Learn more about outdoor recreational opportunities within the central PA area with Shane Jones.
The best way to take advantage of the cooler weather and colorful foliage in fall is to get outside. This season is perfect for outdoor activities, especially hiking, as mosquitoes and poison ivy won’t pester you and there’s less heat to slow you down. If you’re looking for a hike in central PA with amazing views look no further than the Clark’s Ferry Bridge to Peters Mountain Summit.
This 7.3 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail is sure to delight outdoors enthusiasts of varied fitness levels and hiking experience. As you follow the white blaze signs up the mountain be prepared to encounter some steep and narrow trails as well as switchbacks on this hike. On the trail hikers will also pass many vistas, as well as “shock rock” and “table rock” which will give hikers a gorgeous view of the valley below. On your way up, don’t be shocked if you end up crossing through what looks like a private home. This beautiful resort like home is actually a rehabilitation facility that brings its clientele closer to nature. Once you reach the summit of Peters Mountain, the spectacular outlook will make the hike even better. From the visage of the mountain you can see parts of the 444 mile long Susquehanna River – the longest river to cross the Appalachian trail- and the valley for miles. Leave enough time to complete this hike in the daylight, as it usually takes hikers about 5 hours.
Location: Duncannon, Pennsylvania , Perry County
Length: 7.3 miles
Vertical feet: 750 ft
Difficulty level: moderate
Average Round-trip time: 5 miles
Trail-head: This hike starts just past the railroad tracks and the trail-head sign.
Parking: The best place to park your car is across from the Appalachian Trail sign on Route 147.
Terrain: Be aware that at times the trail can be narrow, steep and rocky with switchbacks, so be sure to assess your fitness level and footwear before you hike.
Make sure you have proper shoes when going for a hike. If the terrain is rocky or uneven at parts the best footwear to use is hiking boots with ankle support. Also, remember to dress in layers, as the temperature can change while you’re hiking. Synthetic material is usually the best for wicking away moisture and insulating your body.
Always make sure to bring water when going for a hike. Even if you’re not sweating a lot hiking is still physically demanding, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Also, make sure to pack a sandwich, granola bar, apple or something to eat while on your hike.
It’s always safe to hike with someone else, but if you do go alone be sure to tell a friend or family member when and where you go for a hike. Also, do your research and carry a trail-map to reduce the risk of getting lost, and a cell phone or GPS in case of emergencies.
Before the weather gets too chilly and the leaves have all fallen, enjoy the autumn weather with a hike on the Appalachian Trail in central PA. You won’t want to miss the spectacular view at the summit of Peters Mountain, and the journey to the top will be equally astounding. As always, when you’re hiking stay hydrated, be safe and enjoy all that nature has to offer.