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Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

If you are into history and hiking Valley Forge is a great spot to stop.

A brief history:

During the Revolutionary War, Valley Forge was commanded by General George Washington and functioned as a military encampment for the Continental Army’s main body.

In the winter of 1777, General George Washington led his 12,000-man army into Valley Forge.  They remained there from December 1777 to June 1778. For six months, Valley Forge was one of the largest cities in the colonies. Washington’s men created crude huts to serve as temporary barracks. George Washington set up his headquarters in a small stone building considered to be the “Pentagon.” General Washington and his men worked there.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

During the winter, roughly 2,000 soldiers and about 1500 horses died due to disease or malnutrition.

Today, Valley Forge National Historical Park preserves 3,500 acres of the original encampment site.  Since it’s such a historic area, along with most of Philadelphia, I highly recommend taking a trip if you’re around.


I’ve been to Valley Forge multiple times, but it wasn’t until recently I knew there were trails. My good friend and writer, Jen and I headed up on a cool Thursday afternoon.  There are a few trails that you can hike at Valley Forge and Washington’s Headquarters. Jen actually trained for her trail race in the park. From Washington’s Headquarters, you have the choice to hike Mount Misery and Mount Joy. We chose Mount Misery, but I want to come back to Mount Joy soon.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

You can park at Washington’s Headquarters in Valley Forge. At Washington’s Headquarters, there are bathrooms as well as a still in use train station.  There are also guided tours too. Walk down the Train Station platform and down the steps.  As you continue along the gravel path at Valley Forge, you’ll see Washington’s Headquarters.  Continue straight until you get to the road. At the fork, you can start with alley Creek Trail or Horse-Shoe Trail. It depends if you want to start with the easy (alley Creek Trail) and finish with the harder (Horse-Shoe Trail) or the opposite. Horse Shoe Trail is what takes you to the peak.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

We started with Valley Creek Trail which is an easy, flat, trail. Horse-Shoe Trail takes you up Mount Misery and the Valley Creek Trail takes you back. You can see an old Covered Bridge as well. Hiking up trails on Mount Misery in Valley Forge is roughly a 4 miles from the parking lot at Washingtons Headquarters.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

In all, it was a fun hike and I’m glad Jen and I did the Mount Misery Trail. I’m looking forward to hiking the Mount Hope Trail soon.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

You can see more hikes here.

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We both needed a trip out of the house. Diner+hike it was.

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Questions for you:

What is the last historical spot you went to?

Have you hiked Mount Misery at Valley Forge?

 

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Trainer’s Midway Diner (Bethel, PA)

Trainer’s Midway Diner (Bethel, PA)

If I ever wrote a “small-town diner” review, this would be up there. The Trainer’s Midway Diner is located right off of Route 78 in Bethel, Pa. My husband and I were going to stop at the Sheetz up the road for a quick bite to eat, but then we saw the giant “Midway Diner” sign and decided to stop.

The Trainer’s Midway Diner in Bethel is attached to a Comfort Inn and looks like a common spot for Truckers to sleep and grab a quick bite to eat.

Trainer's Midway Diner (Bethel, PA)

Trainer’s Midway Diner Atmosphere: C
Trainer’s Midway Diner is located off the main highway. The giant “Midway Diner” sign stands out, which is how we found it. The sign was the only reason we knew about it!

The inside is lackluster and has the small-town diner feel. There are plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar. The tables are decorated with personal art with the specials. Everything you can imagine with a small-town diner is there. We had no clue it’s called “Trainer’s Midway Diner” until googling it afterward. All of the signs say “Midway Diner.”

Trainer's Midway Diner (Bethel, PA)

Trainer’s Midway Diner Coffee: B
The coffee at Trainer’s Midway Diner was brewed hot and fresh. The cups were tiny and I could have used a dozen more refills. Other than that, it was fine.

Trainer's Midway Diner (Bethel, PA) coffee

Trainer’s Midway Diner Food: B
The Trainer’s Midway Diner menu has everything a stereotypical diner has but no more. There aren’t many healthy foods, but it has all of the basic breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The one unique item I saw was the eggie quesadilla so I decided to order that. It came stuffed with cheddar cheese, onions, and mushrooms. It tasted like a homecooked meal. The theme of the restaurant is things homecooked meals and this did not disappoint. If you are looking for a 5-star meal, you might want to look elsewhere.

Trainer's Midway Diner (Bethel, PA) quesadilla

Trainer’s Midway Diner Serice: C
The waitresses are the Trainer’s Midway Diner were young. We had friendly service, but we overheard most of them gossiping all of the time. It took a while for our food to come out, despite the Trainer’s Midway Diner not having many people.

Trainer’s Midway Diner Cost: $
For the eggie quesadilla and coffee, it as $10.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to Trainer’s Midway Diner?
Trainer’s Midway Diner was a good stop for what I needed. I wasn’t hungry, so it was a nice break. It wasn’t anything fancy, but I would come back if I’m around again. It’s a step up from fast food. If you need a hotel and diner stop along route 78, it would be a good one.

Atmosphere: C
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: C
Cost: $8-15
Overall: B

You can see all of the diner reviews here. 

Questions for you:
Have you ever stopped somewhere based on a highway sign?
Do you like quesadillas?

Nudy’s Cafe (Paoli)

Nudy’s Cafe (Paoli)

A few weeks ago, writer Jen M. and I met up at Nudy’s Cafe in Paoli.  Jen was out that way and we both wanted (and needed) to get out for a hike. She suggested Nudy’s Cafe, which recently opened.  Nudy’s Cafe has several locations in the suburbs of Pa; including Ardmore, West Chester, Phoenixville, Exton, and many more. After spending more time than anticipated riding through Philadelphia Traffic (when is that not the case?), I made it.Nudys Cafe Paoli

Nudy’s Cafe (Paoli) Atmosphere: A
The exterior of Nudy’s Cafe is clean, modern, and cute. It’s not a big, shiny, diner but a small modern building. The inside is bright and clean. There are several tables throughout the diner.  We sat in the back corner.  It wasn’t crowded but there is plenty of space, so you don’t feel like you’re sitting on top of anyone.

Nudy’s Cafe (Paoli) Coffee: A

The coffee at Nudy’s cafe was great. The waitress kept both Jen and I’s coffee refilled at all times.  It was hot and fresh, locally brewed Lacas coffee. I couldn’t have asked for better coffee.

Nudys Cafe Paoli coffee

Nudy’s Cafe (Paoli) Food: A

The Nudy’s Cafe menu has everything a stereotypical diner usually has, but it’s only open for breakfast and lunch. The promise at Nudy’s Cafe is to make you feel welcome, nourished and excited about coming back because of the freshly-made, great food.

On the menu, there are plenty of omelets, sandwiches, and salad options. On the back, there was a full page of specials. I contemplated the avocado toast (I’ve never had that before) but ultimately decided to order the Greek Wrap with a side mixed salad.

Nudys Cafe Paoli wrap

The Greek wrap was stuffed with chickpeas, feta cheese, greens, onions, and tomatoes. The side salad wasn’t anything unusual but tasted good too. In all, it was a good meal.

Nudy Cafe (Paoli) Service: A
Our waitress at Nudy’s Cafe as nice and our food came out extremely quickly.

Nudy’s Cafe (Paoli) Cost: $
For my wrap, side salad, and coffee it was $15.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come back to Nudy’s Cafe?
I liked Nudy’s Cafe and I would go back. There are a lot of different breakfast and lunch options. I appreciate the specials too.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Serice: A
Overall: A

You can see all the diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of wrap?
Do you prefer wraps or sandwiches? 

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? 

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? 

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