A-T Backpacking May 2016

THIS EVENT IS LIMITED TO SCOUTS GOING TO PHILMONT in July 2016. Scouts who have gone to Philmont who wish to come and help teach backpacking skills should consult the Scoutmaster.

This is our next-to-the-last PREP TRIP for Philmont, and our first REAL backpacking trip. 
You should consider this MANDATORY, and also the trip in June (17-19) on the Conestoga Trail 

  • Leave from St. John on Friday 13 May at 5PM. We'll need to have everything ready the week before.
  • Return to St. John on Sunday 15 May at 1PM.
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  • Northern Start/End point at Lehigh Gap (Route 873 just north of Slatington).  There is some parking here, perhaps enough for 8 cars, and a Friday arrival typically guarantees a spot.  The fastest way to get  to this point is Northeast Extension through the tunnel to Mahoning Valley exit, #74, then West on Route 209 to Route 248, then South toward Palmerton, then right on/toward Route 873, across bridge toward Slatington.  Parking lot is immediately across bridge on right.
    [Waypoint: 40.781196,-75.608726;  MAP]
  • Southern Start/End point at Route 309 by Blue Mountain Summit.  There is ample parking at the trailhead here.  The time to get here is about the same whether you take the Northeast Extension as above, then continue along Mountain Road to Route 309,or get off in Allentown, go West on Route 22/I-78, then North on Route 100 to Route 309.  [MAP]
  • Length in either direction is 13.3 miles, with an extra .5 miles loop to get to New Tripoli Campsite and an extra .5 miles loop to get to Devil's Pulpit.
Southbound Notes
  • As you can see from the elevation profile, the climb to Outerbridge shelter from Lehigh Gap is steep: 800 ft. climb over .6 miles.  This should take about one hour (we'll be heavy at the start as we can't be sure of water at the spring).  The shelter here can hold about 12 to 18 people, and there's room for tents nearby.  The side hike to Devil's Pulpit the next morning is a highlight, as is the hike over the ridge.  The section between Bake Oven Knob Shelter and Bake Oven Knob is hand-over-hand scaling of large rocks; slow and tedious but very cool.  Good spot for lunch and possible meeting with Northbound crew.
  • Short stop for water or anything else at B.O.Knob parking lot then on to Bear Rocks.  Bear Rocks is a fun side hike where we have to allow 30 to 45 minutes for sightseeing, as long as we're not far behind schedule.
  • Continue over Knife Edge, which is precarious for a while, then easy hike down to New Tripoli Campsite.
Northbound Notes
  • Fairly easy hike into New Tripoli Campsite from the trailhead, probably an hour.  Water is typically plentiful here.
  • Same notes as above for Knife Edge, Bear Rocks and Bake Oven Knob, although you might want to take lunch at Bear Rocks (really cool).
General Notes
  • We'll likely have one or two crews hike Northbound, and one crew hike Southbound. We'll trade car keys when we meet.
  • Additional camping areas abound, but good spots are marked just east of Bear Rocks and, of course, the Bake Oven Knob Shelter, one of the oldest shelters on the A-T.
Get psyched for one of the best sections of the A-T in Pennsylvania!

Bake Oven Knob

Knife Edge
Knife's Edge.jpg

Devil's Pulpit