What we're about

Berks-Lehigh Hiking and Backpacking is a hiking group for people of all skill levels! If you'd like to get some exercise outside, we'll have an event for you. We will be hosting day hikes, backpacking trips, gear seminars. We will also be hosting learning events, such as "Beginners Only" backpacking events.

Feel free to suggest events! I'd like the group to take on a life of its own and grow as a community, and it can only do that if its members step up and make it their own. I will often put notes on the calendar, which will let you know about local events that may interest you. These may not always be "official" Meetups at first, but can become official events if interest is shown. On the main page you may click "Suggest a New Meetup" to suggest your own events. After you attend your first event, you'll be made an Event Organizer. This will allow you to post your own events on our calendar!

I'm hoping that everyone can find a way to have fun and make this group their own. Hope to see you all on the trail! Be sure to check us out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/130806933711566/) and follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/BerksHiking)!

About your Event Hosts

Event Organizers have attended one or more Berks-Lehigh Meetups. If an Event Organizer is hosting, this is probably their first time leading a hike with us.

Assistant Organizers have organized and/or led 1-4 events with Berks-Lehigh.

Co-Organizers have organized and/or led 5 or more events with Berks-Lehigh. If you have questions about organizing your own events, Co-Organizers can help!

The Fine Print:

Attendance will be monitored and tracked closely. Please don't RSVP "Yes" unless you actually plan on coming. There is nothing worse than waiting around for someone who isn't going to show up. I understand that things come up and plans change, but please try to remember to change your RSVP in a timely manner (or at least call/text/email the event host). After 3 "No Shows", we may be forced to remove you from the group. Changing your RSVP prior to the event will not count against you as a "No Show". To reiterate, "No Show" means that your RSVP was "Yes", but you did not attend the event. The group will wait at the trailhead for up to 10 minutes, but if you haven't arrived (or at least made contact) by then, the group will start hiking without you.

A "No Show" to a Multi-Day event, will be considered a particularly egregious offense. After a single Multi-Day "No Show", your Multi-Day hiking privileges will be suspended. Multi-day hikes require more detailed planning and logistics than a single day event, so a "No Show" could greatly mess up those plans.

Children are typically not allowed on our hikes, so members should be at least 18. There will occasionally be child-friendly hikes, but all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Drug and Alcohol Policy: While alcohol is not completely banned from our events, use of alcohol in a way that could compromise the safety of yourself and others is clearly unacceptable. As a rule of thumb: if you are over the legal limit to drive, you are over our legal limit to hike. Hiking Under the Influence can lead to dangerous trips and falls that can endanger yourself and others. You may think drinking makes the hike more fun, but you might be making it less fun for others. This all falls under the umbrella of our general safety and harassment guidelines (below). If you become a safety hazard or a great annoyance, the Event Hosts have full authority to ask you to leave (which will bar you from further hikes until the situation can be reviewed). RESPONSIBLE drinking in camp, or at post-hike events is allowed under this policy, but only if you do not negatively affect the experience of your fellow hiker. Illegal drugs are, of course, banned from all events.

As with most Meetups, all activities are done at your own risk. These hikes are not professionally guided, and there is no guarantee that your fellow hikers will have the training to help you if you are injured. As a member of this group, you agree to release all Organizers, Hosts, and fellow Members of any and all liability. You agree to accept any and all risk associated with any event hosted by this group.

You should always pack as if you were hiking alone, so that you will be sure you have what you need. I will not condone unsafe behavior, and those putting themselves or others at risk may be asked to leave. There is also a ZERO TOLERANCE policy against harassment. Anyone who harasses another group member in any way will not be allowed to participate in future events. It is very important that everyone feels safe and comfortable at all times.

Upcoming events (2)

The Last and First Annual Berks/Lehigh Bike Ride.

Union Meadows East

A few of us haven't ridden the Thun Trail section of the Schuylkill Trail. This is a 38 mile out and back between Pottstown and Reading. To keep us alive they built a NEW BRIDGE! across Route 724. It's the nicest bike bridge I've seen. As this is an out and back starting from a central point - you can turn around at any time and are never more than 11 miles from the trailhead.

Facilities at the start and 16 mile point. A Turkey Hill or two. A bit of lightly traveled on street. Population will be kept small to minimize the number of people who can run over me. This is not a particularly fast ride.

To do this you need: a bike that works well on gravel, a tire tube that fits the aforementioned bike, the means to install said tube, an obviously cheery disposition, a helmet and water/calories to get you through. Bright colors are both helpful and potentially stylish. This is a rail trail with little elevation The surface is in generally good shape. If when you go to find your bike you cannot read the branding through the dust ... may want to sit this one out.

Fine print: By/If attending this hike, you acknowledge and agree that you are responsible for your own safety at all times and that no one but you can be held responsible for any damages, accidents, injuries or liabilities incurred while participating in this event. You release, hold harmless, and indemnify the leader(s) and all members of this group from any and all claims for property damage, injury, illness, disability and/or death, including those caused by negligence and/or other reasons.

If you are fully COVID vaccinated, masks are your option. If you are not, I can recommend several other hiking groups.

Finer fine print: Questions or concerns -[masked]. Give me a way to communicate if I don't know you. (If I don't have a way to communicate, I don't know you.) Rain or very cold Wx cancels. We start late so it warms up. I'll post here 2+ hours before.

Hickory Run State Park, A 9 ish Mile Hike.

Hickory Run State Park Office

Well ... more like 10.6 miles.

Hickory Run State park contains 15,990 acres with 40 some miles of trail. There is a loop on the west side containing a nice view of the Lehigh River, some attractive trail and a few waterfalls. There is also, the "Shades of Death"; an attractive albeit slippery trail seemingly misnamed by our forefathers.

Parking is at the new office. There are real facilities. The upper lot is lined for campers but is available to us. Please park within the lines.

With the new start location we get to do the "Shades of Death" first. This is great as it was a bit trying at the end of the hike. As is often the case, this is a gosh awful choice for those who don't hike with some regularity. Please come intending to keep up. By the by, trails do get misplaced in here once and awhile and there are some noticeable hills. Plan to be of good cheer.

Fine print: By/If attending this hike, you acknowledge and agree that you are responsible for your own safety at all times and that no one but you can be held responsible for any damages, accidents, injuries or liabilities incurred while participating in this event. You release, hold harmless, and indemnify the leader(s) and all members of this group from any and all claims for property damage, injury, illness, disability and/or death, including those caused by negligence and/or other reasons.

Please bring water and calories for 4 or 5 hours in the woods. A fully charged cell phone is often a good idea. Pleasant demeanor required. Come planning to keep up. Cell service is spotty. Facilities at the start and 1.2 miles in. Post hike there is a boulder field that is fun to get lost in. I usually drive over there rather than walk (walking can be much overrated).

If you are fully COVID vaccinated, masks are your option. If you are not - I can recommend several other hiking groups.

Finer fine print: Questions or concerns -[masked]. Give me a way to communicate if I don't know you. (If I don't have a way to communicate, I don't know you.) Rain of significance cancels. I'll post here 2+ hours before. I tend to err on the side of caution.

Past events (670)

Jacobsburg Environmental Center, A 9 ish Mile Hike.

Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center

Photos (7,799)

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