Welcome to the AppalachianTrailCafe.net!
Take a moment and register and then join the conversation

Question about PA

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    • Question about PA

      Going with a friend to Blackwood, NJ in a few weeks to help her bring some of her late father's possessions back to MI. So, I figured we would be crossing the AT at some point. Looks like it will be on the Pennsylvania Turnpike east of Carlisle. Is anyone familiar with this area as to where we can get off and go park for a 2-3 hr out and back hike?
    • Trillium wrote:

      Going with a friend to Blackwood, NJ in a few weeks to help her bring some of her late father's possessions back to MI. So, I figured we would be crossing the AT at some point. Looks like it will be on the Pennsylvania Turnpike east of Carlisle. Is anyone familiar with this area as to where we can get off and go park for a 2-3 hr out and back hike?
      go to the ATCs web site and use their interactive map. You can turn on a layer for trail head parking.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • As long as you do not run into too many rocks, PA is usually not too bad as far as elevation. Some nice scenery in places too. I remember doing a 20 mile day to get to a motel/hotel stay in Carlisle, so should be reasonable walking in that area. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Astro ().

    • The town of Boiling Springs isn't far from Carlisle,PA and the trail goes right through town.
      The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has a regional office there and you can probably get any info you need from them.
      As I remember, there is plenty of parking and the hiking in either direction is pretty easy.
      Have a good hike :thumbup:
    • Hi Trillium. If you are discussing anywhere near the Turnpike its flat and boring farmland. After Blue Mountain to Cove mountain this really picks up. pine Flat Ridge to Keller mountain is even better as there is less population around the trail. Go out of you way to pick up the trail heads and plan your section... Most of these places are a short drive from the turnpike.[IMG:https://www.unitedplantsavers.org/images/trillium.jpg]
      Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you! :thumbup:
    • I have had my husband dump me out for a hike right at the bridge that takes the AT across the Turnpike. There is a pulloff in both directions, a path and a break in the fence so I am sure I am not the only one to hit the trail this way! Your best bet for a dayhike from Boiling Springs would be to get off at the Carlise exit and head to the ATC office.
    • I've done that too. Anytime I drive to the east coast I know I will be crossing the AT somewhere so I check the map to see where that would be. Last time was on I 77 near Bland VA en route to Raleigh. Once we crossed in eastern PA, parked at the Bake Oven Knob parking, and hiked up to Bear Rocks. I picked blackberries and my wife still complains about the rocks, even though it was 15 years ago.
    • If you get off the Turnpike at the Carlisle interchange and take Route 11 north, you'll drive about two miles before you get to the footbridge carrying the AT over the highway. Middlesex Diner is on the left before the footbridge and would be a safe place to park and grab a bite to eat with all of the truckers.

      Heading north from Route 11, there are a few rolling fields before you reach the mighty Conodoguinet Creek. Heading south, the trail is often in a narrow right-of-way corridor surrounded by farm fields and McMansions.

      From the Turnpike, there is a pull-off on the WB side just before you cross under Appalachian Drive where the AT uses the road bridge. I didn't see any pull-offs on the EB side on Google Maps.

      Logistically speaking, you should be able to cover 6 - 9 miles in 2 to 3 hours. Starting at Route 11, you could go north to Route 944 and back (8.6 miles) or south to Trindle Road and back (7.8 miles).

      Boiling Springs isn't that far off the Turnpike, but you'd have to get off at the Carlisle interchange, take Route 11 north to I-81 south to the Route 74 exit then take Forge road into Boiling Springs. Easy for a local but maybe a bit much for someone passing thru...
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • StalkingTortoise wrote:

      If you get off the Turnpike at the Carlisle interchange and take Route 11 north, you'll drive about two miles before you get to the footbridge carrying the AT over the highway. Middlesex Diner is on the left before the footbridge and would be a safe place to park and grab a bite to eat with all of the truckers.

      Heading north from Route 11, there are a few rolling fields before you reach the mighty Conodoguinet Creek. Heading south, the trail is often in a narrow right-of-way corridor surrounded by farm fields and McMansions.

      From the Turnpike, there is a pull-off on the WB side just before you cross under Appalachian Drive where the AT uses the road bridge. I didn't see any pull-offs on the EB side on Google Maps.

      Logistically speaking, you should be able to cover 6 - 9 miles in 2 to 3 hours. Starting at Route 11, you could go north to Route 944 and back (8.6 miles) or south to Trindle Road and back (7.8 miles).

      Boiling Springs isn't that far off the Turnpike, but you'd have to get off at the Carlisle interchange, take Route 11 north to I-81 south to the Route 74 exit then take Forge road into Boiling Springs. Easy for a local but maybe a bit much for someone passing thru...
      Now that is what I would call a really good answer! :thumbup:
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      StalkingTortoise wrote:

      If you get off the Turnpike at the Carlisle interchange and take Route 11 north, you'll drive about two miles before you get to the footbridge carrying the AT over the highway. Middlesex Diner is on the left before the footbridge and would be a safe place to park and grab a bite to eat with all of the truckers.

      Heading north from Route 11, there are a few rolling fields before you reach the mighty Conodoguinet Creek. Heading south, the trail is often in a narrow right-of-way corridor surrounded by farm fields and McMansions.

      From the Turnpike, there is a pull-off on the WB side just before you cross under Appalachian Drive where the AT uses the road bridge. I didn't see any pull-offs on the EB side on Google Maps.

      Logistically speaking, you should be able to cover 6 - 9 miles in 2 to 3 hours. Starting at Route 11, you could go north to Route 944 and back (8.6 miles) or south to Trindle Road and back (7.8 miles).

      Boiling Springs isn't that far off the Turnpike, but you'd have to get off at the Carlisle interchange, take Route 11 north to I-81 south to the Route 74 exit then take Forge road into Boiling Springs. Easy for a local but maybe a bit much for someone passing thru...
      Now that is what I would call a really good answer! :thumbup:
      It's not often that someone is asking questions about the part of the AT in my greater neighborhood. And I just drove under the AT Sunday afternoon on the Turnpike.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • Jake Ace wrote:

      I look forward to hiking that flat farmland.
      Seriously what is wrong with you? What happened to useless ups and downs (PUDS)? Why not hike across Kansas? Where is the excitement? I would rather get my favorite rodent dinner nuts shaved than hike farmland.

      [IMG:https://i.pinimg.com/originals/69/3f/04/693f045dbd4c086fd9a76ad9b6d64cf7.jpg] It's a Joke son, says Foghorn Leghorn. If you are not laughing... you clearly are too young.
      Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you! :thumbup:
    • Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Jake Ace wrote:

      I look forward to hiking that flat farmland.
      Seriously what is wrong with you? What happened to useless ups and downs (PUDS)? Why not hike across Kansas? Where is the excitement? I would rather get my favorite rodent dinner nuts shaved than hike farmland.
      [IMG:https://i.pinimg.com/originals/69/3f/04/693f045dbd4c086fd9a76ad9b6d64cf7.jpg] It's a Joke son, says Foghorn Leghorn. If you are not laughing... you clearly are too young.
      From my experience if you have hiked long enough you will welcome a flat stretch. Elevations with views are great, but the body appreciates a break too. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Jake Ace wrote:

      I look forward to hiking that flat farmland.
      Seriously what is wrong with you? What happened to useless ups and downs (PUDS)? Why not hike across Kansas? Where is the excitement? I would rather get my favorite rodent dinner nuts shaved than hike farmland.[IMG:https://i.pinimg.com/originals/69/3f/04/693f045dbd4c086fd9a76ad9b6d64cf7.jpg] It's a Joke son, says Foghorn Leghorn. If you are not laughing... you clearly are too young.
      From my experience if you have hiked long enough you will welcome a flat stretch. Elevations with views are great, but the body appreciates a break too. :)
      I’m a wuss.
    • Jake Ace wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Jake Ace wrote:

      I look forward to hiking that flat farmland.
      Seriously what is wrong with you? What happened to useless ups and downs (PUDS)? Why not hike across Kansas? Where is the excitement? I would rather get my favorite rodent dinner nuts shaved than hike farmland.[IMG:https://i.pinimg.com/originals/69/3f/04/693f045dbd4c086fd9a76ad9b6d64cf7.jpg] It's a Joke son, says Foghorn Leghorn. If you are not laughing... you clearly are too young.
      From my experience if you have hiked long enough you will welcome a flat stretch. Elevations with views are great, but the body appreciates a break too. :)
      I’m a wuss.
      The secret to life some say is balance. ;)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      Jake Ace wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Jake Ace wrote:

      I look forward to hiking that flat farmland.
      Seriously what is wrong with you? What happened to useless ups and downs (PUDS)? Why not hike across Kansas? Where is the excitement? I would rather get my favorite rodent dinner nuts shaved than hike farmland.[IMG:https://i.pinimg.com/originals/69/3f/04/693f045dbd4c086fd9a76ad9b6d64cf7.jpg] It's a Joke son, says Foghorn Leghorn. If you are not laughing... you clearly are too young.
      From my experience if you have hiked long enough you will welcome a flat stretch. Elevations with views are great, but the body appreciates a break too. :)
      I’m a wuss.
      The secret to life some say is balance. ;)
      :thumbup: promote dat guy!
    • First Saturday home in 4 weeks. I'm happy to report that the hike in PA actually took place.

      On May 17 after taking car of a lot of business in NJ with my friend's late Dad's car (lawyers office, DMV, lawyers office, DMV, Dad's house in Blackwood, car towed to dealer 20 miles away), we headed back on the turnpike to the outskirts of Mechanicsburg. Stayed at an Econolodge. I had inadvertently reserved a smoking room and there weren't any similar non-smoking rooms available but Mr. Patel graciously upgraded our accommodations at no extra charge. Mike, the maintenance man, gave a suggestion of the Sunlight Diner on Gettysburg Rd just north of Wesley Dr. It was OUTSTANDING! Matt the Chef made us a very delicious dinner: Bourbon Pork Chop over cheddar mashed potatoes with garden salad. He came out and spoke to us and when he heard I was going to hike the AT the next day, he said he would make a special breakfast for me and he didn't disappoint, it was GREAT! My friend had a pineapple back at the motel that she wanted to cut but forgot to bring a knife or anything to cut it on. I asked Matt if he would consider letting us borrow a knife and plate overnight and he sharpened a special knife for her.

      May 18 - my friend drove me to the AT just east of Boiling Springs and I hiked 8 miles to route 11. When I got out of the car and was putting on my gators, she called out that she saw a backpacker coming up on the other side of the road. He got to the AT before I did and waited for me. So, I hiked with Hook for about 3 miles then he stopped for some footcare. He told me it had been raining every day for the past 9 days and he wasn't happy hiking in wet socks and shoes. I continued on and had to rock hop over a little stream:

      Shortly after Boyer Rd, there's a creek and with 9 days of rain, it's a good thing there's a nice bridge over it:


      Just after taking the last pic I received a call from a friend back home asking about my idea for our card group's outing. My suggestion was wine tasting but I explained that I didn't have time at the moment to go into detail as I was in Pennsylvania hiking the AT. Her reaction was WOW; that's so neat, and was surprised that I was hiking alone. Then she asked for lots of pictures so I took more than I normally do. Normally I just take pictures of flowers and maybe a hiker. But here's a blaze on a tree along the AT:


      Well worn trail in PA:


      A little later I crossed a road and had to cross a stile to continue through a farmer's field on the AT:


      Every so often as we were hiking through or near farm fields, these signs were posted:
    • Then I came to a little 1800's cemetery at the edge of the farm fields just barely into the woods:


      Baltimore Jack had told me that when there is a place to sit down along the trail be sure to take advantage. In Georgia and NC, there's tons of large downed trees to sit on but there hadn't been much in PA so I took advantage of the upraised concrete border along the cemetery to take a break and eat my lunch (subway sandwich, chips, red & yellow pepper strips, carrot sticks and broccoli sticks):


      As I was sitting there eating, along came Hook who was now a happy hiker as he had changed into his crocks and his feet felt much better:

      Hook had just gotten out of the Army, his last official day was the day before but he'd been hiking for about a week and a half. He had been stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY. I thanked him for his service. He started in Harpers Ferry and wasn't sure how far he was going. Originally, he was going to flipflop, then he thought he would just hike to Katahdin and call it good. Last thought he had was to finish up PA and see how he felt. He was missing his girlfriend.

      A short while later along came these 3 gents, Poncho, HotTang & Impact, who decided that this was a good spot to take a break:

      They'd all started hiking at Springer separately in late Feb/early March. Impact had a gorgeous head of hair!!! Several people seeing these pics observed that Poncho has a set of guns. I thought Poncho was from the northeast, likely the Boston area, and I was right, he's from just south of Boston. HotTang is from Muskegon, MI.

      Finished my lunch, said See you up the trail to the guys and continued on. Came to a double blaze indicating a left turn onto the Appalachian Trail Drive that goes over the PA turnpike:


      This young lad had passed by while I was eating lunch but stopped at the edge of the bridge over the PA Turnpike:

      Turned out he is Zero and is the younger brother of Impact. Impact and another brother were leaving in late Feb for the AT and 2 days before they left, Zero decided to join them so he hurriedly acquired some gear and off he went with his brothers. He graduated from HS a year ago.

      I crossed the bridge over the PA Turnpike and finally came across some elevation, as slight as it was. Was VERY surprised that up until that point my hike had been basically FLAT! Just another 1.2 miles to the footbridge over US 11. My friend was in a parking lot at Middlesex Diner that someone had mentioned above so she came and picked me up and we headed back to the motel.
    • As we headed east on US 11, my friend asked if I minded if she made a stop to try to find something for her husband. I said that was fine so we pulled into:

      I headed straight to the bathroom to wash off the accumulated dirt and sweat off my hands and lower arms.
      Then after admiring all the bikes, I joined her in the discount section where I found a pair of $110 jeans marked down to $41.50. Tried them on and they fit very well. When I took them to the register, the clerk exclaimed that they must be mismarked and called over a manager, who after taking one look, ran over to the shelf I found them on and scooped all the rest off and took them to a backroom to reprice. So, I ended up with a whale of a deal.

      After a quick shower, we then headed to Hershey. I'd never been. I'm glad I went but will never go again. Too many people, it was total chaos.

      Then back to Sunlight Diner for another tasty meal.

      It was a GREAT day! :thumbsup:


      ps Hope my pics brought back some memories to those of you who have hiked this section.
      pps. Say hi to the gents if you happen to see them up in NY or CT, although with 2 wks under their belts, I wouldn't be surprised if they're close to MA.