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Chimney Rocks Trail via Hermitage and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Chimney Rocks Trail via Hermitage and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Chimney Rocks Trail via Hermitage and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

That’s a trail name, right? Chimney Rocks via Hermitage and Appalachian National Scenic Trail. As most people know, the Appalachian Trail goes from Georgia to Maine. One thing to note, is in Central PA, many of the hikes have little to no cell service. I would download and view a full map before heading out.

Chimney Rocks Trail via Hermitage and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The Chimney Rocks Trail is located in Michaux State Forest.  Michaux State Forest is massive and the Chimney Rocks Trail is closer to South Mountain.  The peak at Chimney Rocks is beautiful. While the trail itself is about 4.8 miles roundtrip has approximately 1000 feet of elevation gain in the first two miles.

Chimney Rocks Trail via Hermitage and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The Chimney Rocks Trail begins at the yellow gate along Biesecker Gap Rd.  It follows the road until reaching the spur trail.  There were about five parking spaces in the parking lot and parking area and we got the last one. The Chimney Rocks Loop Trail wasn’t too busy. In the 2.5 hours we were out, we saw four other parties.

Once you get it on the trail, it slowly climbs to the summit. I thought: “wow this isn’t too bad,” but it gets steep quickly. The first two miles are almost entirely uphill and you get most of the 1000 feet elevation gain there. It makes coming down much more manageable. The Chimney Rocks Trail is rated as moderate, which is all in the first two miles.

Chimney Rocks Trail via Hermitage and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Around 2.2 miles, the trail finally reaches a junction labeled ‘Chimney Rocks Lookout.’ You can look over and see beautiful rock formations: “the Chimney Rocks.” At the Chimney Rocks, you get views of Pennsyannia and Michaux State Forest. There is even a small Waynesboro reservoir. It was one of the better views I’ve seen on the Appalachian Trail.

Chimney Rocks Trail via Hermitage and Appalachian National Scenic Trail

I’ve been hiking a lot in my Hoka Speedgoat Midi

After viewing the top of Chimney Rocks, you can go down a more natural terrain with fewer rocks. It’s slightly longer but easy, with a few stream crossings, and view at the bottom.

In all, if you find yourself in Central PA, Chimney Rocks is a great view.

You can see more hikes here.

Questions for you:

Hae you been to central Pa? Hae you hiked the Chimney Rocks? 

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Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop (Appalachian Trail)

Hiking the Pulpit Rock-Pinnacle Loop (Appalachian 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? 

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 the Stairway to Heaven

Hiking the Stairway to Heaven

Hiking Staircase to Heaven (New Jersey)

During the summer, my husband and I enjoy hiking in Northern, NJ.  The fall is also nice, but we tend to go more in the summer.  We have more free time as well.

Last week, we decided to head to the “Staircase to Heaven” in NJ on the Appalachian Trail.  We’ve hiked several portions of the Appalachian Trail including in New York at Bear Mountain.  The Staircase to Heaven is supposed to have one of the best views in all of the state.  Spoiler: Hiking the Staircase to Heaven did not disappoint!

stairway to heaven nj

There are several portions of the Staircase to Heaven hiking trail you can park to get to the top. There is about a 2-mile hike/walk, followed by a steep 1.5 mile hike. Hiking the Staircase to Heaven is a longer hike, but it’s scenic.  The closer spot is close to the mountain, where you have about a 1.5 mile steep and rocky hike to get to the top.  Since we were later and assumed the closer lot was filled, we parked further from the Staircase to Heaven and hiked 3.5 miles to the top.

stairway to heaven nj

After an extremely rocky hike, we made it to the top of the Staircase to Heaven, and the view was fantastic.  So far, hiking Staircase to Heaven is one of my favorite views in New Jersey.

stairway to heaven nj

After making it to the top, we decided to explore the Appalachian trail a little further and found a waterfall.

staircase to heaven njIt was perfect because the weather was so hot, so it was nice to take a refreshing dip in the stream.  Thank goodness running clothes are basically like bathing suits and dry quickly.  Ha!

staircase to heaven nj

Afer that we took the hike down the Staircase to Heaven back to our car.  It seemed to go much quicker this time, thankfully.

Other Hiking Posts:

Getting Lost at Bear Mountain and Revisiting (not getting lost)

Seeing a Bear While Hiking

Hiking the Hollywood Sign (LA)

We are hoping to get another hike in before the end of the summer so we will see.  Although coming back to the Staircase to Heaven would not be a bad idea.

Tristate locals: do you have any recommendations of hikes? 

Questions for you:

Do you like hiking?  Where is your favorite?

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