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Old 07-30-2020, 06:48 PM   #1
LRL
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Oxshoe / Crab Pond

Howdy yall,

Any campsites of note I should be aware of? I've stayed at the Oxshoe Pond LT before, and if I recall correctly, there was a tentsite right in the vicinity but are others worth circumnavigating the pond for? Same for Crab.

I have the natgeo map and it only shows leantos.

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:00 PM   #2
DSettahr
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There's 3 designated tent sites at Oxshoe- all on the west shore, north of the lean-to. From the lean-to, if you follow the marked path north along the shore, you'll pass through a couple of closed campsites, cross a wet spot, and come to a junction. The path here splits- straight (the right fork) leads to the first site within a hundred feet or so. The marked path to the sharp left leads around the first site and rejoins the shore just before reaching the second site, maybe 300-400 feet beyond. Both of these sites are quite nice.

The third designated tent site is all the way up on the north end of the pond. There's no marked path to it, but from the second site there is a somewhat obvious herd path that will take to you to the site after about a tenth of a mile or so. It's OK... there's not really a whole lot of flat ground here. If you poke around to the northwest, you can find the faint old herd path that leads down the hill to Crane Pond, popping out near site #9 on that pond.

Crab Pond (the northern of the two Crab Ponds in the Pharaoh Wilderness) has only 1 designated tent site. It is on the south shore of the pond, closer to the east end of the pond. It's a very nice site, with plenty of flat ground.

(Note that some guidebooks incorrectly indicate a campsite at the junction with the Haymarsh Trail, which connects Crab Pond back over to the Long Swing Trail. This is an illegal site and it's honestly not even all that nice, for that matter. Last time I was there this site had been brushed in somewhat to discourage use.)

There is also a designated tent site on the peninsula at Horseshoe Pond. From the south end of the pond, follow the marked path across the beaver dam (may be a wet crossing) and out onto the peninsula. The site is small but otherwise pretty nice.

Note that Oxshoe can be pretty popular- the lean-to is occupied pretty much every weekend during the warmer parts of the year. It's not super common that all 3 tent sites are occupied at once but it can happen. Crab and Horseshoe both get less use.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:57 PM   #3
LRL
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Awesome - thank you!

If you don't mind, I might reach out to you regarding the Susquehannock Trail System in the near future. I just put in to tack two days on to Labor Day weekend and am thinking of heading that way or Baxter, depending on what is going on in the world.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:09 PM   #4
Pauly D.
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Here are couple of shots of the Crab campsite



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Old 07-30-2020, 08:36 PM   #5
DSettahr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRL View Post
Awesome - thank you!

If you don't mind, I might reach out to you regarding the Susquehannock Trail System in the near future. I just put in to tack two days on to Labor Day weekend and am thinking of heading that way or Baxter, depending on what is going on in the world.
Sure. I will say that 5 days is still on the shorter end of the amount of time necessary to hike the STS. That's 17 miles per day... which is a pretty rugged pace for this trail. The STS is not Devil's Path or Great Range levels of intensity, but at times it does feel pretty close. There's quite a few ups and downs, many of which have roughly 1,000 feet of elevation change in a single climb/descent. I'd say to keep in mind that with a 17 mpd pace, you're looking at days that will also include 2,000+ feet of elevation gain for the day on top of that mileage. Also, it's PA... so the ups and downs tend to be steep.

Still a trail well worth hiking. Alternatively, there's a number of shorter PA backpacking options that are also worth checking out- like the Black Forest Trail, the Allegheny Front Trail, and the Quehanna Trail.
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