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A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJHiker View Post
    ... More than the rocks, hikers need to stay aware of the critters, rattlesnakes and copperheads that hide under them...
    Agree, watch out too for civil war era ghosts and other spirits on South Mountain. There is bad juju in PA. Pass thru quickly and quietly and don't speak of what you've seen

  2. #82

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    I really like Pennsylvania, I would be far more concerned with Lyme Disease in that area in June than rocks. Southern PA is great, easy walking with few rocks, I've been through twice and the rocks really start about 20 miles south of Port Clinton, and they go well into New Jersey. There are a few hairy areas but the only reason people complain about the rocks is because there is nothing else to complain about - easy walking, resupply everywhere, not a bad section in my view.

  3. #83
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    It's funny how the saying with the rocks became "wait until you get to the Whites!"
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th
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    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  4. #84
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    Most southbound thruhikers are puzzled about the "Rocksylvania" comments. They have seen far worse up north.
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  5. #85
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    About how long do rocks like these pictures last on the trail? Hiking on
    these looks formidable but maybe a short amount would be doable.
    Is it about what shows up in the photo or do they last going on and on and on? Many You-Tube reports show the hikers gliding along fairly fast in PA. May be doing the Duncannon area and north a bit soon.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    The northern 100 miles of trail in PA has LOTS of trail that looks like the pics below (taken near Wind Gap) - and where it isn't almost completely rock there are plenty just sticking up out of the ground in the middle of the trail waiting for your toes and ankles. Careful foot placement is a must.

    Attachment 46059

    Attachment 46060

    Attachment 46061
    How long do these rocky areas last on the A T in PA? Do they involve essentially what shows in the photo of do they go on and on and on . . .? Various You-Tube presentations show the hiker gliding along fairly well while videoing PA. May be hiking in the Duncannon area and a bit north next week.

    Also do members just use the carbide tip of hiking poles or use the rubber tips available while hiking on/in rocks?

  7. #87
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Rubber tips don't last long.

  8. #88

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    They go on and on in some areas and non existent in others. I remember the stretch from Duncannon to Swatera Gap being continuous rocks once you cross the river.

  9. #89

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    It is definitely doable, as several us have done it, and hundreds do it every year. But not necesarily enjoyable. But sort of like staying at the Doyle, everyone should do it at least once if not for anything else just to say you did. NH and ME rocks are worse as far as dificulty, while with PA is more the annoying ankle biters and what it does to your shoes. And of course it is more of a pain when raining. But when you are done with it you have earned the right to complain like the rest of us.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  10. #90

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    South of Duncannon is reasonably mellow, except for the decent into Duncannon. That's where the misery starts.

    The climb out of Duncannon is pretty rocky and once you reach the top is really nasty for the next couple of miles. I have fond memories of being hit with a thunderstorm at the top of the climb which made the next few miles "interesting". Then you get to Peters mountain and find the water is 300+ rock steps straight down the side of the ridge for water.

    After that it's kind of mixed. Some easy move right along sections and some careful where you put your feet sections. It's probably a 70/30 mix of good and bad.
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  11. #91
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    There are long rocky stretches between Delaware River and Susquehanna.
    Gaps are the worst and they are numerous down there - Lehigh Gap, Wind Gap, Smith Gap, etc
    Lehigh Gap north of the river is not only a climb on moving rocks - it's also an open space with no protection from the sun. I got fried there pretty bad. Views are nice though.

    Attaching few photos I took between DWG and Little Gap
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #92
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    Few more photos: Little Gap to Peters Mountain
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #93
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I prefer walking on rocks... any rocks... to sitting at my desk.

    Or as my Dad would say: Kwitcherbitchin

  14. #94
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    Okay, today I got back from a hike on two of the PA ridges around Duncannon. The AWOL Guide states that Cove Mountain miles 1141 to 1147 are "very rocky." It doesn't seem to mention a rocky section (5 miles?) anywhere else in PA that I note in the guide. This is from a senior hiker. And I don't usually like rocks. The hike up (north bound) was typical AT. There was some nice Mountain Laurel and a lot of nice path and fast hiking. Sure, there were some rocks but not enough to put such a warning in the guide compared to the rocks I will probably just read about in northern PA. The climb down from Hawk Rock though was not fun. It does have large stone steps of sorts leading down from the view but the large steps along with other hikers carrying children from a large parking lot made that part a very interesting descent.

    While my younger companions hiked up to Clarks Ferry Shelter I stayed in a hotel. (Age has its advantages). I met them the next morning at Rt. PA 225 trailhead and hiked to Rt. 325 trailhead. According to their observations of my hiking, I would not have been happy hiker hiking up to the shelter at the end of a hike. The first several miles of the ridge (Peters Mountain?) was pretty much fun. It was easy clear path for the most part. Where there were rocks I could pretty easily step over or on them, like playing hop-scotch, and moving fairly fast or so I think. In the "Kinter View" region (saw two rattle snakes there) The trail would go up and over the rocky ridge like picture 3 in post 92 (above). with fairly easy parts between. My companions were on the next ridge (to Rousch Gap)today and consider that ridge to be about the same as Peters Mountain ridge and guess not all that bad. Often pictures show just the "bad" parts.

    The two ridges I just did, with nice weather and only daypacks really weren't that bad and a lot of fun. Do I plan to go farther north . . . probably not for now. I think I would have enjoyed their next section but ended up being 17.4 miles, a bit long for me if rocky.

  15. #95
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    Just finished PA a few days ago. There are a few really bad stretches, but they are generally not long lasting. Avoid Lehigh Gap and Knife's Edge in the rain. Both sides of Port Clinton are rocky, but not horrible.

    The biggest challenge in northern PA is scarcity of water sources.

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