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AT in Pennsylvania

PA 309 to
Lehigh Gap
Bear Rocks, Bake Oven Knob

 

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Appalachian Trail GPS Tracks

Get the complete GPS Tracks for the AT in Pennsylvania for ONLY $3.97!  This .gpx file includes waypoints for all trail shelters along the 230 miles of trail in Pennsylvania and many of the official AT parking areas.  Use the BUY NOW button below and we'll send you the file via e-mail!  Happy Hiking!

This 13.3 mile section of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania features the views from the "The Cliffs", Bear Rocks and the overly popular Bake Oven Knob. The trail travels from PA 309 along the ridge of Blue Mountain before descending quickly toward the Lehigh River at the impressive Lehigh Gap. There are two shelters along this stretch of the AT.

Bake Oven Knob Shelter is one of the original Pennsylvania shelters, built in 1937. The shelter sleeps six and has no privy. Water is sometimes scarce at the shelter. If the first spring along the blue blazed side trail is dry, head another 0.1 miles to another spring. Do not rely on these springs during dry weather! The George W. Outerbridge shelter was built in 1965 and sleeps six with no privy. There is a piped spring about 0.1 miles north along the AT.

This section of the AT begins where the trail crosses PA 309 at the 1360 foot summit of Blue Mountain. There is a State Game Lands parking area just north of the trail on the east side of the highway. The GPS coordinates for the parking area is N40 42.467 W75 48.455. You are following the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail. At 1.8 miles reach a blue blazed trail on your left that travels 0.2 miles to the New Tripoli Campsite and spring.

At 2.9 miles the trail reaches knife edge rocks sometimes referred to as "The Cliffs". There are views to the south as you maneuver along the knife like ridgeline. At 3.5 miles reach a blue blazed trail on the left that leads to Bear Rocks. There are 360 degree views after a difficult climb and scramble to reach fine views. Take extra care if you decide to explore this fine viewpoint.

At 4.5 miles the trail bears right at a grassy road. At 4.9 miles cross two large State Game Lands parking areas and dirt Bake Oven Knob Road. The GPS coordinates for the parking areas is N40 44.682 W75 44.261. After leaving the parking area the trail starts off being wide but soon becomes extremely rocky as you climb toward Bake Oven Knob. Look at our short video below of the hike to Bake Oven Knob.

At 5.3 miles reach the 1560 foot summit of Bake Oven Knob. There are views to the north and to the south. This is a very popular hawk migration observation lookout. Because it is only a short 0.4 mile hike to the summit from the parking area, a hike to Bake Oven Knob is very popular. It is also one of our Best of the AT in Pennsylvania. You probably will not be alone at Bake Oven Knob. The trail now drops steeply, passing a campsite on your left as you reach the rockslide located on the north side of the mountain at 5.4 miles.

At 5.9 miles the trail reaches Bake Oven Knob Shelter. At 8.3 miles the trail crosses Ashfield Road at Lehigh Furnace Gap. There is parking available under transmission lines. The GPS coordinates for the parking is N40 46.176 W75 41.650. At 9.4 miles reach the southern junction of the blue blazed South Trail. The South Trail travels 1.1 miles parallel to the AT traveling over rocky outcrops with great views. The trail is extremely rocky and the footing can be tricky. At 10.5 miles reach the northern junction of the blue blazed South Trail. The trail will be traveling over the Lehigh Tunnel that takes vehicles through Blue Mountain on I-476 aka Pennsylvania Turnpike NE Extension.

At 11.1 miles reach the southern junction of the blue blazed North Trail.  The North Trail is much more scenic with spectacular views however it is open to storms, with no cover for hikers. The North Trail and AT creates a popular loop hike called the Blue Mountain Loop. It is one of our Best of the AT in Pennsylvania. The main Appalachian Trail will begin a steady descent as you make your way into Lehigh Gap.

At 12.6 miles reach the northern junction of the blue blazed North Trail. At 12.7 miles the trail reaches the George W. Outerbridge Shelter. At 12.8 miles the AT passes a reliable piped spring. At 13.1 miles the trail exits the woods passing under power lines with nice views of Lehigh Gap. Soon reach the small Lehigh Gap West parking area. The GPS coordinates for the parking area is N40 46.876 W75 36.525. The AT crosses the Lehigh River on the PA 873 bridge. That is the end of this section of the Appalachian Trail.

 

Appalachian Trail Hiking Guide
Pennsylvania
** ONLY $9.99
Hiking guide with descriptions and maps for the Appalachian Trail as it travels in Pennsylvania. The guide is broken down by 14 sections of the AT. The book comes to you delivered as a pdf file via email. Use the buy now button and we will send you the file via email usually within 24 hours of receiving payment.
Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania
PA 309 to Lehigh Gap ** ONLY $1.50
Hiking guide with descriptions and maps for just this section of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. The guide comes to you delivered as a pdf file via email. Use the buy now button below and we will send you the file via email usually within 24 hours of receiving payment. Happy Hiking!

North Trail is scenic but open to storms

View of Lehigh Gap with PA 873 bridge in view

George W Outerbridge Shelter in October 2007

 

 

For more information to assist in planning your Appalachian Trail  adventure in Pennsylvania, we recommend these hiking books:

Appalachian Trail Guide to Pennsylvania

Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Hikes in the Mid-Atlantic States - MD PA NJ NY

Pennsylvania Hiking Trails: Keystone Trails Association

AMC's Best Day Hikes Near Philadelphia

50 Hikes in Eastern Pennsylvania: From the Mason-Dixon Line to the Poconos and North Mountain

Backpacking Pennsylvania: 37 Great Hikes

50 Hikes in Central Pennsylvania

Hiking the Poconos: A Guide to the Area's Best Hiking Adventures

Hiking Pennsylvania

CNY Hiking HOME PAGE Appalachian Trail AT in Pennsylvania Best of the AT in PA

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