Kempton, Pennsylvania

Hike the Pinnacles and Pulpit Rock

9 Miles Total - 1200 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Ian Carey

The Pinnacles and Pulpit Rock offer some of the best views in Pennsylvania, only a short drive from Harrisburg and Allentown. There are two different vista views of the rolling Lehigh Valley Farmland.

Park in the lot near the Hamburg Reservoir and hike around the barrier and up the gravel road. Shortly on your right the Appalachian Trail branches off the road. Follow the white blazes of the AT for around 2 miles to the Pulpit Rocks, just before the trail passes the Lehigh Valley Astronomical Society road.

From the Pulpit Rocks you will get a glimpse of the sweeping grandeur the Pinnacles will have to offer only a few miles later. Note the Pinnacle itself, sticking out like an anthill just off the main ridge.

Continue along the AT for around 3 more miles until you come to the pinnacles, marked by a massive pile of rocks along the trail. Hike out on to the rock face of the Pinnacles to see the quilted farms before you. Also climb down the rocks to explore a series of small caves and crevices below.

After thoroughly exploring the pinnacles, follow the AT west through relatively flat terrain on what turns into an old fire road. You will pass two trails branching to your left. Take either of these to return to the parking lot for a 7 mile or 9 mile round trip respectively. If you wish to turn this trip into an overnight, perhaps to take it slow and really enjoy the area, continue on the AT shortly past the second left-bearing trail. You will encounter signs for State Gamelands. After passing these signs and the barrier, you can look for a spot to camp. There are a number of areas which appear to have regular use.

Water for purification can be located a half a mile back up the trail from a spring. However this source may be seasonal and is usually at a trickle so total reliance on it should be avoided.

The next morning, retrace your steps back to the closer branching trail you passed yesterday and follow it past Hamburg Reservoir to the parking lot.

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Tags

Chillin
Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Beautiful View, Lots Of People

We hiked it as a section point to point on the AT, the View is outstanding but arrive at trail head parking early as it fills up fast and expect to share your day with lots of people.

Fun

A fun hike to do if you have 3 hours! Great look out at the top!

Beautiful

More challenging if you hike as a loop. Plan on stopping for a bit at the top. The view is fantastic!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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