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Thread: Rocks in PA.

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    Planning for after college. ShawnR80's Avatar
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    Question Rocks in PA.

    I am planning a little section hike through PA in 5weeks. I will be taking my 5 younger brothers and sisters to get them to outside and get them introduced to the great outdoors... So here's my question. Where approx. do the famous rocks start and end in PA? Is it possible to do a section without the rocks for the little kids. Any knowledge would be appreciated.. Thanks guys, ShawnR80

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    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnR80
    I am planning a little section hike through PA in 5weeks. I will be taking my 5 younger brothers and sisters to get them to outside and get them introduced to the great outdoors... So here's my question. Where approx. do the famous rocks start and end in PA? Is it possible to do a section without the rocks for the little kids. Any knowledge would be appreciated.. Thanks guys, ShawnR80
    the rocks in pa aint nothing,pa is easy,whinny hikers always bitch about something,dont worry about the rocks,hike and be happy,i did 20 to 25 miles a day in pa,its so easy neo

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    I'd say that south of Duncannon PA, the rocks are not as prominent as they are north of the Susquehanna River (Duncannon) I grew up hiking those rocks around Port Clinton and thought they were the norm until my first thru hike in '77. Then i found out that most hikers hate PA because of these rocks. They are only bad if you let yourself think they are bad.

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    Registered User just jim's Avatar
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    Default Hiking PA

    Call me crazy but I enjoy hiking through PA! The rocks can get tiresome but I think PA has some of the coolest shelters on the AT, not to mention that PA has some of the best food on the AT. (I am a sucker for handcut frenchfries!!) Now if I can just get the Port Clinton Hotel to stop charging for refills on ice-tea!!

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    Registered User joel137's Avatar
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    I'll be sectioning in PA in about 4-6 weeks. The rocks aren't as bad as their reputation. And as someone said, south of Duncannon is basically rock-free (or more honestly, no more rock than most of the AT.)

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    Registered User Ridge Rat's Avatar
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    The rocks aren't infamous so much as being an injury tool, they are a problem for making big milage. The rocks in Section 4 (rt. 309-Port clinton) are by far the worst of PA, but, in the same respect the best views (Pinnacle, pulpit rock, and dans pulpit not to mention Hawk mt. side hike) and it has my 2 favorite shelters (Eckville and Allentown). All the rest the rocks are just a pain in the foot due to being small and everywhere all the way up to NJ but with proper footwear are not a big deal. Anyhow, HYOH and have a good time and dont let rumors of the the big bad PA rocks stop you from having a good time. If they get bad just slow the pace down and take your time and you will be sure to avoid injury.

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    2000 in 20 mbroadhe's Avatar
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    Kids LOVE rock hoppin'!
    If I had not been able to periodically renew myself in the mountains...I would be very nearly bughouse. - Wallace Stegner in Wilderness and the Geography of Hope

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    Registered Loser c.coyle's Avatar
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    Ridge Rat nailed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnR80
    I am planning a little section hike through PA in 5weeks. I will be taking my 5 younger brothers and sisters to get them to outside and get them introduced to the great outdoors... So here's my question. Where approx. do the famous rocks start and end in PA? Is it possible to do a section without the rocks for the little kids. Any knowledge would be appreciated.. Thanks guys, ShawnR80
    Shawn:

    While the rocks aren't bad for seasoned hikers, someone new to backpacking might find walking on some sections of PA problematic. Especially if they are carrying a heavy load, don't have the right footwear, or are not carrying a staff or hiking poles. Constantly adjusting your balance on an uneven surface causes a lot of fatigue in muscles that people rarely use outside of backpacking.

    Fron PenMar State Park up into Caledonia SP the rocks aren't bad. One of the reasons for that is that southern PA was not subjected to glaciation in the last ice age. That might be a nice taste of the trail for your siblings. You could do about 18 miles over 3 days - 2 nights.

    Frankly, you don't want your families "introduction" to backpacking and the great outdoors to be a negative experience. It should be fun. If I was in your boots - my goal would be to create an experience that wil make your sibs want to get back out there ASAP. Cut the miles and enjoy your time together by taking frequent rest stops - and enjoying time together in camp. I would also suggest you involve the younger sibs in helping to select the food. On the trail - it's all about the food.

    Download the following PDF from the ALDHA website. http://www.aldha.org/companyn/wv-pa06.pdf
    That can assist you with your planning.

    Good luck!

    I hope that helps.
    Last edited by MOWGLI; 05-02-2006 at 07:08.

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    Section Hiker ~ 125 miles adh24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just jim
    (I am a sucker for handcut frenchfries!!)
    Try the Bowmen's Town Diner right off 248 just north of the Lehigh Gap. Gravy Cheese Fries to Die for

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    Rocks in PA? Nah. The rocks start around Duncanon and continue up to High Point and from then on they have a tendency to be larger. From Lehigh Gap to rt 309 they can be a bit of a pain, but one of my favorite sections is Bear Rocks and Bake Oven Knob. ROcky and a lot of fun. Just plan on going slow. The section that I hate is Fox Gap (191) to Wind Gap. Rocks aren't that bad, but it would be better if there were some views and it is very dry. Actually, there is not a lot of water out there right now and it will not be better in June.

    Grey Owl

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnR80
    I am planning a little section hike through PA in 5weeks. I will be taking my 5 younger brothers and sisters to get them to outside and get them introduced to the great outdoors... So here's my question. Where approx. do the famous rocks start and end in PA? Is it possible to do a section without the rocks for the little kids. Any knowledge would be appreciated.. Thanks guys, ShawnR80
    =============================

    The infamous PA rocks really become more prevelant north of Duncannon. There are rocks everywhere on the trail so PA is no exception to the rule. What seems different about the PA rocks is that many of them are sharp and "on edge" and are spaced close together. There are sections of trail where it is pretty hard to set your foot down flat on a flat surface and I think that's what gives rise to many of the complaints. I do know that in my own case, my shoes (and feet) took a pretty good beating in PA.

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  13. #13
    Susquehanna to the Hudson so far! insideragp's Avatar
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    Talking PA Native - The rocks rock!

    My wife and I hiked all of Jersey and are working on PA from the Susquehanna to Jersey and NY to the Hudson this year. The rocks can be tough on desk jockeys and others who don't use their legs much. How old are your siblings?

    My wife and I are skiers so we use this as cross training. The rocks are great for balance! It does start to thin out in Jersey. We just hiked Little Gap to Lehigh Gap on Sunday. It's a short 5 mile walk between gaps (we go car to car) with a great climb down the rocks at Lehigh Gap. If they like the rocks, take them to Lehigh Gap!

    We saw a dad with 2 kids ages 6 and 9 climbing up Lehigh Gap. Kids were happy as clams. I'll post our pics from Sunday - weather was beautiful

    Remember - it's all about the fun. Get em hooked...go slow, check out the views, bring some binoculars for the hawks etc. Its dry so bring water. I'm teaching my 6 year old nephew to ski and it's all about the fun, not the vertical feet or the skills yet. It's about getting em hooked! Enjoy!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead
    They are only bad if you let yourself think they are bad.
    They're bad. Period.

    Hiking is most pleasant from a day's hike south of Boiling Springs to the last road crossing before the mtn before Duncannon)
    Be Prepared

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud
    They're bad. Period.
    Now we know how you got your trail name. Fill up your glass. It's half empty!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOWGLI16
    Now we know how you got your trail name. Fill up your glass. It's half empty!
    mowgli, you should change your trail name to dewdrop sunshine

  17. #17
    ~LIVE WELL~LAUGH OFTEN~LOVE MUCH~ Green Bean's Avatar
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    PA and the rocks. What a joke!!! i'm not sayin there arent rocks b/c there sure are but what i'm sayin is that you souldn't have to worry about the rocks when you hike on the AT or any trail b/c you are always gonna have incounters with them. Any where you go, you are going to run into rocks. period. and sometimes more rocks then others.

    Good job on taking the little ones out and starting them young! One thing you can do when the trail gets rocky and young ones are complaining (if they do) just take a rest and dont rush for you want them to have a good time so they remeber the outdoors for a good thing not a bad. and take it slow. ~GB
    "Plans to protect air, water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man."

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    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    Lesseee now - Rocks or big mountains???..... Rocks or big mountains????....
    Hell give me flat PA and loads of rocks any day over some of those 3 mile long 2'000 foot climbs!!! in TN or GA.
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

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    Registered User kyhipo's Avatar
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    Default rocks in PA

    They can be bad! been thru their couple times!I also had my biggest day their.So its a love,hate relationship their for myself.ky

  20. #20

    Default Easy hiking in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnR80
    I am planning a little section hike through PA in 5weeks. I will be taking my 5 younger brothers and sisters to get them to outside and get them introduced to the great outdoors... So here's my question. Where approx. do the famous rocks start and end in PA? Is it possible to do a section without the rocks for the little kids. Any knowledge would be appreciated.. Thanks guys, ShawnR80
    Probably the easiest stretch in PA is the Cumberland Valley, which happens to be where I live and maintain some of the trail. You could leave your vehicle near Boiling Springs and hike North. The AT there is either flat or very gently rolling hills for about 13 miles until you reach the foot of Blue Mountain. You'll go through farm fields, woods and a one mile area that has become fairly urbanized. Almost no rocks. It's a good place to introduce someone to trail hiking. If they get the AT bug, you can take them to some more challenging areas North and South of the CV.

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