Jul 20, 2014 at 10:40 am #1319094
I am dropping my two sons off at college in Iowa in late August. We are flying into Chicago and renting a car from there. I am tempted to drive back to Boston and squeeze in 2-3 days of backpacking along the way if there is some good options. My route can vary, but going from Cleveland towards central PA looks like it might have potential. I can also drive a northerly route that goes thru Syracuse and the Finger Lakes region. I know there would be good options in the Adirondacks, but these are reachable from Boston in a day, whereas Ohio / PA and Central NY are a stretch, so I would like to take advantage of this trip to hit someplace I might not otherwise make the effort to get to from Boston. That said, if the Adirondacks have the best options I am open to that area as well.
I am looking for any suggestions, but my criteria has some limits:
1. I usually consider 8-12 miles a good days hike. Could go a little longer depending on terrain.
2. Not much for epic climbs, although epic views are high on my list.
3. Prefer a loop hike or out and back for logistical reasons
Thanks in advance for your recommendations.Jul 20, 2014 at 11:59 am #2121102
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
Lot of PA trails here: http://www.kta-hike.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=92&Itemid=65Jul 21, 2014 at 11:31 am #2121295
I'm in Ohio. I've backpacked some in PA, hiked in the Adirondacks, and backpacked many times in Ohio and West Virginia. Out of those options, I'd definitely choose the Adirondacks or the Dolly Sods Wilderness in WV. It's about 3 hours south of Pittsburgh in north central WV. I think it's well worth the extra drive.Jul 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm #2121335
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Yeah, I live in the Finger Lakes area of NY. I go to the ADK's for hiking. Other than a few spur trails, there are not too many in western and central NY. The Finger Lakes Trail or North Country Trail (same trail from central to western NY) is fairly well populated with some good views of the various lakes, mostly wine country or dairy farms.
I can recomend the older Black River Trail but I think that was converted to a snowmobile/ski trail several years ago (10-20.) They just proposed a final route for the NFCT through the ADK's, but you are at least 3 years too soon. They still need to finalize the pollo-tics and build a good section of it.
There are several in the central area, Ha-de-ran-da is a hiking area just east of Old Forge. This is roughly an hour from Utica (on the thruway/Rt 90 to 12north to 28north.)
Good hiking in this area…several possible loops or good for an out'n'back. There is also several day hikes around Old Forge. Further north, 45min or so, is the town of Inlet. It has several trails (Bear Mountain, Snake Pond, Bug Lake, Eagle's Nest, etc.) Also the Moose River Plains, but you really need a high clearence vehical for that. There is a moose (Harold the moose) that hangs at one of the ponds up there, Helldiver Pond I think.
You really want a canoe to do more.Jul 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm #2121345
I would suggest you consider a more northerly route. Head north from Chicago and catch a ferry out to Isle Royale National Park. I think this park would meet your 3 criteria very well. Then either return to Chicago and fly home, or drive back through Canada possibly doing another backpack in Algonquin Provincial Park along the way. I don't know anything about Algonquin except that it's a largish green blob on the map and there are some promising looking trip reports on this site.
I've never been to Isle Royale either, but I have been enamored with it for a few years. Being from Montana its hard to justify a trip that far to backpack. I'm patiently waiting for the right opportunity to take me to that part of the county.Jul 22, 2014 at 5:46 am #2121462
Hey there…If you take I-80 across PA you'll be within 20 miles of the 42-mile Allegheny Front Trail that goes in a loop around Black Moshannon State Park. You could do the "Eastern Loop" (30 miles) if that suits your daily mileage numbers better. I've hiked it four times and would be happy to give you more info. PM me.
Other options exist in the northern part of PA if you pick up I-86 East in Erie. You could do the West Rim Trail (27 miles with a shuttle service nearby) near Wellsboro or the Old Loggers Path (a 27-mile loop north of Williamsport).Jul 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm #2121555
Thanks to all for the commentary. I looked at the link from Spelt which was very useful and identified several of the trails mentioned by others. The West Rim looks pretty appropriate for my needs. Youtube has some good vids on a number of the PA trails.Jul 23, 2014 at 8:08 am #2121790
I just hiked the West Rim Trail again in April and am happy to give you some suggestions on where to stay while on the trail.
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