Hiking, March, Pennsylvania
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Mar 13, 2013 6:34 PM Last Post By: SoloHobo
Mar 12, 2013 4:40 PM
Hiking, March, PennsylvaniaLast week in March I was suppose to be in Utah - hiking at Zion NP; one of my most favorite places on earth. Plans changed & now I'm suppose to go with hubby on a road trip from Minneapolis to New York City. I do not know the east coast - are there any hiking adventures to be had in Pennsylvania? or anywhere along that route? ( Central Park wasn't quite what I had in mind).
Mar 13, 2013 1:32 AM
Mar 13, 2013 6:35 AM
3Pennsylvania is freckled with lots of state parks, most of which have some really idyllic short hikes.
The Delaware Water Gap is beautiful although I'm not the foliage will be in full form so early in the year.
The Appalachian Trail south of the Cumberland Valley is also said to be quite nice.
PA consists of a series of sections from the SE corner to the NW corner
The SE section (from Philadelphia to Harrisburg) is part of the Piedmont Plateau (despite the low altitude it's called a plateau). It is heavily populated, but nice hiking opportunities can be found in its numerous state parks.
A NW of that (from Harrisburg to State College) is the ridge and valley section. That's my favorite section to hike. It's home to really really long ridges and really really long valleys. Hiking along the ridges provides some great views. That's where the PA section of the Appalachian trail is. Wear boots, the trails are famous for being rocky and a little washed out.
NW of State College is the Allegheny Plateau. It's called a plateau because of its elevation, but it is not at all flat. Every you look there, countless hills and small mountains sit atop the "plateau." It is sparsely populated and heavily forested. In fact it is one of the largest tracts of unpopulated forest on the east coast and there is a movement to turn a large part of it into a National Park.
Mar 13, 2013 9:27 AM
4Take Rte 6 across the northern part of the state. PA 6 is one of the hidden gems for scenic drives in the US. A few spots to hit west to east: Hearts Content Scenic area (old growth forest), Cook Forest (old growth forest), Pine Creek Gorge (Grand Canyon of PA), Rickett's Glen: More here . Northern PA is very scenic, sparsely populated, thickly forested. Wellsboro, near the Pine Creek Gorge, is a nice little town to stop for the night. Trees at the end of March will not be leafed out yet, but trees like redbud, cherry, apple might be blooming by them.
Mar 13, 2013 12:10 PM
5Pennsylvania has lots of forests and state parks that offer good hiking--not the same scenery as Western national parks, but still nice. At this time of year, the weather can be damp and drizzly, but on the positive side you will not have many people around.
There is a lot of good hiking near State College. Check out Poe Valley State Park along Penns Creek--a very beautiful area. Alan Seeger Natural Area has large hemlocks and small brooks. Black Moshannon State Park is another option.
Another great hike (not sure at this time of year) is nearer to New York City: Ricketts Glenn State Park. The main hiking trail has a lot of forested waterfalls.
A great resource for Pennsylvania hiking: "Outbound Journeys in Pennsylvania" by Marcia Bonta. Lots of good hikes listed.
Mar 13, 2013 6:34 PM
6There is a ton of great hiking in Pennsylvania.
How much time you have?
Some of the best is either in the Allegheny National Forest, which is a gorgeous drive in itself, via Franklin and Oil City. Minister Creek is a great place to camp and hike and fish. Franklin and Oil City are nice to stay a night.
If you Google Map this area, you will see a lot of state parks and national forest lands all north of I-80. When I take my moto to NY from Chicago, I always stop in Hyner Run SP, then hike the huge forest stands of hemlock, and drive to Lockhaven area, north there is a Slate Run and along this river area is a converted rail track to a bike/hike path, plus all the lands to hike, some of the State Parks have cabins too...
Little Pine SP is a great place to hike, fish and relax, small town for supplies and fresh food too.
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