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Nice and thanks for posting this stuff. Until some of the nerves in my feet decided to go nuts requiring surgery to cut them out, I was an avid hiker on certain parts of the AT, never intending to do the whole enchilada. Now that my wheels are coming back on-line I once again I am in a kind of training phase to tackle my old hiking habitat. This piece you sent has pushed me to a higher level in my time table to get back on the AT. Thanks again!
 

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I have spent a lot of time on the local to me sections of the AT. Rocks....rocks...more rocks. lol

Where I was in the Rockies this past fall was a welcome relief from the rocks of the AT, lol. I will say, though, that scrambling rocks on the AT and and Hawk Mountain was fantastic training for an elk hunt. Rock scrambling under a 50lb pack was REALLY helpful in negotiating blow downs with elk meat on my pack.
 

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I have spent a lot of time on the local to me sections of the AT. Rocks....rocks...more rocks. lol

Where I was in the Rockies this past fall was a welcome relief from the rocks of the AT, lol. I will say, though, that scrambling rocks on the AT and and Hawk Mountain was fantastic training for an elk hunt. Rock scrambling under a 50lb pack was REALLY helpful in negotiating blow downs with elk meat on my pack.
Hawk Mt area was the area I used to frequent - and will do so again. Used to start at the fire towed on the Weiser St Forest and hike it on over to and around the boulder fields and then bask to the fire tower. Sometimes over to the Out Look (Look Out?). That hill coming up out of the boulder field is a killer, but what a sense of achievement to not have a coronary after getting back to the HM Sanctuary for a drink!
:laugh:
 

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If you're on the Sanctuary, which it sounds like you are, you're going down the River of Rocks trail, which loops around the boulder fields. Then you can go up the Golden Eagle trail, which is the lungbuster hill up to the ridge line. From there, you can go east to the AT and SGL106, or west along the Skylline Trail, which is a fair amount of rock scrambling, and eventually about a 30-40 foot climb up the face of the boulder pile at the North Lookout. Then it's about a mile back to the the Sanctuary parking lot...either the North Lookout trail, which isn't too demanding, or the Escarpment Trail, which is a lot of rock scrambling.

I've done that loop with a 50lb pack. It's work, but it's fun. ;)

I've gone nearly end to end on SGL 106 on the AT. Dan's Pulpit is in that stretch and is a nice view. The AT coming up from Hawk Mt Road is so rocky that I'm pretty sure I've gone a few hundred yards without my boots touching actual dirt. When you hit the last climb up to the ridge, it's STEEP. Then you follow that ridge top for miles. Rocks are everywhere. Dan's Pulpit is a lot of scrambling again, but fun.

As nice as the view is up there, I think Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle are better. Those are easier to get to from the Hamburg Reservoir, but this summer I'm planning to start in Port Clinton and get to the Pinnacle. That'll be a full day I think.
 

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Dan's Pulpit, The Pinnacle = great memories. Man, I envy you. Have no idea what the path to the AT is from Port Clinton.

Have you ever taken the time to explore the paths and trails (not AT) that meander all through that area of the Weiser Forest where the fire tower is? If you Google Earth that area you can get a good idea of their extent and locations. The PGC has (in the past anyhow) have established plots back in there to plant different crops and I suppose they are to see what deer prefer...
 

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I have. I wouldn't say I've done so exhaustively, but I've seen most of them.

A nice loop is to park about 1/2 mile or so from the Fire Tower (down the mountain on the main road up). There's a picnic area and then right after is an access road that's gated. If you take that access road, it'll run east just below the crest of the ridge for a couple or three miles. There it hits the AT, and if you turn left, you'll go north over the ridge down the other side and on the climb up, you hit SGL land. You can turn left on an access road and leave the AT, and that access road runs up to the road/trail network that goes from the Fire Tower to Eckville. You'll hit a 4-way intersection near some of those plots you mentioned. Turning left, you head back up to the Fire Tower, coming out at the gate at the lot by the tower itself, and then you can work down the road to your vehicle. I think that's somewhere in the 6-7 mile range total. Nothing SUPER steep...not real rocky, either, for that matter. Some parts aren't well shaded, so maybe not the best on a roaring hot day, lol.

Last summer in the run up to my elk hunt, I was taking my 50lb pack up to Pulpit Rock from the gate at the Reservoir, making it out on the rocks at the overlook in something like 50 minutes. I was pretty pleased with that (it's 2.5 miles, but if you've hiked it, you know the last 1/3 - 1/2 mile is absolutely soul-crushing with its steep slopes and large boulders).

The AT actually crosses Rt 61 just south of Port Clinton. You used to be able to park on the east side of 61, but that got blocked off when they clamped down on the nonsense going on at the river and "The Rock" the kids would jump off into the river. Now you have to park on the west side and cross 61 to Port Clinton Ave (the road coming out to 61 from the north end of Hamburg). The AT goes up the mountain off the old parking area along Port Clinton Ave (the one that's blocked off to cars now). It climbs that steep "nose" that sticks out against 61 on the east side, then runs the ridge until you get close to the reservoir, where it drops back down, passes right at the reservoir itself, and then climbs back up to Pulpit Rock. From there, it stays pretty much up high until you hit the Pinnacle, where it then does a pretty big double-back to the west, and then drops north off the ridge line and continues north to Hawk Mt. Road/Eckville area, eventually climbing back up to a ridge line on SGL106 and then following that ridge top for miles to the east and into Lehigh County. I haven't gone out as far as the county line on it. Yet.

The trail in SGL106 is BRUTAL with rocks. That's where Dan's Pulpit is situated. The rocks really ramp up on the last climb up to Pulpit Rock, sort of maintain that level through the Pinnacle, and then start to get worse on the north side of Hawk Mountain Road (it passes about 1/4 mile east of the bottom of the River of Rocks trail on the Sanctuary, which is where those big boulder fields are...it's just an extension of those boulder fields that you're crossing). Once you gain the ridge top on 106, the rocks come and go.....but they're there most of the way, and get really rough in spots.
 

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Sorry to take your thread in a different sort of turn, but, I think it's important to be vigilant.


A friend and I hiked a 2 day portion of the trail, I think around the Forbes State Forest area, back in either '88 or '90. We stayed over night in one of those open wooden huts on the trail (not sure if they still have them). Anyhow, there was a multiple murder on the trail just before we went on the hike. We were packing heat, though I don't remember if you were allowed to or not. At the time, we didn't care whether you were allowed to or not. The story I remember, was they caught the guy (murderer) wearing shoes from one of the victims. So that makes more sense it was the '90 murders, and not the '88 murders, since that was 2 women..... though, a smallish guy could wear a woman's shoes.


Moral of this story. If you are going for hikes, be prepared and remember to pack your heat. Don't become a victim. See link.


https://mpora.com/outdoors/hiking-and-trail-running/the-gruesome-truth-behind-those-murders-on-americas-famous-appalachian-hiking-trail/
 

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Agreed. I am prepared when I'm out in the mountains. Cell phone, plenty of water, someone knows where I'm going and when I should be home, and means of self-protection.

Always.
 

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Sorry to take your thread in a different sort of turn, but, I think it's important to be vigilant.


A friend and I hiked a 2 day portion of the trail, I think around the Forbes State Forest area, back in either '88 or '90. We stayed over night in one of those open wooden huts on the trail (not sure if they still have them). Anyhow, there was a multiple murder on the trail just before we went on the hike. We were packing heat, though I don't remember if you were allowed to or not. At the time, we didn't care whether you were allowed to or not. The story I remember, was they caught the guy (murderer) wearing shoes from one of the victims. So that makes more sense it was the '90 murders, and not the '88 murders, since that was 2 women..... though, a smallish guy could wear a woman's shoes.


Moral of this story. If you are going for hikes, be prepared and remember to pack your heat. Don't become a victim. See link.


https://mpora.com/outdoors/hiking-and-trail-running/the-gruesome-truth-behind-those-murders-on-americas-famous-appalachian-hiking-trail/
Somehow I do not think people on the AT are "Allowed" to be armed while hiking. As for me, I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6 and as such, I act accordingly AT restrictions or no.
 

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The AT lies on SGL’s in spots. You can hunt there, so a gun is allowed. At least on SGL’s.

I’ve never seen any signage saying otherwise when not on SGL’s. Perhaps I just haven’t seen them.
 

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you can hunt the areas of AT that overlap state forests also

the above mentioned areas is a prime example ,
but there is a difference between carrying a sidearm and a shotgun or rifle
if you carrying a side arm without a permit the penalty should be the same on SGL or SFL
 

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Years back you were not supposed to hunt within 50yds of the trail... that little tidbit is no longer in the book. Whether it was dropped by the PGC or if it was "editing" after the printing was privatized IDK but that was when it went bye-bye.

Most of the AT on the S. side of Hawk Mt Rd is not on 106 rather it is on State Forest(?), Hamburg Res. Property(Dan's Pulpit+the Pinnicale) and some is owned by the US Gov. (where it crosses Hawk Mt Rd). Back in the 80's the National Park Service bought up "right of ways" from private landowners or they moved the trail onto "protected lands" (GL's, SF, etc)
 

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Whoops wrong pulpit.... I see Dan's is on the N. side of Hawk Mt Rd. I didn't play over there much.
 
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