Dave and I took a trip out to Northern Pennsylvania this past weekend for a Hike n' Bike of the West Rim Trail and the Pine Creek Trail. Creating a loop from these two trails allowed us to get the famous view of "The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania" from both the mountaintops that surround Pine Creek and the ground-level perspective near the water.
Here is the general plan, which, in my humble opinion, is one of the best weekend adventures in all of Pennsylvania:
Friday: Leave Allentown-area by car after rush hour > arrive West Rim Trail Southern Terminus late
Saturday: Lock bikes at Southern Terminus > drive car to Northern Terminus > hike 20 miles south > camp
Sunday: Hike remaining 10.5 miles to Southern Terminus > unlock bikes > ride 18 miles north on Pine Creek Trail > 1 mile on the road to West Rim Trail Northern Terminus Parking > drive home
My powerbank had less of a charge than I expected so I wasn't able to capture the latter portion of the trip. Here's a video of some favorite moments nonetheless:
Water: There are lots of water sources near the terminuses, but not so much reliable water in the middle. So be prepared with water for the night if you plan to make camp somewhere near the middle of the trail.
Campsites: There's lots of great camping throughout. But out favorite campsites with views are near mile 3, mile 16, and mile 27.
The hike is moderately strenuous with 5648 ft. elevation gain over 30.5 miles, but it's also very high reward. Particularly for a place like Pennsylvania which is known for green tunnel. The views are second to none in the state, and (perhaps this was merely our experience), there's a lot less foot traffic on this trail compared to the AT. When paired with the bicycle portion on Pine Creek Trail, this has become a favorite tough but contained outdoors getaway for myself and my hiking buddies.
We were a tad late in catching the best parts of the autumn foliage. But it was breathtaking all the same. I give this hike top marks. I couldn't recommend it more for anyone looking for a top notch PA backcountry experience.
Review from Paul K.
"I love this pack! Wore it for miles of bushwhacking with plenty of branches to snag but no tears, no a one. Cody puts a lot of love into his work and took the time to find out exactly how I wanted to use the pack and what I wanted to put in it... and it shows."
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