View Full Version : Maryland and Penn this summer

05-07-2010, 00:37
I've been hearing stories of rocks and rocks. Where or which section are the rocks I hear about? I'm section hiking duirng the summers. Slowly headin' North. Thanks y'all

05-07-2010, 00:56
You'll hit the infamous PA rocks north of Duncannon and stay in them all the way north to Wolf Rocks just south of DWG. That's not to say that all sections are the same, but you'll get large patches of those sharp, boot destroying jagged shards and chunks that make hiking an affair of learning to hop like a rock-wallaby.

Here's a few pictures to give you the idea; the first from Little Gap at the north end, the second near Swatara Gap at the south end and the third from one of the few real rock scrambling sections on the AT, Lehigh Gap:

Hoop Time
05-07-2010, 19:44
They actually start on Cove Mountain, just south of Duncannon, but they get worse when you get across the river and up on Peters Mountain. It's not the large rock scramble areas that are a pain. They can be slower going as you climb through them. But as Strategic said, it's the sharp, jagged ones, usually with just those edges sticking up through the dirt, but in many places with no room for your foot to step between them, that suck. They hurt your feet and twist your ankles if you don't watch where you step.

05-11-2010, 19:04
thanks guys, I think. I might just get from Harpers Ferry to Duncannon this summer - 8-10 day walk

05-11-2010, 20:03
There are rocky areas in MD too. I fell in them.

05-12-2010, 07:56
Most of what I heard from Thru-Hikers is that PA is nothing but Rocks with few exceptions. PA does have a lot of limestone and I think your feet will be happy when it's over.

05-12-2010, 15:24
Limestone occurs in The Great Valley and the A.T. runs along its northern rim. Blue Mountain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Mountain_(Pennsylvania)) also known as Kittatinny Ridge is formed by rocks the Shawangunk Formation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawangunk_Formation) which unlike limestone are quite resistant to weathering. See also Landforms of Pennsylvania (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/map13/map13.aspx) to learn more about its physiographic provinces.

05-12-2010, 15:33
To be sure, PA ate a pair of my boots.

The trail itself isn't difficult though - there are few steep climbs. It's just a matter of getting in the zone - and holding your tongue right.

If you hike PA sobo you'll start forgetting about how rocky it was by the time you leave. If you hike it nobo all you'll remember are the rocks.

05-12-2010, 15:41
You are absolutely correct about hikers' perceptions about Pennsylvania's rocks and their recall of them being influenced by their prior experience and direction of travel. I have posted about the power of self-fulfilling prophesies too and how posts here can influence the experiences of others.

A.T. journeys embarked upon without any preconceived ideas will often reveal pleasant surprises where others expect and find none. I am never surprised when hikers who seemingly focus upon our rocks to the exclusion of everything else have little else to report.