Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle, along the Appalachian Trail, is one of our favorite hikes in PA. There are a number of good websites out there that give you mileage info, specific maps, etc., so I won’t repeat them here.
We decided to camp at Blue Rocks Campground, which has a connecting trail to the AT. I made reservations online, only to call and find out that they didn’t open until the following weekend. But, it turns out that they had so many requests to camp that weekend that they were making exceptions. There were a number of RVs already there when we arrived, but they have a whole separate section of the campground dedicated to tents, which was practically empty. Which we loved, of course.
We set up camp in the morning and then hit the trail right after lunch. It’s about 1.5 miles from the campground (along a blue blazed trail) to the AT and Pulpit Rock/Pinnacle loop (which is blazed white). We crossed a mysterious red blazed trail that we couldn’t identify– I didn’t see it on any maps. We might have to explore it the next time we go.
This is usually a popular weekend trail, but because we were there on a Friday, and it was still a little chilly, it wasn’t too crowded. There was a group of boy scouts rappelling down Pulpit Rock!
One of my favorite things about hiking this time of year is the extra views– With no leaves on the trees, we were could see Lehigh Valley all along the trail.
The wind was a bit chilly once we reached the Pinnacle, so we didn’t stay long. We decided to hike the loop, which would bring us back to the trail to Blue Rocks Campground in a round-a-bout way. The backside of the hike is my favorite party anyways– It slopes downhill through a pine forest alongside a creek. Bea-u-ti-ful.
There is supposed to be yellow-blazed trail that leads from the Pinnacle back to the campground. We didn’t see it at the top, but we will look for it next time. That would have made a great half-day hike. Although it felt good to the mileage in (11!), our feet were pretty tired. We made it back in time to have a campfire as the sun set. Mowgli had been running circles around us all day, and didn’t settle down very well in the tent. It was only his second time camping… Maybe he needs a few more nights under his belt. At least he has a cool bandana.