Location: Lehigh Gorge State Park (Jim Thorpe Pa).
Skill Level: 6 - this is a physical workout
Description: The trail is short but very steep. So, it is not an easy hike. To go on this hike you must be surefooted and in good shape. The guidebook says "You will be using hand-over-foot rock climbing in some areas, very close to steep drops of a hundred feet or more." In the first mile, the trail follows a steep, rocky, course up the mountain and is often damaged by erosion. If there have been strong rains, we may have to switch to an alternate trail because this one can become unsafe and slippery.
That being said, this trail is one of the best trails close to Philly. I love waterfalls and this hike is loaded with them - seven in fact. The three major waterfalls are over 30 feet high and cascade 900 feet in 1 mile through the narrow, hemlock-filled gorge.
After the climb we will follow the ridge out to two rarely visited vistas. You will enjoy a sweeping view of the Lehigh Gorge and may be able to pick out the rafters and bikers below. We are almost guaranteed to have these vistas to ourselves since most hikers just do the 2 mile loop past the waterfalls.
Clothing and Equipment: Hiking boots, sun block, raingear, water bottle.
Only 15 spots. First 15 to pay go. . . Pay here
Note: While most of our hikes are dog friendly, this is not a dog appropriate hike due to the steep slopes, potential for bears and cliffs.
Why do we put a limit on the number of people for hikes? Three reasons; safety, conservation and fun. We limit the number to promote safety. If there are too many people, it becomes too hard to keep track of those people. We would not want to go in with 50 and out with 48. Plus, though many of the trails we take are very well established, we want to limit our impact on the environment. So, it is much better for us to go in with 15 people and not tromp 50 in all at once. Finally, I think bringing a giant heard of people into the woods ruins one of the fundamental reasons we go into the woods, the peace and intimacy of nature. I love the quiet and the possibility of seeing wild animals. Large groups are loud and intrusive and diminish the very reasons we go. So, that is why we limit our group size.