First there is Plan A, then B and C and then there is what you actually do.
Plan A was a section hike on the Horseshoe Trail - approximately 7 miles from Valley Forge to the Great Valley Nature Center. I posted the hike on Facebook on Thursday. There were a few nibbles but by 7 am on this morning I knew I was going to hike solo today. No worries. I don't mind that but without nearby public transportation or until someone perfects beaming technology (yes I do believe they are working on it) it's impossible to do a one way hike with just yourself.
As I drove to Knox Headquarter parking lot at Valley Forge I halfheartedly thought about Plan B. To go out on the Horseshoe Trail for about an hour then turn around and go back. But I really wasn't in the mood for out an back today. Plan B lasted only a few minutes in my head.
By the time I arrived at the parking lot, Plan C had taken a strong hold. I'd wander around Mount Misery and Joy. I've done a loop there many times and would take advantage of the side trails both have to offer along the way.
Shortly after 8 am I headed up the path to the Mount Joy trail but instead of going on the trail I continued to climb in search of the site of the old observation tower. I wandered up and down "Pete White" trails between the top and the "official" Mount Joy trail finally settling on wandering around the top and down the other side. I ended up at Redoubt 3. Now I was heading away from Mount Misery in the general direction of the Visitor's Center. I did not want to retrace my steps. (Remember the plan B fade away). I also couldn't spend much time on pavement because my hiking shoes are unforgiving there. So this is where Plan C officially fell apart.
I took advantage of the horse trails and made my way cross country toward the Chapel. This was not a straight line by any means. I didn't have my Garmin. The battery won't hold a charge and I really don't care much about pace or distance anymore. However, it would have been interesting to see the path I drew with my feet today.
Once at the Chapel I picked up the Chapel Trail along the railroad and river and made my way back toward Washington's Headquarters. From there I crossed 23 and took the Valley Creek Trail back to my car. All told I was out for just shy of 3 hours. I think one could easily make a day of it at Valley Forge without hitting too much pavement. That may be a challenge for another day. :)