Meet other people in your area interested in backpacking. Talk about locations, equipment, recipes, etc., and find people to take trips with. Experience a variety of trips planned for different levels of experience and interests. You should come along with us, if you enjoy being outdoors, want to have some adventure and enjoy meeting people and having new experiences. Backpacking in a group is an entirely different way of getting to know people!
Typical trips range from 2-3 days in all types of weather, in all seasons. There is a wide variety of terrain to be hiked in PA, NY, WV, etc. so preparation can be key to enjoying your time out and about. Individual trip organizers will choose terrain and let you know what pace they intend to keep.