Wow really roughing it there, tough guys
September 14, 2012 8:23 AM   Subscribe

Weekend backpacking trip near Philly?

I've been out of the SCENE so to speak for a number of years now, so I'm at a loss for good camping resources.

I'm looking for a trail/park/whatever with the following qualities:
-Within 3 hours of Philly by car, less is a +
-Trails broken up such that a weekend itinerary would be feasible
-Camping sites along trail, preferably, so backpacking is possible; at the least, sites that are remote from parking/park entrance
-Low foot traffic would be good

A lot to ask, so barring that, a good website that would help me find something along these lines would be nice. Assume competence from the 3/4 people that would be going. As always, thanks
posted by MangyCarface to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have you considered doing a section of the Appalachian trail? Here are a bunch of day-hikes on the AT within about 2 hours of Philly -- I bet you could plan a longer hike with those as a starting point.
posted by ourobouros at 8:33 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I know friends who have gone camping at Hawk Mountain. The link is to a list of camp sites in the surrounding area. I would also assume somewhere along the Appalachian Trail to be a good idea.
posted by Shesthefastest at 8:38 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

There are a lot of hiking groups on, and browsing through upcoming and past trips from local groups will give you a sense of some of the most popular destinations in the area. A lot of the trips are day hikes, but some are overnights, and they might still give you an idea of trails to incorporate into a longer weekend trip. (Note: Some of the groups hide their content from non-members, but you could join the groups just to learn about their hikes with no obligation ever to show up for any of their group outings.)

A few I have seen come up recently include: the Pulpit Rock/Pinnacle Peak portion of the AT; the Bake Oven Knob portion of the AT; Glen Onoko Falls near Jim Thorpe; Hawk Mountain; French Creek State Park; the Shawangunk Mountains.
posted by jessypie at 9:29 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I asked about lunchtime visits to Delaware Water Gap a couple of months back. I didn't make it there, but maybe you might like it. The Dingmans Ferry area along Rte 209 is really beautiful, but I'm not sure it's open right now.
posted by Currer Belfry at 9:49 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ricketts Glen looks amazing. Though I've never been, it's #1 on my parks-to-see list.

Here is the PA DCNR site with a ton of info on all of the state parks.
posted by Katine at 9:53 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Try the Pine Barrens.
posted by gudrun at 4:42 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

A successful trip to the Wharton state forest in the pine barrens- Plenty of trail, cheap primitive campsites, and very close to Philly.

A couple notes-
I've been to Hawk Mountain, it's fun if you're going to do a basecamp operation. Lots of cabins IIRC.
Ricketts Glen is really cool. Crayfish in some of the waterfall pools, I believe. Great picture-taking opportunities.
If I get a longer period of time, the AT will be up on my list of options.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by MangyCarface at 8:32 AM on September 24, 2012

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