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Day Hike from Port Clinton PA - North or South??
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Karple T

Locale: Mid-Alantic
Day Hike from Port Clinton PA - North or South?? on 01/03/2012 21:35:03 MST Print View

I am going to be in PA in June for a few days near Reading and want to do overnighter hike on the AT.

Any suggestion for an scenic section to do with the wife?

I was thinking of starting at port clinton and heading towards the pinnacle.

a b
Port Clinton Hike on 01/03/2012 21:47:32 MST Print View

I really liked the trail from Port Clinton northwards.
There are some fantastic rocks up by an amateur astronomy club observatory.
I resupplied at Port Clinton and left town well after noon but made those rocks by sunset.
Here is a picture of the area I am talking about.
.On the AT north of Port Clinton
I'll just post one picture as a teaser.
You will not be disapponted in this area. I thought it was one of the most beautiful places on the AT in Pennsylvania.

Will Webster
Day or overnight? on 01/04/2012 05:26:48 MST Print View

Title says day hike, text says overnight; not sure what you're looking for.

There's a very nice 8 1/2 mile loop hike you can do from Hamburg Reservoir just east of Port Clinton; just Google "AT hamburg pinnacle loop". If you want to make it an overnight you could start and end at Port Clinton. The Pinnacle is a very popular hike so be prepared for crowds if it's a weekend.

While you're out there, shopping at Cabela's is always an interesting cross-cultural experience. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is also nearby; some nice hiking there but they charge admission and there won't be any hawks to speak of in summer.

Edited by WillWeb on 01/04/2012 05:27:40 MST.

Karple T

Locale: Mid-Alantic
"Overnight Hike from Port Clinton PA - North or South??" on 01/04/2012 08:17:43 MST Print View

Thanks folks -

We are doing an overnighter. We live in Baltimore so we are can get an early start and do around 20 miles to anywhere we can set up camp and then go back the next day.

A loop would be nice.

The picture is great.

I have read that water is not so easy to find in summer around there unless you hike about 1000 feet off trail.

Should we just carry all we need?

Edited by ctracyverizon on 01/04/2012 08:29:14 MST.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
AT Around Port Clinton on 01/04/2012 09:21:45 MST Print View


Your locale still shows Mid-West...Recently move east? If so, welcome. I live in Lancaster PA and can point you to a bunch of loop hikes in PA if you're interested - PM me.

Water...Yes - it's often 1,000 off trail on that section of the AT and that 1,000 feet usually includes significant elevation loss as you hike along the ridges (which is what makes that section so beautiful). It really depends on the trail you choose whether you'll need to carry the water you need. If you started south of Port Clinton and hiked north you'd be able to tank up at Port Clinton.

You will find, in general, that you'll probably carry more water hiking the ridges of PA in June that you are used to.

Karple T

Locale: Mid-Alantic
"Day Hike from Port Clinton PA - North or South??" on 01/04/2012 17:43:17 MST Print View

Hey thanks Kevin,

Moved from Maryland to Chicago but recently came back. I just updated my location.

I was reading one of your posts earlier about PA trips.

Let me know your favorites. I do a lot of 1-3 day trips in VA,TN & MD but have not been anywhere in PA yet.

There are a few canoeing trips I want to take there and in Delaware this year.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: Day Hike from Port Clinton PA - North or South?? on 01/13/2012 12:47:38 MST Print View

From that area, going South is boring.

Going north from Port Clinton is definitely the way to go. You get to the Pinnacle and Pulpit Rocks, two of the best views in PA (or the AT?). Yes, the Pinnacle is crowded on weekends.

It is a great area, but you need to be wary of the camping regs. Rangers have been very strict about camping in the area only at the shelters, and have been ticketing those they find in other places (near the Pinnacle, e.g.). So, if you go stealth, make sure it is really stealth, and not lazy-stealth.

You can do a long day (15 mi) and go from Port Clinton to Eckville shelter, going thru the Pinnacle, and many other woods. One the way back, you can bypass the Pinnacle and use some other trails to get back to Port Clinton in about 8 miles.

Another option would be to park at the Hamburg Reservoir lot (must register for overnight parking - 610-562-7821), and hike up to the Pinnacle, and back down, and use some other trails in the area, and stay at the Windsor Furnace Shelter (~1.5 mi from the HR lot).

Map info here.

Water resources:
Spring between Pt. Clinton and Hamburg Reservoir
Water source at Windsor Furnace shelter near Hamburg Reservoir
Water source at Eckville Shelter

All other water sources in the area are typical of the PA AT; down 1,000' (vertically) off the trail/ridge. This is not fun to get to, so plan wisely.

The Pinnacle really is a great area. I do a handful of hikes every year with my friend up to the Pinnacle to see the full moon rise over the valley, then hike down the fire road under headlamp. Really amazing.