Nature's Drama Unfolds on the American Discovery Trail: From Sierra Snowscapes to Potomac Floods

Explore the American Discovery Trail's unpredictable beauty through tales of floods in the East and snow in the West. Adventure awaits at every turn.

Nature's Drama Unfolds on the American Discovery Trail: From Sierra Snowscapes to Potomac Floods
Matthew "Masochist Hikes" Hengst and Jen began the C & O Canal this week and found a raging, rising Potomac River. - Photo: Matthew Hengst

This week, the American Discovery Trail has been a showcase of nature's unpredictable moods, with wild weather touching both coasts.

Not affiliated with nor authorized by the American Discovery Trail Society®

In the east, the fury of a Nor'easter unleashed torrential rains, transforming the Potomac River into a raging, flooding force. The deluge threw an immediate change of plans into Matthew "Masochist Hikes" Hengst and his girlfriend Jen (above) as they began their trek of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath. No sooner had they left Georgetown came word of the closing of the Swaims Lockhouse hiker/biker campground due to flooding, forcing a 10-mile extension to the day to reach Horsepen Branch Campsite.

The Oldtown Toll Bridge submerged under a swollen Potomac River - Photo Shannon Peterson

Further upstream, the historic toll bridge near Oldtown, Maryland, was submerged beneath swirling waters and accumulating mounds of floating debris. As the waters began to recede, crews began working to clear the debris with a backhoe and check for damage.

Last night, the bridge was officially reopened.

Brockway Summit - where the American Discovery Trail crosses Hwy 267 north of Lake Tahoe - Photo: Mike Crowley

And out west, nestled near the majestic Sierras, Mike "I Like Mike" Crowley encountered a winter wonderland at the Brockway Summit trailhead, trudging through an unexpected blanket of snow at 7,000 feet.

These tales from the trail underscore the unpredictable nature of the American Discovery Trail, a path that offers as much challenge as it does charm. Through rain-swollen rivers and snow-dusted peaks, it serves as a reminder of the raw, untamed beauty that awaits, inviting hikers to embrace the unexpected at every turn.

Along the ADT –

Three people were injured Monday morning when a small plane crashed onto the Cardinal Greenway near Muncie, Indiana — the plane's pilot and two people who were hiking on the greenway.

Pilot, two trail walkers injured in plane crash near Delaware County Airport
An initial report indicated the crash had taken place near the 5300 block of North Shaffer Road, just west of the airport.

Hike Your Hike - John.

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