Advertisements

Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop (Appalachain Trail)

Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop (Appalachain Trail)

Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop (Appalachian Trail)

Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle are supposed to two of the best views on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania.  They didn’t disappoint. Both points offered an endless view of the Leigh alley and surrounding areas.

Hiking the Pulplit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

Even though it was 25 degrees when we started, the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop parking lot was busy. When we started at 8 am on a cold day, we got one of the last spots. By the time we were done around 1 pm, the parking lot was filled and people were waiting. While we didn’t see an overwhelming amount of people on the  Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop, there were people out. To avoid the crowds for a day trip, hike the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop early. I didn’t realize it was a big tourist attraction too!

The Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop is about 9.1 miles and has 1300 feet in elevation gain. 

After you park at the Hamburg Reservoir parking lot you’ll follow the gravel road (blue-blazed) uphill where the hike starts.  While you can hike to either Pulpit Rock or on the Pinnacle Loop, for the full hiking experience, hike the 8.7 mile circuit together.

Hiking the Pulplit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

Start of Hiking the Pulplit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

Then make your way onto the white trail (Appalachian Trail). The first two miles are the hardest when you climb to Pulpit Rock and the first ista.  The next mile requires climbing over rocks and also low-grade scrambling.

Hiking the Pulplit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

You’ll need a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or trail shoes. (I prefer the Hoka Speedgoat Midi).

Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

It’s rocky terrain with a rocky slope to get to Pulpit Rock.

Hiking the Pulplit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

Once you reach the top of Pulpit Rock, you’ll see views of Lehigh valley, surrounding ridges, and Pennsylvania farmland. After taking in the iew at Pulpit Rock, follow the trail to the left. That will take you along the Pinnacle Loop.

Hiking the Pulplit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

To continue on the Pinnacle Loop, you’ll take the blue trail.  You’ll follow the ridge and pretty much have a beautiful view until you get to the Pinnacle. After the Pinnacle, you’ll pretty much be on fire roads the rest of the way back. The last 4 miles are easy hiking and an easy downgrade to the bottom. You won’t have to worry as much about rocks and terrains and can easily take your time.

Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop

In all, the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop was one of my favorite hikes to date. 

You can see more hikes here.

Questions for you:

Hiked the Appalachian Trail? Hae you hiked Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop?

What is one of your favorite hikes? 

Advertisements

Hiking Pakim Pond in Brendan T. Byrne State Park

Hiking Pakim Pond in Brendan T. Byrne State Park

One of my favorite hikes in NJ is Pakim Pond in Brendan T. Bryne State Park.  To get to Brendan T. Byrne State Park, you take Route 72 East. Turning into Brendan T. Byrne State Park, you’ll see signs for Pakim Pond. You can park at the front and walk the 3 miles to Pakim Pond or there is a parking area too. To drive and get to the parking lot of Pakim Pond, you’ll take sand roads.

Pakim Pond is a beautiful spot in the NJ Pine Barrens with plenty of pine trails, sandy trails, and cranberry bogs. When people think of New Jersey, they don’t think much about the Pine Barrens. I’ve run and hiked Pakim Pond so it’s a fairly flat and smooth surface.

Pakim Pond NJ

During the spring and summer, there can be several ticks so I always caution people to watch out in the Pine Barrens. At Pakim Pond, the signs are vague so make sure you know the trails well. Since I’ve been a dozen times, I don’t typically have an issue.

Pakim Pond NJ

You can start at the front of Brydan T. Byrne State Park or start the hike from Pakim Pond.  Most of the hiking and running is on the Batona Trail. There are plenty of trails in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest from the Cranberry Trail to the Misery Trail White and the Mount Misery Trail (Mt Misery Trail).  Plus at Pakim Pond there is a parking area, park office, and picnic areas.

We decided to park at the front and walk over to Pakim Pond, around, and back. In total it was about 6-7 miles of easy and flat terrain. 

Many years ago, I even ran a race here.

View this post on Instagram

Beautiful day for a short hike ✌️ 🌞

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

What is one of your favorite spots to hike?

Locals: have you been to Pakim Pond or Brendan T. Byrne State Park? 

 

Hiking Franklin Parker Preserve

Hiking Franklin Parker Preserve

Hiking Franklin Parker Preserve (Chatsworth, NJ)

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Franklin Parker Preserve. I’ve wanted to check out more hies, especially in the Pine Barrens.   When I first moved to NJ, I lived in the Pine Barrens. Not many people know, but the Pine Barrens make up 25% of the entire state of NJ. There are plenty of nature preserves, blueberry fields, and cranberry farms. We moved because it was making our commutes to long. I do miss the running on dirt roads, but it was nice to get back.

The Franklin Parker Preserve hikes through old cranberry bogs, around Chatsworth Lake, Cedar Swamp, and through the Pine Barrens.  According to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the Franklin Parker Preserve is also known for bird watching.

In the Pine Barrens, Franklin Parker Preserve, Wharton State Forest, Penn State Forest, Pine Snake, and Brendan Byrne State Park, you can combine multiple trails to get over 30 miles. The red trail, green trail, white trail, yellow trail, and Batona Trail all connect.  All of the trails are well marked and easy to follow at the Franklin Parker Preserve.

The hike itself at Franklin Parker Preserve is about 6.5 miles. Be careful after rain and check for ticks. It can get buggy. There is a parking lot near Chatsworth that has about 10 spots. Once you park, it’s a quick turn left onto the trail. It took us a few minutes to find it!

Here are a few photos from the Franklin Parker Preserve:

The start of Franklin Parker Preserve and trailhead

Franklin Parker Preserve

Franklin Parker Preserve

Hiking sand roads around Chatsworth Lake and Cedar Swamp

Franklin Parker Preserve

Franklin Parker Preserve

 

 

Franklin Parker Preserve

Crossing Chatsworth Lake

We also found snakeskin at Franklin Parker Preserve

Franklin Parker Preserve

Crossing back over Chatsworth Lake and Cedar Swamp

Franklin Parker Preserve

There are a lot of bugs, including praying mantis. I never knew how big praying mantis are!

Franklin Parker Preserve

In all, I had an enjoyable time at Franklin Parker Preserve and I’m looking forward to checking out and revisiting more of the Pine Barrens.

You can see all the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever seen a praying mantis?

Where is your favorite spot to hike? Have you been to Franklin Parker Preserve?

 

Hiking Sunrise Mountain at State Forest

Hiking Sunrise Mountain at State Forest

Hiking Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

I’ve wanted to hike Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest for a while. It’s just over 2 hours and about a 14-mile hike, so it takes planning. Sunrise Mountain is worth the drive and it was one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done in New Jersey.

Stokes State Forest has several activities and camping hookups including group sites, sites with fire rings and picnic tables, tent and trailer sites, group campsites and camping areas. Plus it’s only a short drive from the Delaware Water Gap National Park and Buttermilk Falls.

You can drive up to Sunrise Mountain and there are several spots and parking lots you can park along the Appalachian Trail. Around the viewpoint on the Appalachian Trail, there are multiple viewpoints, so it’s more crowded.

There is a pavilion at the top of the Mountain with benches, a water tower, and picnic areas. We sat on giant rocks and ate our bagels.

The terrain at Stokes State Forest is relatively easy and not the rockiest terrain we’ve done. Even the Appalachian Trail isn’t as challenging. The trail does a short, steep, climb up to the summit of Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest.

The view at the top of Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest is beautiful and you can see the Poconos, Catskills, Wallkill valley, NJ Highlands, Delaware Valley, Tillman Ravine Natural area, and Pochuck Mountains.

Photos from hiking Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest:

The start and trailhead of Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest 

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

Huts along Sunrise Mountain in at Stokes State Forest. There are plenty of group campsites and spots to stop an hike.

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

Climbing stairs towards the summit of Sunrise Mountain

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

There is a giant pavilion at the summit of Sunrise Mountain

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

As you can see Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest is worth it

Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest

As you can see Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest is worth the trip up. It’s one of my favorite hikes in New Jersey and I can’t wait to go back.

You can see all of the hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you hiked the Appalachian Trail? Have you ever hiked Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest?

Where is your favorite spot to hike near you? 

Hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail (Philadelphia, PA)

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I wanted to check out the Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail near Philadelphia. The Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that features multiple trails for runners, hikers, and mountain bikers. The orange trail and white trail and slightly more technical than Forbidden Drive. The Friends of the Wissahickon do a great job maintaining the trails for the city of Philadelphia.

We’ve run at Wissahickon dozens of times but never taken the back trails and hiked. The Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail is a 9.2 mile trafficked loop trail.  It has a waterfall and isn’t too technical that with the right shoes, most people are able to hike.

If you’ve never been The Wissahickon Valley Park, there are more than 50 miles of trails. You can run, hike, or bike and forget you’re still in Philadelphia.

The main trail, Forbidden Drive, runs five miles along Wissahickon Creek. Forbidden Drive is a wide, flat, gravel, road that I’ve run on many times.

While HikingWissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail You’ll see a little bit of everything Philadelphia has to offer:

  • Wissahickon Gorge
  • Valley Green Inn
  • Covered Bridge
  • Fingerspan Bridge
  • Runners, hikers, and mountain bikers
  • Possibly horseback riders too (We didn’t that day, but we do many times we are running)
Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

No fast runners allowed

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

At the top of Chestnut Hill while hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

The Wissahickon Gorge

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

The main attraction of hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail.

Hiking Wissahickon Greek Gorge Loop Trail

 

hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

hiking Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

hiking over the Fingerspan Bridge bridge at Wissahickon Creek Gorge Loop Trail

You can see all hikes here.

In all, it was a great afternoon. Let me know, have you been hiking in Philadelphia? What’s your favorite part?

%d bloggers like this: