Pennsylvania

Great Eastern Trail in Pennsylvania is a cooperative project of Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Mid State Trail Association, Standing Stone Trail Club, Mid Atlantic Foot Trails Coalition (MAFTC), American Hiking Society. Link to the member organizations or click on the map below for detailed hiking maps and trail conditions.

Printable Trail Maps:

DISCLAIMER The map below is an approximation – it may not be correct in all areas and is subject to change. For more detailed map information, please contact our Participating Clubs.

 

The Keystone State hosts over 400 miles of completed GET, so far the most of any state.

Leaving Maryland, Great Eastern Trail’s east loop enters PA on Tuscarora Trail quickly climbing its eponymous mountain passing numerous views and even just below a summit restaurant on the old Lincoln Highway. A descent into Cowans Gap State Park brings the hiker to a backwoods trail first built in 1755 for the British attack on the French position at today’s Pittsburgh.

Finally, after four states the GET hiker bids farewell to the well maintained and blue blazed Tuscarora, joining orange blazed Standing Stone Trail for over 70 miles of sweeping viewpoints and intriguing cultural remnants such as “Thousand Steps” near Mount Union, PA. Upon reaching Greenwood Furnace State Park’s historical remnants of early America’s iron industry, a blue blazed trail continues over high Broad Mountain and through never-cut rhododendron crowding pre-Columbian hemlock trees at Alan Seeger Natural Area just before rejoining the west loop.

GET’s west loop crosses the famed Mason-Dixon Line to orange blazed Mid State Trail, the longest and wildest of Pennsylvania’s footpaths where if you hike alone, you will still meet more bears than people. Sharp boulders, knife-edge rocks, forever views, and little water greet intrepid hikers who take on the west loop. Friendly trail towns of Everett and Williamsburg are oases of comfort.

Just south of the “Happy Valley” surrounding the university town simply called State College, GET hikers reunite to continue north on the orange blazes of Mid State Trail through more old growth, vistas, over many ridges and under one, finally reaching a town named for America’s oldest woolen mill: Woolrich, Pennsylvania. GET follows MST up and up again on the Allegheny Front and into the depths of expanses of public woodland surrounding America’s largest “creek,” Pine Creek Gorge.

After taking a gander at Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon, MST turns east into waterfall country passing scattered remnants of long-past lumbermen and coal miners. Skipping around an unfinished section on an unmarked but mapped roadwalk (as of summer 2008), the northernmost completed MST and GET section winds merrily through rural farmland and around the heads of two reservoirs offering tantalizing traces of life before government-paid relocations. Continue past Cowanesque Lake, following the orange blazes into hilly upper New York State.

Presently the GET is fully hikeable from the Allegheny Trail at I-64 exit 1, just east of the VA/WV border, northward through portions of VA, WV, all of MD, all of PA, to Maple Street in the Village of Addison, NY.

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