Memorial Day was partly spent on the worst kept secret in Penn’s Woods. The Tumbling Run Game Preserve is tucked into Michaux State Forest and plastered with No Trespassing signs, but when I arrived the trailhead was overflowing with cars and vehicles were parked up and down the shoulder of Route 233. The owners of the preserve are busy turning their heads as hikers visit their trails.
I write “trails” as there is more than one. Although there’s no map for the preserve and no guidebook covers the trails, I was fortunate enough to get advice on the options. A resident of Shippensburg I met that morning told me there were two choices. “The easy trail is the one with the blue blazes. Remember, blue equals boring. It doesn’t pass any of the cascades as it climbs South Mountain. The other trail crosses the stream again and again, although its usually going to be on your left. You are going to get wet, but you’ll see the waterfalls.”
The first water trial was getting to the trail. After you walk down a short hill you come face to face with Tumbling Run. It’s not very deep, but there’s no easy way across. I wasn’t going to try the log bridge.