbound direction. The run will be unsupported.

 I didn't break the FKT, but did beat my previous time from last year. Climbing at the end is definitely a challenge!

Tomorrow, at 02:00, I plan to set off into the darkness, unsupported, to attempt the Rim to Rim to Rim from the Fisherman's parking lot in Boiling Springs. If all goes to plan I'll hit CPK at sunrise and when finished will clean off my muddy shoes in the creek. Then will meet my family for tea at Cafe 101. 

Awesome job! I thought I might have been able to squeeze another 10 min out of my attempt, but definitely not 40. Not a bad way to finish off the year!

Planning to give this a try tomorrow morning unsupported. Starting at the parking lot in Boiling Springs. Hoping for a milkshake at the cafe when I'm done

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Rain is coming, and so is a female self-supported FKT attempt - Rim-to-Rim (one way). I plan to hike in to the shelter from Miller’s Gap tomorrow morning (3/23) with my trail bud, Chafe. She will wait 10 minutes for me to get a decent head start so that I am alone the entire route before starting her supported FKT attempt. After I finish, I will turn around and find her, cheering her on to her finish. I planted bags of water and yummy grub for myself at 3 road crossings. Hoping to run free and see what sticks. 

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Ditto, Blister. Supported FKT attempt in the rain, March 23, Rim to Rim - one way. Let’s do this.

planning to make an unsupported attempt for the overall southbound one way FKT June 14th.