Appalachian Trail Beginnings

My first exposure to the Appalachian Trail was growing up in Pennsylvania. As a boy scout, our troop would go camping nearly every month.

Our usual camp in November was to Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation in Schuylkill Haven, PA. The troop would usually split – one part spending a weekend in a cabin at the camp and the the other out hiking the Appalachian Trail. At the start I would be in the group that stayed at the cabin but as I grew older and more experienced in camping and other scout skills, I would go with the group that hiked the trail. We would usually plan on hiking the section of the trail above the camp on Blue Mountain above the camp. Over my years as a scout I hiked the section between PA 501 and PA 183 on several occasions.

I remember thinking that the climb to the trail was really tough and the trail was especially rocky. As I have seen more of the trail in the years since, the steepness of the climb wasn’t all that bad, but the rocks are still some of the worst that I have seen for general rockiness.

My experiences on the trail on this section always led me to dreaming about hiking the entire trail. I would read any kind of guidebook, map, or web page that I could find about hiking the trail. Many years of dreaming would pass before I took the first real steps toward completing this dream.

Section AT Miles: 9.3 / Total AT Miles: 9.3

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