View Full Version : Pinchot treail in PA

04-24-2007, 12:19
I was wondering if anyone would like to give me some advice for the Pinchot trail (PA). I will be going with my girlfriend (first time backpacker). How is the camping? Can I get away with wearing trail sneakers or is it too rocky? Any better 25(+ / -) mile loops around PA? How are the water sources? Thanks to all who reply! I will take any ideas or advice...

sly dog
04-24-2007, 12:25
I keep meaning to hike it, i live in wilkes barre and havent yet. My brother has hiked it at least two times but i am unsure of water supplys. I will ask him today and get back to you if no one else does. I know he did say it is an easy hike.

04-24-2007, 12:30
Thanks sly dog! I will check in again tomorrow. It looks pretty easy. It will be my girlfriends first trip so I don't want to push her too much. I want her to talk with me afterward...or maybe I won't... we will see...just kidding! Thanks for the quick reply! I hope there is ample camping because I don't know how much she can really handle. I look forward to hearing from you.....

Moon Monster
04-24-2007, 16:01
I did this in late May of 2005 as an overnighter. Moving at a fairly quick pace, (but not like a thru-hiker pace), both loops took me a combined 8 hours of walking. So, I think it is a nice trail for a beginner. If you got there early enough on the first day, there is no reason this should be more than an overnighter.

I did the south loop first and then camped in the only flat spot I found near the end of that loop, which happened to be within earshot of the road. There were about three decent streams on that loop. The clearing at the top of Stone lookout would have been rather nice but for a huge pile of beercans. There were probably other campsites, but not necessarily right near water.

I liked the north loop much better. There are a couple pleasant open areas of mostly shrubs, so you're not just under trees the whole time. My notes say there were about 3 good water sources on that side as well. I remember there being a couple obvious campsites on that loop. I think there are OK sites reasonably spaced throughout--you may have to make your own by stepping into the woods. A couple times, the trail follows private property boundary lines, so you'd have to watch for those. Like a lot of PA trails, the water may not coincide with obvious campsites.

There is one very very steep hill on the north loop. I went down it by going clockwise on the northern section. It's very short, mileage wise, but heinously steep for such a gentle region. But, that could be fun for your girlfriend to do for just a small taste of what it's like to do something bigger with a pack on.

It was not very rocky by Eastern PA standards. A lot of it is on fire roads. It is way way less rocky than the Thunder Swamp Trail, which I do not recommend for beginners (too overgrown and too suspect of water sources).

Another loop you could consider is the Old Loggers Path. It's slightly longer (27mi) and a bit tougher. But, it's further from roads and other people. I saw 17 others on the Pinchot. A week later, I saw zero on the OLP. Perhaps, your girlfriend would be more comfortable occasionally encountering others, though.

Here are some good websites to get a lot more information on Penna trails:

04-26-2007, 14:12
Thanks Moon Monster! You gave a lot! I really want to thank you for the valuable info. If there are more campsites (north) may decide to hike the northern section first. I think that she will really like it. I guess that I can get away with trail sneakers. Thanks again!