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Tunnels of Enola: Easy Way

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The easy way is a shorter hike, probably closer to 3 miles. While it still has it’s steep parts—getting down to the tunnel from the rail trail and then up again—this version is more level and has a higher probability of keeping your shoes dry. It also does not require that you traverse any of the tunnels. But truth be told, that’s probably the best of this adventure.

The easy way has you starting your adventure from the Safe Harbor South Wall Trailhead entrance. You can find it just north of the Shenks Ferry tunnel. This short, steep path will take you up the hill to the Enola Low-Grade rail trail.

trailHead2a
Safe Harbor South Wall Trailhead entrance

Enola-Low Grade

Once you reach the rail trail, turn right towards Safe Harbor.

The locations of all four tunnels are relatively easy to spot if you observe the terrain.  Most of the time, there will be a rock wall or an impossibly steep hill blocking your path on the right. When the landscape transforms into a ravine, begin to look for a path down. They all have some form of a trail heading down. Each tunnel has a stream running through it, so if you see or hear water, that’s where you want to go.

The ravines, each with their own tunnel, are especially easy to identify when examining at a topographic map. Referencing the map below, you will be traveling right to left stating in Shenks Ferry and heading towards Safe Harbor.

The location of all four tunnels along the Enola Low-Grade is marked on this topographic map. Each one at the bottom of a ravine.
The location of all four tunnels along the Enola Low-Grade is marked on this topographic map. Each one at the bottom of a ravine.

First Tunnel

Here’s it’s GPS location. The first tunnel is a short .3 mile walk once you reach the rail trail. It poses a real dilemma for adventures brave enough to go through. It’s worth a trip inside, though.

Before leaving, you need to do three things.

  1. Match the entrance with a drawing from the diary. Here’s a link to the diary.
  2. Find the pair of double digits painted on the tunnel.
  3. Using the clue written on the diary page and the numbers at the tunnel, record the solution. You will need it later to unlock the treasure’s location.

Need a hint? Click here.

Second Tunnel

From the rail trail, the second tunnel is approximately .4 miles away. Here’s the GPS location for the second tunnel. Hopefully, you fare better than Doctor Forrestal did when you arrive.

The remains of Doctor Forrestal, perhaps?
The remains of Doctor Forrestal, perhaps?

Before leaving, repeat these three steps.

  1. Match the entrance with a drawing from the diary. Here’s a link to the diary.
  2. Find the pair of double digits painted on the tunnel. This one is a bit tricky.
  3. Using the clue written on the diary page and the numbers at the tunnel, record the solution. You will need it later to unlock the treasure’s location.

Need a hint? Click here.

Third Tunnel

The third tunnel is an easy 1,000-foot walk once you get back on the rail trail. Click here for the GPS location.

Be sure to check out the overturned train wreckage from December 23, 1981, that litters the hill at the third tunnel. Learn about the accident and it’s toxic cargo here.

trainWreck1
Boxcar remains from a train accident?

Before heading to the final tunnel, repeat these three steps.

  1. Match the entrance with a drawing from the diary. Here’s a link to the diary.
  2. Find the pair of double digits painted on the tunnel. This one is a bit harder to find. Try climbing on top of the tunnel to find the numbers.
  3. Using the clue written on the diary page and the numbers at the tunnel, record the solution. You will need it later to unlock the treasure’s location.

Need a hint? Click here.

Fourth Tunnel

Click here to reveal the fourth tunnel’s GPS position. The fourth tunnel is a half-mile away but will take you past some excellent rock climbing areas. If it’s a beautiful day, you’ll be treated to a show as people attempt to scale the wall.

Keep an eye out to your right for changes in the topography that will reveal the tunnel’s location. Again, there’s a footpath that will take you down to the tunnel. Be mindful of private property signs. The area can easily be accessed without trespassing.

For the last time, perform these three steps.

  1. Match the entrance with a drawing from the diary. Here’s a link to the diary.
  2. Find the pair of double digits painted on the tunnel.
  3. Using the clue written on the diary page and the numbers at the tunnel, record the solution.

Need a hint? Click here.

If you keep your eyes peeled, you can even find a stalactite inside the fourth tunnel.
If you keep your eyes peeled, you can even find a stalactite inside the fourth tunnel.

Now that you have visited all four tunnels and obtained the four pieces of the password find their sum to unlock the treasure’s location.

Use the password you just generated to unlock the following webpage.

Click here when ready.

Note Well

All the tunnels can be accessed without trespassing onto residential private property. Please observe the signs and stay on Conestoga Township property.

Please observe social distancing while on your adventure. No treasure is worth dying for. There’s enough for everyone, and I will keep the cache stocked. If the parking lot or trail looks full, please consider coming back another day. Even Indiana Jones knew to let the grail go.

Railroads

Not to be a killjoy, but it is illegal to walk on railroad tracks. Railroads are private property, unlike public trails, roads, or waterways. They are owned by the railroad that operates them. Every time you walk on them without permission, except at grade crossings, you are technically trespassing. It can be extremely dangerous to walk, run, or drive down the railroad tracks or even alongside them. You’ve been warned.

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