Westside Overland Trail Q to M

Mary and I continued hiking the next section of the Westside Overland Trail today – beautiful weather for it – starting off cool, and eventually warming up, humidity not too oppressive. We are hiking south to north. The way points are labeled A to S, so we are hiking S to A. Today’s section was Q to M, Route 474 to Eggleston Hill Road, 4.5 miles.

Recent wet weather made for lots of ‘shrooms. And the baby toads were just so adorable. Lots of dragonflies at the pond near the Lean-tos. Love hearing the thrushes and pee-wees singing us along our way. Several Red Elder shrubs along the way. I wonder if they are edible. Also so Elderberries along some of the roads we crossed.

Most of the bridges need repairs! (Any Gold Award or Eagle seekers interested? Contact the Parks Department!)


The Hike

Westside Overland Trail – S to Q

The Fred Cusimano Westside Overland Trail Runs from the Hannum Road entrance to Chautauqua Gorge south almost to the PA state line, with trail markers along the way labeled A through S. This trail traverses state forest, private land, some roads (very few), and some county forest.

Mary and I have decided to do the whole length of the trail backwards from South to North in little bits and chunks. Today, we tackled section S through Q, approximately 5 miles. We left her car at Q – along Route 474 between Panama and Clymer, then drove my car down Townline Road to the southern most trailhead/parking area, just north of Nazareth Road.


Here we are being COVID safe with our masks in place.

By the time we figured out our plan, we hit the trail at about 8:45 a.m. The light coming through the trees was incredible.


The trail starts on Brokenstraw Forest road, but soon veers off into the woods.

Mary’s house is close to the terminus of the Westside Overland Trail. So, she decided we would hike it from south to north.


Westside Overland Trail Terminus – or in our case Origin!

In case you were wondering what Mary was reading in the above photo, here it is:


The first section of this trail is on





At this point in the hike, we came into a stretch of sunny, fields, and in my quest to get from shade to shade, I forgot to take pictures!

It was a very hot and muggy day and we were accompanied much of the way by deer flies. But the company was stellar and the time just flew by. I’m writing this from my home office after having enjoyed a cool shower and with my feet in a basin of cold water. Very comfortable.

I refrained from taking pictures of every cool nature thing I saw… red efts, some weird little gravel mounds in the creek, a cheeky gray bird of some kind who scolded us for being in his (her?) woods, etc.

Here is our hike: