PA's Grand Canyon
I'm in the early planning stages of a hike to visit PA's Grand Canyon this July. In particular I'm looking to make a bit of a loop out of the Pine Creek and West Rim Trails.
I've found a few maps on the internet that are rather crude, but will get the job done. I'm hoping someone can help me with better maps for these trails.
I'm also interested to find out if there are any backpack registration or restriction requirements for this area. I can not find any, and have sent a few emails to PA's DNR hoping to get some response.
The best advice always comes from those who've been there. So I'm hoping to someon on here has and can help me put this trip together.
west rim trail has a guide book. The Pine Creak outfitters at the Northern part (ansonia sp?) are very helpful with shuttles and guide books. Both the West rim and the rail trail are extremely easy. In the spring it is good for rafting and you can rent bikes/ boats the outfitter. It is a very scenic walk.
i once made the mistake of floating down the canyon in a drought. I dragged teh whole way and got out at 6 am. Have gas in your car if you are finishing on a Sunday
I've hiked that trail at least ten times, mostly the second weekend of October when the leaf color is at its best. I'd recommend hiking south to north, starting at Blackwell via the Mid State trail which links to the WRT through Bohen Run hollow. There is a nice camping area near the river that way. Up Bohen Run past a great swimming hole, then onto the WRT through dense Rhodos. The many hollows you walk around will have trickles of water in July, so plan on carrying water just in case they are dry. We usually hike to the picnic area about 16 miles north where the Canyon is right below your feet in the pines. Beautiful! From there north to Ansonia is mostly ridge walking with a detour around the Wrightsville Hunting Club. Don't forget to stop by the Sunset Ice cream shop at Ansonia...a great place to celebrate a fun hike. Chuck Dillon at the Pine Creek Outfitters will shuttle you back to Blackwell for about $25 or so. Hang on tight if he takes his old pickup truck! He could drive for Nascar!
A few pics from past hikes.
Great info! Thanks much!!
I'm looking to hike the Pine Creek Trail S, then the West Rim trail back N. as a loop.
Dutch - Thanks for the info on the outfitter. I am looking for a guide book, especially for resupply areas. I'll contact them this week.
2Q - the pics look awesome. It's 2 months away and I'm getting pumped just looking at those photos!! Thanks!!!
I hiked the West Rim Trail last June over two days and had a great trip. The staff at Pine Creek Outfitters was very helpful, I hiked north to south and they shuttled my vehicle to Blackwell for me. The funny part is I wanted my truck to go to the parking lot at Rattlesnake rock:lol:. I was in a hurry when I was filling out the paperwork for the shuttle and I circled the wrong destination. No worries though I just put my pack back on and hiked the roughly 1.5 miles north on the rail trail back to Blackwell where the truck was waiting for me. There was no paperwork for permits on the WRT when I went. I camped about a quarter of a mile north of Bradley Whales at an overlook right on the edge of the canyon and the sunset was beautiful from the rim. Hope you have a great trip
Forgot to add the pictures from my campsite, the views along the WRT are beautiful.
Rattlesnake Rock is the official southern Termiknus for the WRT. I can't hike the trail but I could help with logistics. Camping permits are required if you are in the Gorge. If you use the old Mid State Trail access out of Blackwell and plan to spend the night you will need permits for there.
The overlook north of Bradley Wales is a very popular camping spot. Lots of trees.
IMO the Pine Creek Trail (rail trail) is NOT appropriate for hiking. It is crushed limestone and extremely hard on the feet. It is a great ride on a wide tire bike. I hiked it with my son several years ago. There is no shade on the trail and we roasted with sore feet. IF you choose to round trip it on that trail you WILL need camping permits. That is complicated somewhat because the camping regulations of the two forests the trail traverses are different.
I am about 1'5 hours from the southern terminus and would be willing to do some shuttling for you if you want. If you are going to stay at Bradley Wales I might also spend a the night hanging with you. Bradley Wales has a pump and vault privies. You can not camp within sight of the Picnic area but the overlook is out of sight but an easy walk for water.
Let me know if I can help with the logistics. The WRT is a great foot path. The Pine Creek Trail is a great bike path. But IMO don't mix them on the same transport.
Edit: If I can find it (I packed it in the move) I have a guide book for the WRT. The Pine Creek trail hardly needs a guide book. If you can follow superhighway in a car you can follow the Pine Creek trail. If you wanted to Bike the whole 60+ miles then it might be nice to have the location of the campsites but even that would not require detailed maps.
Hobbit and I did this hike just after Easter. We encountered LOTS OF RAIN! However it made for really spectacular waterfalls. We hiked south to north, starting on the Bohen Run Trail (which merges into the WRT after a few miles) in order to see more waterfalls. We camped at that lookout just north of Bradley Wales. Beautiful view but we were really exposed up there during the storm.
You can read about my hike here.