Mount Holly Springs is the closest town to Pine Grove Furnace State Park. It sits in a gap in South Mountain. On the edge of the town and the edge of the mountain, off Route 34, is the Mount Holly Marsh Preserve. 913 acres of land on the mountain and along Mountain Creek are held by Cumberland County, with The Nature Conservancy managing 200 of them. The inkeepers at the Ironmaster’s Mansion Hostel and a few other residents of the area recommended the hiking trails in the preserve as worth a visit. With the AT, Pole Steeple, Tumbling Run, the Bucktail Path, and a few other trails in Michaux State Forest, the preserve is often overlooked. So I was looking forward to being off the beaten path.
However, less than a quarter mile in I ran into flooding from the recent rains or snowmelt or the creek overflowing or the springs that give the town its name. Whatever it was, the trail was a mess, and I wasn’t in the mood to get wet feet again. And I was out of dry socks anyway. So I turned around. I will be back, however. In drier weather.