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“I hiked the Pinchot Trail in Lackawanna State Forest. It is hike #2 in JMITCHs Backpacking Pennsylvania Book. Due to the heat and a family commitment I did it as 2 day hikes.
I started with the North Loop.. Of the two loops the Northern one is probably the hardest, although it isnt really that difficult. Its a hair over 10 miles with a few ups and downs.. I missed the mountain laurel blooms by a couple of weeks as most of the petals were on the ground. The blueberries, while not totally ripe, were edible... There were several campsites nestled in the trees, although I didnt see another hiker all day..
The trail itself varies from trail, to forest road, to dirt road, to snow mobile trails.. It is very well marked and easy to follow.. In addition there are several side trails to explore...
The Southern Loop was my favorite loop. It measures about 13.25 miles depending on which parking lot you use. I would suggest long pants, as the trail is very brushy. This part of the trail was a little wetter then the northern part. The bugs were pretty bad and the deer flies were terrible.. The trail follows a creek for 2 miles, and there are at least 3 campsites along the stream. I would recommend using one of these if you are doing an overnight trip here. For the most part the southern part wasnt as rocky as the Northern Loop.. It too utilizes forest roads and snow mobile paths in some sections, but most of it is rather brushy. About 2 miles from the end, you walk through a huge patch of blue berries.. A tasty treat after a good hike...
“I think I'm doing the southern loop this weekend as an overnighter. I hear there is real nice camping along Choke Creek. How was the Tick situation?”
“I had 4 on me the north loop.. none on the south loop.. in stead of parking at the main trail head, you can park at the trail head farther west on 2016... from there it is about 4.5 miles to the creek if you go counter clockwise (you can add miles by hiking the choke creek nature trail)... If you go clock wise its aboutr 7 miles to the creek and you will be walking through the blue berries.. there are at least 4 campsites along the creek...
Wear long pants and take bug repelent.. I saw 3 backpacker still in camp on the southern loop.. and they were burning mosquito coils..
I ran out and got some for my west rim hike this weekend...”
“Ok thanks for the heads up, glad you had a good hike!”
“you are going to love it.. the south loop was awesome..
pictures are posted on fb”
“Only 4 ticks on the Pinchot in the summer? That must be a record.
I agree the south loop is more varied. The hike along Choke Creek is very nice, with some great camping.
The side hike to Big Pine Hill vista is worth it.
Another hint- when hiking the south loop, there is Butler Run. There is a meadow west of the run. Go off trail and hike to the end of the meadow. Pick up a faint trail that basically follows the Butler Run drainage downstream. Reach an old forest road. There is a well established path that continues along Butler Run. This path curves and follows Choke Creek upstream, it will soon reach Choke Creek Falls- a beautiful spot, great swimming, and camping.”
“Very nice hike, did parts of both north and south loops. Great weather, lots of tall grass, I can see why there are a lot of ticks. although I didn't get a one (knock on wood). Didn't get to the falls, I'll have to go back and see them soon.”
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