Have you ever been hiking in Devil’s Hole?
Long-time York County Heritage Trust volunteer photo cataloger Paul Wolfgang asked me the other day if I know where “Devil’s Hole” was. He was cataloging a collection of photos connected with Raymond Jacob Sechrist and one was identified as being at Devil’s Hole.
I didn’t know the location, but I was familiar with Raymond Sechrist, having been involved with the publication, by the Historical Society of York County (now part of York County Heritage Trust) of his memoirs, entitled Skinny Dipping in the Codorus: The Boyhood Recollections of Raymond Jacob Sechrist. The book came out of oral history interviews with Sechrist, conducted by Margery Freas when Sechrist was nearly 100 years old.
Since the photo shows a young Sechrist with two young women, I guessed it might be in the Long Level area of lower Windsor Township, near the Susquehanna River. He grew up in York City, but Sechrist relates in his memoirs that his future wife, Ruth Gnau, and her family lived at what is now the Zimmerman Center for Heritage, the headquarters of the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Region (also known as the Dritt House) at Long Level.
A Google search turned up Devil’s Hole on the Mason Dixon Trial website as part of a section entitled “Some Family Hikes That You Can Do on the Mason Dixon Trail.” It is at Long Level and the trail website tells you how to get to the three mile Devil’s Hole section of the trail:
“Go south on State Rt 624 from Wrightsville. When in the Long Level section turn right into the ball fields and park. Go upriver through the fields almost to Cabin Creek. Watch for blue blazes. Turn left onto Mason-Dixon [Trail]. Follow directions on map until you get back to Rt. 624. Then turn right. To avoid walking on the road, after crossing stream on bridge, you can cut inland thru the Safe Harbor property and end up going behind the cabins back to the ball field and your car. Highlights: An easy section with great views of the Susquehanna River in the winter. Views of Cabin Creek.”
The map referred to is MDTS Map 4, available on their website and at other locations, such as the Zimmerman Heritage Center. It is also pretty easy to find on the Google maps site, especially on the terrain view. It seems to be near where Cabin Creek makes its last squiggle on the way to the river. I intend to find out one of these days.