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  1. #1
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Default Blue blaze trail to Palmerton, PA?

    Ok so I tried to check out the blue blaze to Palmerton, PA today and failed. Can anyone who has actually walked it chime in? I'll try to describe what I did best as I can. I figured out how to head toward Palmerton from the Winter Trail. In a short while I descended onto Red Hill Drive. There was an empty small "plant security" structure and a metal grate bridge leading across the Aquashicola Creek but there is a huge fence in the way preventing you to getting across and into Palmerton. Was I supposed to go instead up onto the shoulder of Route 248/POW/MIA Remembrance Bridge to cross over Aquashicola Creek? That didn't seem right to me at the time so I walked down the deserted Red Hill Drive road and looked for another bridge across the creek. I found a RR bridge but that also had a fence across and a no trespass sign.

    Now writing this out and looking at Google maps I'm thinking I should have, if I wanted to walk to Palmerton, just gone onto the shoulder of 248 over the creek and then back onto Red Hill Drive/Slate Rd and into the main street of Palmerton (Delaware Ave) but I guess I'm just looking for confirmation from someone who has actually walked from the AT to Palmerton or from Palmerton to the AT. Thanks!
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 31/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

  2. #2
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    file:///Users/somers515/Desktop/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-28%20at%209.08.03%20PM.png
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 31/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

  3. #3
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Ugh tried to include a google maps screen shot of the area I was talking about but I failed there too! lol Moderators please feel free to delete my failed screen shot post if you aren't too busy! : )
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 31/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

  4. #4

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    The time I took that "short cut" it was to get back to the trail from town. It sounds like I took the same route you tried, but when I got to the fence and guard shack, there was a guard there who after a little explanation on my part, let me pass. If you can't get across there now, don't know how you'd get around it.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  5. #5

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    I can't see a fence across the bridge on Google Earth, but then, it shows the bridge collapsed into the river! Looks like the only option is to cross over on the highway bridge and then hop back onto Red Hill Drive. With the satellite picture, you can see why it's called Red Hill. I need to keep that in mind as I will likely go to Palmerton that way when the time comes in a couple of months.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Well it was a Sunday so maybe during the week they have the fence open and a guard there that you can talk to and ask permission to pass. As you said it looks possible to use the highway bridge to cross the creek. Not ideal to be walking on the highway but it would only be for a very short distance. Thanks Slo-go'en.
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 31/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

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    its been awhile since ive been there or even looked at the map for the area, but i seem to remember (and you describing it as a blue blaze reinforces this) that there is an official blue blaze trail into palmerton from the AT. if you cant find it i suggest looking at a map.

  8. #8
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    its been awhile since ive been there or even looked at the map for the area, but i seem to remember (and you describing it as a blue blaze reinforces this) that there is an official blue blaze trail into palmerton from the AT. if you cant find it i suggest looking at a map.
    I've looked at the old Keystone Trails official Appalachian Trail map but it doesn't help. Does anyone have a map that shows the official blue blaze all the way into Palmerton?

    Perhaps this description will help. Let's say you are heading north on the AT and you cross over the bridge over the Lehigh River. You then cross over Hwy 248 and up past a parking lot and onto a level wide path. You'll come across a sign that tells you AT this way (up the hill and eventually on to the rock scramble that everyone knows and loves) or you can follow the blue blaze. The sign even says this way to Palmerton. It's also called the winter trail. You'll continue on the wide level path. At some point the blue blaze/winter trail then turns up the hill as well (using switchbacks to get you up and reconnects eventually to the AT). If HOWEVER you don't go up the hill and instead continue on the wide level path you'll head toward Palmerton. The path dumps you onto Red Hill Road and the problem I described above with a bridge that has a fence across it (perhaps only on Sundays). This is why I posted to ask others who have done it. I think Slo-go'em is right but if anyone else knows the area and would like to chime in that would be great. Thanks all!
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 31/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    I've looked at the old Keystone Trails official Appalachian Trail map but it doesn't help. Does anyone have a map that shows the official blue blaze all the way into Palmerton?

    Perhaps this description will help. Let's say you are heading north on the AT and you cross over the bridge over the Lehigh River. You then cross over Hwy 248 and up past a parking lot and onto a level wide path. You'll come across a sign that tells you AT this way (up the hill and eventually on to the rock scramble that everyone knows and loves) or you can follow the blue blaze. The sign even says this way to Palmerton. It's also called the winter trail. You'll continue on the wide level path. At some point the blue blaze/winter trail then turns up the hill as well (using switchbacks to get you up and reconnects eventually to the AT). If HOWEVER you don't go up the hill and instead continue on the wide level path you'll head toward Palmerton. The path dumps you onto Red Hill Road and the problem I described above with a bridge that has a fence across it (perhaps only on Sundays). This is why I posted to ask others who have done it. I think Slo-go'em is right but if anyone else knows the area and would like to chime in that would be great. Thanks all!

    heres a relevant, perhaps overly obvious question- is the path you were attempting to follow marked with blue blazes? if so, thats the one. if not, it isn't. perhaps you left the winter trail sooner than you were supposed to and the blue blaze turn off onto the trail to palmerton is further along?

    the winter trail and the trail into palmerton arent the same, there are, i am guessing, 2 blue blazes with a junction, where you saw the "to palmerton" sign. perhaps the trail into palmerton isnt actually blazed? that or you amde a wrong turn onto something else you werent suppsoed to be on which is why you came upon the gate.

    here is what the companion says about it-

    Blue-blaze directions: West 1.5 miles from the gravel lot on the northwestside of the Lehigh River over the Aquashicola Creek Bridge to the back road leading to DelawareAve. in Palmerton.

  10. #10

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    The winter trail brings you around to the side of the ridge and continues along the side of the ridge for a bit before climbing up to the top. At that corner you can continue to go straight ahead, which brings you out to a road and a bridge. Apparently that bridge has a locked gate across it. The side of the road the trail comes out on follows along the base of the ridge and ends at a Railroad yard. There is no place to cross the river going in that direction.

    If the gate at the bridge is locked, you have no option but to cross on the highway, which is very close by and easy enough to get onto and off of once the river is crossed. This is very clear to see with Google Earth.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    The winter trail brings you around to the side of the ridge and continues along the side of the ridge for a bit before climbing up to the top. At that corner you can continue to go straight ahead, which brings you out to a road and a bridge. Apparently that bridge has a locked gate across it. The side of the road the trail comes out on follows along the base of the ridge and ends at a Railroad yard. There is no place to cross the river going in that direction.

    If the gate at the bridge is locked, you have no option but to cross on the highway, which is very close by and easy enough to get onto and off of once the river is crossed. This is very clear to see with Google Earth.
    i still think if you encounter a locked gate you may be in the wrong place. looking at google earth and trying to follow the directions from the companion as best as possible it looks like a bridge on a very public road.

  12. #12

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    Jump up on the road, cross creek, jump back down off road, skin on by gard shack, tip your hat, follow road around to the right and head East into town.

  13. #13

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    Or do what I did witch is stand at traffic light before crossing 248. Look over and smile back at the girl in the jeep stopped at the red. Walk over and say hello and say how can I get to town from here. Then she says get in.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALLEGHENY View Post
    Or do what I did witch is stand at traffic light before crossing 248. Look over and smile back at the girl in the jeep stopped at the red. Walk over and say hello and say how can I get to town from here. Then she says get in.
    thats works too

  15. #15

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    which is:

    Helps to be extremely handsome.

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    We had no problem walking the blue blaze trail into town last year. There was a little "guard shack" at a small bridge, but no one was there and everything was wide open. There are instructions on what to do in AWOL's guide if the fence is closed.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyjam View Post
    We had no problem walking the blue blaze trail into town last year. There was a little "guard shack" at a small bridge, but no one was there and everything was wide open. There are instructions on what to do in AWOL's guide if the fence is closed.
    Jimmyjam (or anyone else) can you tell us what AWOL's instructions are on what to do if the fence is closed? I'm curious to hear the "official" word.

    And by the way Allegheny I enjoyed your posts as well - especially the one about perhaps Palmerton is locking hikers out, I actually had a similar thought - this is not exactly welcoming! : )
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 31/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

  18. #18

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    Didn't the town shutdown the Jailhouse hostel? Maybe they are locking Hikers out. I think Trump want to build a fence.

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